English Proficiency

Future Students

Application & Acceptance:

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an International Student Application and submit the application with the supporting documents listed in the checklist. Please refer to our Application Checklist and follow the steps.

How long will it take me to get accepted to Pasadena City College?

After you submit a complete application and all the admission requirements, your application will be evaluated and an admission decision will be made. You will be notified by email of our admission decision within 10 business days.
Note: An admission decision will not be made until your application and all admission requirements are submitted.

When will I get my I-20?

Once you have completed the application and are accepted to PCC, International Admissions will send you an email to confirm your acceptance. Your admissions documents will be mailed to you using the method that you have chosen. The admission packet will include your acceptance letter, Form I-20, and visa information.

What are the application deadlines?

The Application Deadlines are as follows:


Transfer Students

Overseas Students

Change of Status


June 1st

May 1st

May 1st


November 1st

October 1st

October 1st


 Is orientation mandatory for international students?
Yes, all international students must participate in orientation events. Please follow the schedule provided with your acceptance letter.

 What is the estimation of one academic year expenses?

Estimated Expenses

Enrollment fee

$ 46.00 USD

per unit

Non-resident Tuition

$ 207.00 USD

per unit

Health Insurance Policy

$ 516.00 USD

per semester (coverage for 6 months)

Capital Outlay Fee

$11.00 USD

per unit

Student Health Fee

$13.00 USD

per semester

Student Representation fee

$ 1.00 USD

per semester

Student Activity Fee

$10.00 USD

per semester

* Tuition and fees subject to change without prior notice

When do I pay for my classes?

All F1 International Students must make full payment no later than the Friday before the first day of classes.

Can I get financial assistance/scholarships to help pay my bills?

International Students do not qualify for financial aid. There are a few small scholarships available after you have completed a minimum of one year full-time study with above-average grades. The average scholarship awarded is between $250 to $500 dollars. Many international students have been awarded scholarships.

Do I need to take the TOEFL or any other English test before I apply?

Yes, all prospective international students are required to submit Proof of English proficiency. For the TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, and STEP students must submit a score that is no older than two years old. For the TOEFL, paper-based test must have a minimum score of 450. The interned-based test must have a minimum score of 45. PCC accepts other forms of English proficiency.

I provided English proficiency when I applied, can I use that score instead of taking the placement test?


All new students, international and domestic, are required to take the placement tests for English and math. Even if you have taken TOEFL, IELTS, highest level of ESL, etc., you still need to take PCC placement test to determine your eligibility to enroll in specific math and English courses. The placement test compares your skills to those of other students who study at PCC. TOEFL, IELTS, highest level of ESL, etc. scores will not be used as academic placement at PCC. Placement will be determined by your score on PCC’s placement test, given after arrival on campus.

I'm under the age of 18, but I want to study at PCC. Can I still apply?

The International Student Center accepts students as long as they are 16 years old at the start of classes and have graduated high school. All minors must submit proof of high school completion at the time of applying to the college. Applicants will not receive a PCC I-20 until proof of high school completion has been submitted. If a student is under the age of 16 but has graduated from high school, they will need to wait until they have reached the required age to apply. Minor students should refer to the Guidelines for Applicants Under 18 years old.


What is a DSO?
DSO stands for designated school official. A DSO is responsible for reporting and updating information to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) about the F-1 student's situation.

When should I arrive at Pasadena City College?
In general, we encourage newly admitted students to arrive at PCC at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester they have been admitted to. Newly admitted students will need to participate in new student events that may last a few weeks. Students are required to follow the schedule provided at the time of admission.  

Do you have an Intensive ESL Program?

At this time, Pasadena City College does not have an intensive English Language Program. We’re currently developing the program and hope to have it up and running for future students in the next few years. All prospective international students are required to submit Proof of English proficiency.

Is there housing on campus?

Pasadena does not offer on-campus housing, however the Student Affairs Office (CC105) and bulletin boards around campus post notices for roommates and rooms for rent in the local community. Private apartment living is an option for students who want their own space. Many of our students rent an apartment for six-months to a year at a time often with a roommate or two. It is the responsibility of the student to make their own living arrangements, but the ISC has housing information for students.

Do you have student clubs or organizations?
Yes. There are over 75 clubs and organizations on campus. Please visit http://as.pasadena.edu/clubs/ for information on how to get involved.

F-1 Status:

 How do I maintain my F-1 status?

  • Maintain at least 12 units each Fall and Spring semester
  • Always receive travel approval from the ISC before departing the U.S.
  • Keep track of I-20 program end date (#5 on the I-20 form)
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.0 or above
  • Do not engage in any sort of employment unless approved by the ISC and/or USCIS
  • Always have a valid passport
  • Always consult with the ISC in regards to questions pertaining to your F-1 status

Do I have to go to school full-time?

Yes. The United States immigration law requires all F-1 students to enroll in 12 units every Spring & Fall semester.

How many classes can I miss?
A student may be dropped from a course or receive a grade of "F" for not attending classes. Students must attend ALL class meetings during the first 2 weeks of the term otherwise they risk being dropped from the class. Students should never miss class unless they have approval from the instructor beforehand, or it is an emergency and they notify the instructor via email of their absence.

What happens if the instructor drops me from courses or I drop my courses and fall below 12 units?
By immigration law you must pursue a "full course of study." This means you need to be enrolled in 12 units to keep your status as an F-1 student. Under certain circumstances, your instructor may withdraw (W) you from class. If this results in you being below 12 units, this will affect your F-1 status. You will lose your status as an F-1 student if you remain below 12 units. Always consult with an academic counselor and the ISC before dropping below 12 units.

Can an international student work?
International students may work part-time on campus if you have maintained a GPA of 2.5 or above and have completed at least one semester at PCC. There are a limited number of jobs on campus. The money earned from a part-time job on campus should not be considered a major source of your funding for your tuition and living expenses. Remember, one of your admission requirements was to submit a financial statement showing that you have $20,000 USD or more for your tuition and living expenses per year. For authorization to work off campus, CPT, OPT, or employment based on economic hardship must be granted. For more information, contact the ISC.

If I lose my F-1 status, what do I need to do?
Contact the ISC immediately to determine the best course for you.


Can I transfer my college credit from my home country toward my degree plan at PCC?
You may be able to use your credits from another country.  However, you are required to have your foreign transcripts evaluated by one of the 3 approved evaluation agencies. Once we receive the official evaluation results and you have completed 15 units at PCC, PCC evaluators will complete a second evaluation for graduation credits. For those students who are planning to transfer to the university, please see a counselor before applying for your transcript to be evaluated.  Most universities have their own evaluators who evaluate foreign transcripts. Transcript evaluation is not necessary if you are transferring to a university.

Will my work at Pasadena City College transfer to a university?

PCC is an accredited college and part of the California Community College system. We offer the freshman and sophomore levels of college and university work. Our college-level classes transfer to the university, allowing students to enter at the junior level if they complete our program for transfer. We also offer ESL classes which prepare students to enter col­lege-level classes.

Will you help me transfer when I'm ready?

Pasadena City College has a Transfer Center with information on colleges and universities throughout the United States. Recruiters from many of these schools visit our campus each semester.  The Transfer Center can assist with college applications, and transfer requirements.


What do I do if my passport is going to expire?

All F-1 visa students must have a valid passport at all times. If your passport is going to expire or is expired, please refer to the List of Consulates in the area. Find your consulate, contact their office, and begin the process of renewing your passport. You will also need to bring a copy of your new passport to the International Student Center.  

What do I do if my F-1 visa is going to expire?

If your visa is expired or about to expire and you are traveling out of the U.S., you will need to Renew Your Visa. These documents do not guarantee that you will be granted a visa. Check the website of the U.S. Embassy where you will apply for specific instructions. 

My I-20 is expiring soon, but I need more time to complete my studies. What should I do?

To apply for an extension of your I-20, make an appointment with an academic counselor to receive a signed Educational Plan. Complete the New I-20 request form and submit with the educational plan and proof of financial support (original bank statement and Sponsor Affidavit Form) to the ISC.  I-20 extensions must be completed before your I-20 expires! 


Do I need health insurance?
Yes. All students holding an F-1 Visa will be automatically enrolled and charged for Health Insurance. For more information visit Medical Insurance.

What should I do if I need to go to the doctor?

If you need to see a doctor: 
1. Go to the Student Health Services 
2. If the Student Health Services cannot treat you or is closed, go to one of the urgent care centers approved by your Insurance Plan. Please note that use of an urgent care center instead of a hospital emergency room may decrease your out-of-pocket expenses. You may also refer to the Student Insurance Website to search for an individual doctor. 
If you have specific questions about your insurance you can contact the insurance company directly at 1-800-537-1777 or visit their Website