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1900 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405-1628
p. 310-434-4000
w. www.smc.edu

Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College Rating: 4.3/5 (15 votes)

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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.

Financial Aid

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

Ranks 5876th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


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

Information Summary

Ranks 248th in California and 2594th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 2 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 8 0.03
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.00
Arrest 9 0.03

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 215 0.24
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.00
Forcible Rape 24 0.03
Robbery 129 0.14
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 483 0.53
Larceny 2,300 2.53
Vehicle theft 188 0.21

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Santa Monica, CA 90405-1628
Surrounding communitySmall city (inside urban area, pop. under 100,000)
Total Population26,089 (26,089 urban / N/A rural)
Households14,285 (1.81 people per house)
Median Household Income$50,540
Families5,267 (2.77 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Suburban-serving Multicampus
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingVery large two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District633

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 3966th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $1,104 $1,104 $7,560
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $36 $36 $36
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $46 $46 $315
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $2,796 $2,832 $9,252
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $18,614 $18,650 $25,070
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $7,058 $7,094 $13,514

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $896 $1,140 $896 $1,140 $5,768 $6,012
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,656(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $11,556(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,262(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,262(N/C)

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 527 143 668 342 7 737 92 2,580
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping 4 5 6 12 14 42
Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, General
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects 1 4 9 1 6 2 23
Apparel and Textile Marketing Management 6 2 1 1 10
Art/Art Studies, General 7 2 1 4 1 5 1 21
Biological and Physical Sciences 46 3 49 21 42 11 174
Business Administration and Management, General 38 11 38 12 34 4 141
Child Care Provider/Assistant 3 6 14 1 10 1 35
Computer Programming/Programmer, General 3 1 1 2 4 11
Computer Science 1 1 2 2 6
Cosmetology/Cosmetologist, General 8 4 8 2 13 1 37
Dance, General 4 4
Data Entry/Microcomputer Applications, General 1 1 3 5 2 1 13
Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration 1 2
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 12 1 6 1 21
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 2 2 3 1 8
Energy Management and Systems Technology/Technician 1 4 5
Environmental Studies 2 1 2 2 7
Ethnic Studies 1 1
Fashion/Apparel Design 1 2 2 2 7
Film/Cinema/Video Studies 7 3 3 9 22
Graphic Design 12 4 8 3 16 44
Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology/Technician 3 3 1 9 16
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General
History, General 1 13 1 2 1 18
Humanities/Humanistic Studies 32 8 30 9 1 36 4 129
Interior Design 14 1 2 5 18 40
International Business/Trade/Commerce 4 1 5
Journalism 3 4 7
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 1 1 2
Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary 1 1
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 285 72 429 231 4 449 57 1,566
Linguistics 1 1 1 3
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management 1 2 1 4
Mathematics, General 1 1 1 3
Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant and Medical Secretary 1 1 2
Medical/Clinical Assistant 1 1 2
Music, General 1 2 1 4
Office Management and Supervision 1 1
Photographic and Film/Video Technology/Technician and Assistant 6 3 3 9 21
Political Science and Government, General 1 1 8 1 2 1 16
Radio and Television 4 1 2 3 11
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 1 2 10 17 1 22 2 55
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist 2 2 5 9
Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, General 4 1 1 1 7
Selling Skills and Sales Operations 11 1 1 14
Small Business Administration/Management 1 1 2
Speech Communication and Rhetoric
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 1 1
Visual and Performing Arts, General 2 1 1 5
Women's Studies 1 1 2

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 261st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $96,940 ($95,781 male / $96,881 female)
Number of FT Faculty 308 (132 male / 176 female)
Number of PT Faculty 1,355
FT Faculty Ratio 0.2 : 1
Total Benefits $15,611,034

Elisabeth Bailey+

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.

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