Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Graduation Requirements

General Information

Graduation at Florida SouthWestern State College is automated. Once a student has met all the necessary requirements for their declared academic program, the student’s credential will automatically be awarded and the student’s official transcript will be updated. Awarding of degrees and/or certificates may be an automatic process once all requirements are met, whether declared or not. The student will be notified of their graduation through the student’s College email account, and the diploma will be mailed to the address on file.

All students are opted into the auto-graduation process, unless the student has contacted the Office of the Registrar on or before the date published in the Official Academic Calendar to opt out. If a student chooses to opt out, the student is indicating they do not want their certificate or degree to be awarded and posted on the academic record.

Note: If a student opts out of auto-graduation and has met all certificate and/or degree requirements, the ability to receive financial aid may be impacted should the student choose to continue taking classes. Students should discuss an opt-out decision with a financial aid counselor before contacting the Office of the Registrar.

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 Student Success 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 grade-point average. Students may apply only 12 hours of college-level EAP credits toward a degree.
  2. Satisfy Florida Administrative Code Rule 6A-10.030 College-Level Communication and Computation Skills requirements, if applicable.
  3. Satisfy Florida Administrative Code Rule 6A-10.02413 Civic Literacy Competency 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 FSW.

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 25 percent (30 credit hours) required for graduation must be completed at FSW. 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 FSW.
  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 should refer to individual program requirements, and must fulfill all requirements for the program major in order to graduate.
  4. Students must earn an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale; students pursuing a degree in education must earn a 2.5 GPA or higher in all coursework. Individual programs may require a higher GPA 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 FSW with a previous Associate in Arts degree from a Florida state/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. Two (2) years of the same high school foreign language, or
    2. Documented foreign language proficiency through credit by exam (for example, CLEP or FLATS), or
    3. Two (2) semesters of the same college level foreign language (level II proficiency), or
    4. Level II proficiency - completion of 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’s degree. The civic literacy requirement may be met by achieving a passing score on the Florida Civic Literacy Exam and by successfully passing a civic literacy course. This requirement must be satisfied through the following two criteria prior to graduation:
  1. Successfully passing either POS X041 American Government, AMH X010 History of the United States to 1877, or AMH X020 History of the United States Since 1877. Each of these courses must include the following competencies:
    • 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.


  1. 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
    • Florida Civic Literacy Exam: 60%

*Credits earned in articulated acceleration mechanisms in s. 1007.27 will count toward the civic literacy requirement.

Students should check with their Student Success Advisor for additional information, or if they are unsure whether they have already met these requirements.

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

Commencement Ceremony

Students will be awarded their certificates and/or 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 year. Students are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony under the following conditions:

  1. Students who complete their certificate and/or degree requirements during the Fall Semester preceding the commencement ceremony.
  2. Students who complete their certificate and/or degree requirements during the Spring Semester, including mini-terms, that coincide with the commencement ceremony.
  3. Students who will complete their certificate and/or degree requirements during the Summer Semester that immediately follows the commencement ceremony. Students requiring more than twelve (12) semester hours to complete their degree at the start of the Summer Semester are encouraged to participate in the following year’s commencement ceremony.


Students must indicate their intention to attend the commencement ceremony by completing the FSW Commencement Application via the student portal by the published deadline.

Honors Graduation Distinction for Baccalaureate Students

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 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

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 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

Participants who meet the honors requirements will be recognized at the commencement ceremony. Honors are determined based on the overall GPA at the end of the term prior to the commencement ceremony.