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Palomar College Learning For Success

Commencement 2021

Congratulations Class of 2021!

Palomar College will be hosting a Drive-Thru Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 28th, 2021 at the San Marcos campus. The event will be live streamed and begin at 5 PM with designated time slots for students to drive through the celebratory route. Eligible candidates will need to register for this event in advance and sign up for a time slot upon arrival. Prior to the in-person Drive-Thru Commencement Ceremony, there will be pre-recorded program for students and families to watch in advance to this event at 2 PM. Students will be required to be in a vehicle, wear academic regalia and a mask. Students are encouraged to decorate their cars and have their immediate household members join them in one vehicle throughout the drive-thru route. Faculty, staff and administrators will be lined up throughout the route to cheer you on! Please see the following links below for further details.

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

All candidates for 2021 are allowed to participate, including  guests from the same household in one vehicle. Please RSVP online and reserve your designated time slot.


Register directly though the RSVP Commencement 2021 application below:

  • Phonetic Spelling is the way the word sounds; for example the name Kelly would be kell-EE.
  • Please complete the Sign-Up Genius form for your designated time slot by clicking the button, below.

    Click to Sign Up!

Eligible candidates for Commencement have the opportunity to apply for the Leadership or Service Award. The selected recipients will be awarded a $500 scholarship. Please review and apply directly through the application.

The Office of Student Life & Leadership will be hosting Gradfest Week on Monday, April 12th through Thursday, April 15th with partners on campus to distribute academic regalia, tassels, cords and stoles.  The event will take place in lot #12 at the San Marcos campus. Here are the sign-up links (students are able to sign-up for multiple links):

ASG / Bookstore Sign-Up
Veterans Sign-Up
Phi Theta Kappa Sign-Up
Service Learning - Please contact if you completed Service Learning hours and qualify for a graduation cord (50 hours) or stole (100 hours).

If you would like to order academic regalia through the Palomar College Bookstore and pick it up during Gradfest Week, the deadline to order is Friday, April 9th. Please order directly through their website:  Palomar College Bookstore.



All students will enter through East Comet Circle on Mission Road in San Marcos, CA.  As each vehicle enters the Drive-Thru Commencement Ceremony, there will be a check-in to confirm your pre-registration. Please ensure you have a mask and you're wearing academic regalia. Only students are required to wear academic regalia; however all participants in the vehicle must have a mask. You will need to have proof of your completed registration upon arrival at the check-in booth. Your confirmation of registration will be used for the name reader once you approach the staging area. The estimated time length of the route will depend on the amount of participants that join.

The pre-recorded program will be shared online  Friday, May 28th,  2021 at 2 PM.  More information on where to view the pre-recorded program as well as the  link will be posted closer to May.

Yes! We highly encourage you to get creative and festive with your vehicle. Faculty, staff and administrators would love to see your names somewhere on or within the vehicle to cheer you on. Please note you must comply with California vehicles codes and there will be no tolerance of obscenities as students must follow the student code of conduct when decorating their vehicle.

If you are a student that is in need of an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact the Office of Student Life & Leadership directly to see if they can facilitate your request. (760) 744-1150 x2594

The Drive-Thru Commencement Ceremony Map will be published closer to May.

Ready to Graduate?

Are you ready to graduate? If you are unsure, we recommend you meet with a counselor first to verify when you will complete all of your academic requirements. Once you enroll in your last course(s) to satisfy your associate degree and/or certificate requirements, you should submit a petition for graduation to the Evaluations and Records office. You can submit a petition for graduation by email, by fax (760) 744-2932, or in-person to the Evaluations and Records office.


Petitions must be submitted no later than the dates listed below:

  • Spring graduation – February 28th
  • Summer graduation – June 30th
  • Fall graduation – September 30th

There is no official deadline for students to file a petition for CSU General Education (CSU GE) or IGETC Certification.


You will receive an email once your evaluation has been completed. This email will include notification of approval or denial status, a copy of your degree/certificate evaluation, and further explanation, if necessary. This notification may come any time during the semester or, in some cases, after your final semester has ended. If you are unsure if you qualify to graduate, we recommend you meet with a counselor to verify you have satisfied all of your academic requirements.

Diploma Name

Your diploma/certificate will include your official name as it appears in MyPalomar. You may view the name that will be included by logging into your MyPalomar account. If you need to change your official name, please bring legal proof of the correct name to the Palomar College Admissions Office.

Diploma Address

Your diploma/certificate will be sent to your mailing address as listed in Palomar College MyPalomar. If you have an address change, you must update your mailing address in your student MyPalomar account.  We do not assume responsibility for degrees and/or certificates sent to the wrong address. Duplicate diplomas may be purchased through the Evaluations Office. There is a charge of $15.00 each per duplicate diploma or certificate.

When Will I Get My Diploma?

Diplomas and/or Certificates for graduates will be mailed approximately four weeks after your degree has been awarded in MyPalomar. Please note, due to the large size of the graduating class, degree applications can take several months to process and award.  To check if your degree has been awarded, log into MyPalomar and view your Unofficial Transcript. To view your Unofficial Transcript go to your Student Center and on the “Other Academic” dropdown menu towards the bottom of the page select “Transcript: View Unofficial.” Click the arrow button. Select eServices and click “Go.”

Certificates of Proficiency

Certificate of Proficiency requirements are designed to certify basic workplace competencies for students who are entering the workforce. These certificates consist of programs that are less than 18 total units. Certificates of Proficiency are not awarded at the Palomar College Commencement, nor are they posted on official transcripts.

Health & Safety Measures

All students and participants in each vehicle must have a mask. In order to protect the safety of others and yourself, you must be wearing your mask when approaching each stop throughout the route.


All students and participants must remain in their vehicles at all times, unless there is an emergency. Faculty, staff and administrators will be stationed throughout the route but will be socially distant amongst each other to ensure they're following safety protocols related to COVID-19.

No, all students and participants must be in an enclosed vehicle.

Only employees of the District will be permitted to stand alongside the drive-thru route. All faculty, staff  and administrators will be temperature screened prior to the event and will social distance while wearing face coverings at all times. A live stream of the Drive-Thru Commencement Ceremony will be available online at 5 PM and a recording of the event will be published online in June.

Students will need to roll down a designated window to receive their Foundation SWAG bag and diploma cover. Diploma covers will be distributed on a tray where students will grab them as they drive through the staging area. Governing Board members and the President of the college will be at the staging area greeting and distributing diploma covers with appropriate PPE gear.