One SMC Senior Shares her tips for fulfilling graduation requirements ahead of schedule.
By Brooke Haggarty
Visiting Culture Writer
I have known since I enrolled in SMC back in 2019 that I wanted to graduate early. As someone who has jumped through hoops and now knows the in’s and out’s of graduating early, I can tell you for certain that it can be pretty easy, but there are plenty of steps and obstacles along the way depending on your personal circumstances.
First things first, you need to pick your major, and luckily, for you, so many courses overlap in terms of core requisites that you have leeway to explore and become inspired before picking it. Though I must say, it is best to work with your FYAC (First-Year Advising Consorts) if you are still deciding, and then once you decide, you should talk to a professor of your choice, an assistant assigned to your major, or the head chair of your major about advising you.
Next you should look at your academic evaluation found on GaelXpress where you can check what credits that you have before and during your time at SMC. If you previously took AP classes or community college courses, those credits may have transferred and translated into credits applied to your SMC requirements. It may even be possible to apply those towards major or minor requirements or prerequisites for upper-division courses.
Another thing that you can do to graduate earlier is take summer courses. Though they might not always be an option as you may not be financially able to afford the hefty cost of those 4 to 8 week courses. SMC offers many courses like Jan Terms, cross-listed courses that apply to your major or minor, and core requisites classes. Many local community colleges also offer classes that can be transferred to SMC, though many require prior approval by SMC professors and administrators.
My final piece of advice is to be constantly communicating with your advisor, reviewing your academic evaluation, and keeping up with any possible changes to your major’s requirements that should be posted on GaelXpress and the SMC website.
With all that said, graduating at SMC can either be easy or a nightmare. Take it from me as someone who knows both versions as I once was on a 3-year track to graduate. I ended up taking up two semesters off, and one was involuntary as I was stuck waiting until this spring, to write my thesis in class. It can be frustrating that some courses are not offered when you want to take them, so make sure you keep up-to-date about course offerings.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to graduate early, best of luck to you!
Madison Sciba '24,