Jun 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation Requirements

General Information

Effective summer 2016, graduation at FSW is an automatic process, streamlining the necessary steps for students and ensuring their transcripts reflect the degree or certificate earned. Students will be automatically graduated upon completion of all degree requirements, and diplomas will be mailed to the address on file. Students will be notified of their graduated status via their FSW email account, and should contact the Registrar’s office if any outstanding degree requirements are completed after the deadline for grades has passed. This may include but not be limited to: late grades, incomplete grades, transient coursework, etc.  Degree notations on transcripts will include academic terms in which all of the requirements were completed.

Students may update their Automatic Graduation Status by contacting the registrar’s office on or before the date published on the academic calendar. By opting out of Automatic Graduation, the student indicates that they do not want their certificate or degree to be awarded and assigned to their academic record. Students that have opted out of Automatic Graduation will need to contact the registrar’s office again once they intend to opt back in and receive their degree.

Please Note that once your degree requirements have been met, this may affect your financial aid status should you choose to continue taking classes.  Please be sure to discuss this decision with your financial aid counselor before opting out.

Associate Degrees and Certificate Programs

To receive the Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Science degree, or a Certificate, students must satisfy the requirements for that degree or certificate. Students are encouraged to see an Academic Advisor prior to each registration. Students must satisfy the following College requirements:

  1. Earn the minimum required semester hours for the degree or certificate with a cumulative 2.00 GPA. Students may apply only 12 hours of college-level EAP credits toward a degree.
  2. Satisfy Gordon Rule writing intensive requirements, if applicable.
  3. Satisfy Civic Literacy Requirement, if applicable.
  4. Complete all non-course requirements, if applicable.
  5. Successfully complete a minimum of 25 percent of the required degree or certificate coursework at Florida SouthWestern State College.
  6. Fulfill all obligations to Florida SouthWestern State College.

Baccalaureate Degrees

The following general requirements for graduation from Florida SouthWestern State College must be met by all candidates for the Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science degrees. Additional requirements may exist for individual programs.

  1. Students must satisfactorily complete 120 credit hours to be eligible for graduation.  For Residency purposes, a minimum of 30 institutional credit hours required for graduation must be completed at Florida SouthWestern State College.  All other Specific degree requirements must also be met.  For the purpose of the meeting the residency requirement, credit awarded for Developmental Education coursework may not be applied toward the total number of credits required for graduation.  A minimum of 15 core baccalaureate (3000 or 4000 level) program credit hours must be earned at Florida SouthWestern State College.
  2. For purposes of conferring the bachelor’s degree, students must complete at least 30 credit hours of courses numbered 3000 level or above.
  3. Students must fulfill all requirements for their program major. Students should refer to an individual program’s graduation requirements.
  4. Students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Students pursuing a degree in education must achieve a 2.5 average or higher in all coursework. Individual programs may require a higher grade point average for graduation.
  5. Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all upper division program requirements.
  6. Students must complete the general education requirements of the Associate in Arts degree including any assessment of general education outcomes that are required by the College. Transfer courses will be reviewed for equivalency. Students who transfer to Florida SouthWestern State College with a previous Associate in Arts degree from a Florida community college or bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution are considered to have met the general education component of the degree.
  7. Students must have completed Florida’s Foreign Language Competency Requirement prior to the completion of the bachelor’s degree. The Foreign Language Competency Requirement may be met by:
    1. 2 years of the same High School Foreign Language, or
    2. Documented foreign language proficiency through testing (for example, CLEP), or
    3. 2 semesters of the same College Level Foreign Language (level II proficiency), or
    4. Level II proficiency - this criterion occurs when a student has completed the second course of a sequence of college foreign language without completing the first course.  For example, if a student has successfully completed a college-level Spanish II but not Spanish I, then the student has met the Foreign Language Competency requirement.
  8. Students must have completed the Civic Literacy Requirement prior to being awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree. The Civic Literacy Requirement may be met by: 
    1. Successfully passing one of two courses (see GE Guide) designed to include:
  • Understanding of the basic principles and practices of American democracy and how they are applied in our republican form of government;
  • An understanding of the United States Constitution and its application;
  • Knowledge of the founding documents and how they have shaped the nature and functions of our institutions of self-government; and
  • An understanding of landmark Supreme Court cases, landmark legislation and landmark executive actions and their impact on law and society.


           2. Achieving the standard score on one of the following assessments

  • AP Government and Politics: United States                                            3
  • AP United States History                                                                             4
  • CLEP: American Government                                                                  50

   9. Students must meet program criteria prior to enrollment in the capstone or internship experience.


Commencement Ceremony

Students will be awarded their degrees during the terms in which they complete their programs (FAC 6A-14.030). To celebrate our students’ achievements, Florida SouthWestern State College holds a commencement ceremony in the spring each academic year. Students are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony under the following conditions:

  1. Students who complete their degree requirements during the Fall Semester preceding the commencement ceremony.
  2. Students who complete their degree requirements during the term that concludes with the commencement ceremony.
  3. Students who will complete their degree requirements during the Summer Semester that immediately follows the commencement ceremony; students requiring more than 12 semester hours to complete their degree at the start of the Summer Semester are encouraged to participate in the next year’s commencement ceremony.

Students must indicate their intention to attend commencement ceremony, by completing the Commencement Application on the FSW website by the published deadline.

Honors Graduation Distinction for Baccalaureate Students

Baccalaureate students with a record of academic achievement may be considered for honors upon graduation. To graduate with an honors distinction, baccalaureate degree candidates must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours of upper division graded coursework at Florida SouthWestern State College and must have earned an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 or higher. Honors designations are conferred according to the following scale and are noted on a student’s diploma:

  • Cum Laude (with honors): an overall GPA of 3.50, up to 3.69
  • Magna Cum Laude (with high honors): an overall GPA of 3.70, up to 3.89
  • Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors): an overall GPA of 3.90 or higher

When determining honors for graduation, the GPA is not rounded up (e.g., 3.49 is not rounded up to 3.50 for graduation with an honors designation).

Honors Graduation Distinction for Associate Students

Associate degree students with a record of academic achievement may be considered for honors upon graduation. To graduate with an honors distinction, associate degree candidates must have completed 25% of the coursework at Florida SouthWestern State College and must have earned an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 or higher. Honors designations are conferred according to the following scale and are noted on a student’s diploma:             

  • Honors: an overall GPA of 3.50, but below 4.00
  • High Honors: an overall GPA of 4.00

Recognition of Honors at Commencement

Candidates who have accumulated the minimum honors GPA requirements, prior to the term of graduation, will be recognized at the commencement ceremony and will be provided with honors cords. Candidates who will become eligible for honors after the current term’s grades are recorded will not be recognized at the commencement ceremony.