Santa Monica College is a two-year public community college located in Santa Monica, California. Established as a small institution in 1929, today nearly 32,000 students are enrolled at any one time, making it one of the largest community colleges in the nation. The school offers over 80 degrees and diplomas including cosmetology, English and theatre arts. The campus is compact, spanning 38 acres in the city.
With over 90 fields of study to select from, the college has a wide range of degree and certificate programs to fit the needs, interests and ambitions of a diverse student body. Among the most popular and well-known programs are chemistry fashion merchandising, modern languages, and the theatre arts.
The chemistry program offers three concentrations: general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry. The school also offers a student-run chemistry club founded in 1995.
The fashion merchandising program is a 60 credit Associate of Arts degree that offers classes including apparel construction, fashion buying and draping. A Career Certificate in Fashion Design is granted upon completion of 40 units with a grade of C or higher. A Career Certificate in Fashion Merchandising is granted upon completion of 33 units with a grade of C or higher.
The Modern Languages Program teaches a host of languages from all over the world including Chinese, German and Japanese. The program also offers a language lab where students may receive extra tutoring in their language of study.
The school’s college arts mentor program provides graduate-level training for outstanding theatre arts students in a number of specialized fields. Meanwhile, the Academy of Entertainment Techology offers certificates in animation and interactive media—two growing fields in the area.
For students intending to go on to four-year schools to earn bachelor degrees, SMC has transfer agreements with Loyola Marymount University, University of Southern California, and the University of California system.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In keeping with its mission to provide educational opportunities to any student who desires to pursue them, the college offers open admissions. To apply, students must complete an official school application form and submit high school transcripts and ACT/SAT scores. There may be other requirements for special programs, so prospective students should check with the department in which they wish to study.
International students are held to the same requirements as new students and must also submit a TOEFL score and write an essay.
Students may apply online.
The financial aid office offers a wide range of options for students who qualify. Students must apply for the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid. A wide variety of loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who are eligible. Federal loans and the PLUS Loan are among the front-line assists for most students. Both need-based and merit-based scholarships are also available. Scholarship awards include the Cal State Dominquez Hills Scholarships and the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program.
Student Financial Aid Details
Santa Monica is a ethnically and financially diverse area, and this diversity is reflected in the student body with nearly even numbers of students from Asian, European, and Latino origins. African Americans are also very well represented. About a third of students attend full-time while the other two-thirds are part-time. There are slightly more men than women. Students of all ages are represented as well, although a slight majority of them are in the 18-24 age range.
The campus offers many student clubs and organizations including the Electronic Music Club, the Astrophysics Club and the Boxing Club.Students also have opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom through the public radio station KCRW located on campus. The student newspaper, The Corsair, has an excellent reputation among college newspapers. Unusual among community colleges, SMC houses a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy instrument which attracts students in many related specialities.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletic department fields competitive teams in 16 sports. Teams compete in the Western State Conference. Their mascot is Pico the Corsair. School colors are blue and white.
Corsair Field is home to the football and track and field programs, and Corsair Pavilion is home to the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams and was the brief home of the Hollywood Fame, an American Basketball Association team.
Notable alumni include:
- Professional football players Chad Ocho Cinco, Steve Smith, and Issac Bruce
- Professional ping pong player Glenn Cowan
- Professional golfer Barry Jaeckel
- Record executive David Geffen
- Boxer Laila Ali
- Actors and television personalities Ryan Seacrest, Hilary Swank, Kenan Thompson, Cam Gigandet, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Penn, James Dean, and Penn Badgley
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.