How to Petition for a Certificate

Students can file a petition for a certificate using our online certificate petition form, or they can meet with a counselor to file a certificate petition. American River College does not automatically confer certificates because requirements vary from program to program.


To petition for a certificate, students must:

  1. Know their catalog year*
  2. Complete all certificate requirements with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  3. Complete at least 12 units toward the certificate at American River College (this does not apply to certificates that are less than 12 units)

* Usually, students follow the current catalog year. However, if you are following certificate requirements from an old catalog, then you must have maintained catalog rights.

Required Documentation

The following must be on file in the Admissions and Records Office for a certificate petition to be processed:

  • Official transcripts of all coursework completed at colleges outside of the Los Rios Community College District
  • Official copies of AP/IB/CLEP test scores, if applicable
  • A copy of DD214-military discharge papers, if veteran desires credit for military units
  • List of courses in progress if attending another college
  • Official final transcripts will be required at the end of the semester for final certificate evaluation
  • Copy of any required competency tests, if applicable

Students must complete all certificate requirements by the end of the semester in which they petition for a certificate.

Petition Deadlines for 2020-2021

  • Summer 2020: Friday, June 26, 2020
  • Fall 2020: Friday, October 2, 2020
  • Spring 2021: Friday, March 5, 2021

Approval or Denial

You will be notified via email if your petition is approved or denied.

If denied, then you will be notified of the missing requirements and advised to submit a new petition. If approved, then your certificate will be posted to your transcript within three to four months after the end of the semester.

We mail certificates to the address listed on your petition, unless you choose to pick up your certificate. You will be notified when your certificate is available for pick-up.

Petition Semester Petition Deadline Approval/Denial Date Mailed or Ready for Pick-Up
Summer Fourth Friday in June Mid-November or December Mid-February
Fall First Friday in October End of April Mid-June
Spring First Friday in March Mid-September or October Mid-November

Catalog Rights

For the purpose of graduating or earning a certificate from any college in the Los Rios Community College District, a student who attends at least one session (whether quarter, semester, or summer) in each calendar year at any California community college, California State University, University of California, or any regionally accredited institution of higher education, may choose to meet the requirements in effect at the Los Rios college from which the student intends to graduate, as follows:

  • Requirements that were in effect at the time the student was admitted to a Los Rios college
  • Requirements that were in effect at the time the student originally enrolled in an accredited college
  • Requirements that were in effect at the intended date of graduation from a Los Rios college

Certificate of Achievement vs. Department Certificate

A Certificate of Achievement requires 18 or more units, while a Department Certificate requires fewer than 18 units. In addition, a Certificate of Achievement is posted to a student's transcript, while a Department Certificate is not. A Department Certificate cannot be posted to a student's transcript unless it has been approved by the California Community College Chancellor's Office, per Title 5 Regulation 55070.b.