Graduate holding diploma and smiling

Commencement vs. Graduation

What's the difference between "graduation" and "commencement"? Find out here.


Commencement is a ceremony often referred to as “graduation.” El Camino College’s annual commencement is scheduled at the end of each spring semester, in celebration of students who are expected to successfully complete all graduation requirements by the end of the term. Students who complete requirements by the end of the previous summer or fall may also participate in the spring ceremony.

Students participating in the commencement ceremony will receive a diploma cover when their name is read. Confirmation of degree completion will take place after official grades are posted. Degrees will be mailed to students at a later date, usually by October. The Student Development Office coordinates the commencement celebration and also manages caps/gowns, announcements and other services for graduates.


Graduation is the act of receiving a diploma or degree from a school, college, or university. El Camino College confers degrees and certificates to students who have officially and successfully completed all graduation requirements.

Students must apply for the term (fall, spring or summer) they plan to graduate during the filing period. Graduation intents and petitions for certificates must be filed in the Admissions & Records Office by the deadline. Late requests will not be considered.

Prior to filing the Intent to Graduate and/or the Petition for a Certificate, students are strongly advised to see a counselor before their final term at El Camino College. This will ensure that all requirements for the degree and/or certificate are met.