Graduation is an exciting time for you to recognize your accomplishments and celebrate this exciting milestone. We are pleased to welcome you into the family of Matador graduates!

Graduation Process

In the final semester of enrollment in your academic program, you should apply for graduation.

Apply for Graduation

Complete the Graduation Application through your Student Planning account NO LATER than 5pm on the corresponding deadline.

Graduation Deadline:
First Monday in November

Graduation Deadline:
First Monday in March

Graduation Deadline:
First Monday in June


To be eligible for graduation, you must:

  • Meet the basic requirements for associate degree or certificate as listed in the General Program Requirements section of the College Catalog.
    Note: a minimum of “C” grade and a minimum of 2.00 GPA is required for all courses in a certificate or degree program.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to review your Academic Program Evaluation
  • Provide official transfer credit documentation including Advanced Placement credit, military transcripts, CLEP scores, etc. (if applicable)

Graduation Notification

You will receive notice of your eligibility status for graduation via email to your ToroMail account. Be sure to follow any direction given to you in order to complete the graduation process.


Diplomas will be available for distribution four to six weeks after they have been posted to your academic record. You will be notified by ToroMail when your diploma is ready for pickup. Diplomas not picked up after _ weeks will be mailed to the address on file. To ensure your address is correct, check your Student Planning account and make necessary changes as soon as possible. A Student Information Update Form must be submitted for any formal name changes.

*You must clear any indebtedness to the College with the AWC Cashier before the end of the semester you intend to graduate or your diploma or official transcript will not be released.

Academic Distinction

Students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher will receive Academic Distinction upon completion of a degree. (Degrees only)

Academic Distinction

Academic Distinction

Academic Distinction


Additional Degrees/Majors

Students may earn recognition of an additional major, if all degree/major requirements have been completed and the normal application process is followed.

Commencement Ceremony

It’s time to celebrate! AWC holds a Commencement Ceremony once a year during the month of May. Students who have graduated or who are within nine credits of degree completion after the spring semester AND have completed the Graduation Application Procedures, are eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Graduating students will receive information through their ToroMail accounts with steps to follow prior to the May Commencement Ceremony.


Commencement Ceremony Details

  • Commencement will be held on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 8:00pm at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
  • Graduates must report to the Gila Ridge Hawks Gym promptly at 7:00.
  • Processional begins at 7:40pm under leadership of the Grand Marshal.
  • Gila Ridge High School and Veterans Memorial Stadium are tobacco-free.
  • Security will inspect all bags. Backpacks are prohibited.
  • Balloons, silly string, and noise makers are prohibited.

Ceremony Guests

Commencement weekend promised to be filled with memorable moments and opportunities to reminisce with your graduate. Guests may attend Commencement free of charge, no RSVP required.

Ceremony Time – The Commencement Ceremony begins at 8pm, ending at approximately 10pm. You are welcome on the field following the recession of the platform party and graduates. During the ceremony guests are not permitted to approach the stage to take photos, present gifts, or congratulate graduates.

Seating – We request that all guests remain in your seats during Commencement. To accommodate the growing number of graduates and guests in attendance, two LED display screens will be located on the field facing the east bleacher for overflow seating, and to the west for closer viewing from the guest stands.

Ceremony Recording – The Commencement Ceremony is recorded by AWC TV Services. You may pre-order your copy of the 2017 Commencement Ceremony DVD through the AWC Foundation. [link to the Foundation]

Attire – May temperatures in Yuma are warm. Dress accordingly. Collared shirts, slacks, khakis, skirts, and dresses are appropriate commencement attire.

Lost and Found – Please call 928.314.9500 for any lost and found items.

Flowers and Water – Flowers and water will be available for purchase at the Commencement venue. A variety of floral options will be available.

*Veterans Memorial Stadium and Gila Ridge High School are tobacco-free. Security will inspect all bags. Balloons, noisemakers, and silly string are prohibited.


AWC has partnered with GradImages to help capture the special memories of graduation. A photograph will be taken as each student crosses the stage to receive their diploma. Other shots may be offered, depending on the venue.

Immediately following the ceremony, graduates will be sent both electronic and hard copies of their photo proofs. Electronic proofs will be sent to the email address on file (ToroMail).

Photographs can be ordered by phone, by mail, or online at

Personal photography – We ask that all guests remain in their seats during the ceremony. Guests are not permitted to approach the stage to take personal photos. At the conclusion of the ceremony, students and family are welcome to the field for photo opportunities.

Caps, Gowns, Announcements, Rings

Caps, gowns, announcements, and rings can be purchased through the AWC Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Please contact the bookstore at 928.344.7583 for more information.

Proper Wearing of Regalia

The cap should be worn so the mortarboard is level. It should not be crooked to the back or side of the head. The crown should be approximately one inch above the eyebrows. The front of the cap is indicated on the inside of the crown.

The tassel is worn over the right temple. All graduates should wear the tassel on the same side for uniformity. Graduates shift the tassel from the right to the left, in unison, after all diplomas are received, as directed.

The gown should be worn over lightweight, comfortable clothing. Press inside out with a cool iron to remove the folds. Please plan appropriate footwear for walking on the grass field.

Beyond AWC

For many students, AWC is just the beginning of their educational journey. Our students go on to universities all over the world and complete bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. We are proud to provide students with their foundation for future academic success!

Transfer Information

Although it’s best to plan your transfer early, it’s never too late to decide to transfer your AWC credits to a four-year institution. The staff in our Transfer Services office will answer your questions, connect you with university representatives, and get you pointed in the right direction to pursue your bachelor’s degree.

Alumni Association

Stay connected and continue to show your Matador pride as an AWC graduate by joining the AWC Alumni Association.