New Students

What Does PCC Offer?

Transfer to a 4-year college/university: start your bachelor's degree

Pasadena City College offers several paths to qualify for transfer to California State Universities, University of California campuses and many private and independent universities and colleges.

Transfer Program

  • The Transfer pathway includes general education and major preparation.
    to reach a minimum of 60 transferable units (Courses Numbered 1—99 - ex. HIST 7A are transferrable).
    General Education Major Classes & Electives Total
    Aapproximately 39 units 21 units minimum 60 units minimum
    Some majors require more than 60 units to transfer due to extensive major preparation requirements.
  • There are two paths to complete your general education for transfer to the California public universities. Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) for UC and CSU campuses. Or if you are only applying to CSU campuses you may complete the CSU Breadth requirements.
  • General education requirements vary for independent 4-year and out-of-state colleges and unversities.
  • PCC offers lower-division courses related to the most commonly selected transfer majors.
  • It is easy to earn an Associate in Arts degree and transfer to a UC or CSU at the same time.

Find more information for easy transfer to 4-year program of your choice at the Transfer Center's Transfer Requirements tool.

Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)

PCC helps interested students complete Transfer Admission Guarantee/Agreements (TAG), which are available with selected colleges and universities. Students can apply to selected four-year institutions and be "guaranteed admission" upon completing:

  • an agreed upon sequence of classes in general education
  • a selected major with a stated minimum GPA
  • within a prescribed time-frame

A Community College Degree (AA or AS Degree)

Pasadena City College awards two Associate Degrees: an Associate of Arts Degree or an Associate of Science Degree.

Associate of Arts Degree

Associate of Arts Degree without transfer goal (traditional)

PCC awards the traditional Associate of Arts degree after completing 60 units. This AA degree requires approximately 29 units of general education coursework, and 31 units, from a major/area of emphasis and elective classes.

General Education Major Classes/Area of Emphasis & Electives Total
Traditional AA - approximately 29 units 31 units minimum 60 units minimum

Associate of Arts Degree with a transfer goal

This AA degree requires approximately 40 units of general education coursework (using the CSU or UC general education requirements), and approximately 20 units, from a major/area of emphasis and elective classes.

General Education Major Classes/Area of Emphasis & Electives Total
For UC or CSU - approximately 40 units 20 units minimum 60 units minimum

Review offered majors and areas of emphasis for the Associate of Arts Degree (pdf)

Associate in Science Degree (with a Certificate of Achievement)

PCC awards the Associate of Science degree after completing 60 units which include approximately 29 units of general education coursework and 31 units, from a Certificate of Achievement (18 units minimum) in a career and technical major and electives.

General Education Certificate of Achievement & Electives Total
Traditional AS - approximately 29 units 31 units minimum 60 units minimum

Review the offered Certificates of Achievement in a career and technical major.

Career & Technical CertificateS

If you are seeking a career pathway that offers specialized training for the local workforce, seek to update your job skills, or change careers altogether, many academic departments at PCC offer career and technical classes that lead to a certificate.

Certificate of Achievement (18 units or more)

A career and technical program prepares students for employment or an upgrade of job skills. A Certificate of Achievement requires the completion of 18 units or more.

Pasadena City College currently offers more than 70 certificate programs in 37 different subject areas.

  • Accounting - Bookkeeping
  • Administration of Justice
  • Anesthesia Technician
  • Automotive Technology
  • Biological Technology
  • Building Construction
  • Business Information Technology
  • Business
  • Child Development
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Construction Inspection
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Dental Laboratory Technology
  • Digital Media
  • Electrical Technology
  • Electronics Technology
  • Engineering Design Technology (Formerly: Drafting)
  • Fashion
  • Fire Technology
  • Graphic Communications Technology
  • Hospitality Management
  • Journalism
  • Library Technology
  • Machine Shop Technology
  • Medical Assisting
  • Nursing (RN and LVN)
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Photography
  • Product Design
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Speech - Language Pathology Assistant
  • Television and Radio
  • Theater Arts
  • Welding

Occupational Skills Certificate (17 units or less)

Students, who want to develop job skills in a special area of occupational education in a short period of time, can earn an Occupational Skills Certificate, which requires 17 units or less.

  • Archaeological Field Work
  • Business Information Technology
  • Basic Digital Technician
  • Biologic Technology - Laboratory Skills
  • Business Administration - Customer Service
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Child Development Instructional Assistant
  • CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Preparation
  • CISCO Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Preparation
  • Engineering Design Technology - CAD
  • E-Commerce
  • Electrical Technology - Applied Circuits
  • Emergency Medical Technician 1-A
  • Fashion
  • Fire Technology - Fire Academy Preparation
  • Culinary Arts
  • Graphic Communications Technology
  • Interactive Software Development
  • Manufacturing Technology I
  • Medical Office Receptionist
  • Medical Office Transcription
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Preparation (MCSE)
  • Photography
  • School Age Instructional Assistant
  • Special Education Assistant
  • Television and Radio
  • Welding - Basic Welding

Review the offered Career and Technical Certificates.

Prepare for the CAHSEE, GED or Get a HS Diploma

If you need to prepare for the CASHEE or GED exam or earn your High School Diploma, we encourage you to explore the programs offered at the Pasadena City College Community Education Center (CEC). Counselors at the CEC will recommend placement in a program depending on your educational history and needs. Most programs are offered at no cost. Students only pay for textbooks.

CAHSEE Exam Preparation Program

  • The program provides preparation courses in English and Math to help students pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) in order to get their high school district diploma.

GED Exam Preparation Program

  • The GED is the equivalent of a high school diploma for people who did not finish high school.
  • The program prepares students in five subjects (writing, math, social studies, science, and reading) to be able to pass the GED high school equivalency exam.
  • The GED test is offered at local adult schools

High School Diploma Program (HSDP)

  • Students are awarded a California State issued high school diploma upon satisfactory completion of the prescribed courses.
  • 170 units for graduation, which includes coursework in English, Mathematics, World Affairs, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Contemporary American Problems, Economics, Science, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, Computer Education, Career Planning, and Electives.
  • All transcripts of prior high school and/or college work attempted must be on file for the petition to be considered.

Career Development or Personal Growth

Pasadena City College encourages all members of the community to engage in learning by taking college classes. It is not necessary to have a specific academic goal such as a college degree or certificate in order to benefit from taking credit or non-credit classes.

Career and Professional Development

  • If you are seeking to update your job skills, or change careers altogether, PCC offers many career and technical classes and certificate programs. Students who are considering a career change may benefit from the Career Planning (COUN17) course.
  • By enrolling at PCC, you are eligible to take individual classes to enhance your job skills, or pursue a certificate program with or without an Associate degree. A counselor will be happy to discuss your options with you after you are admitted to PCC.
  • Non-credit career and technical classes are offered at our Community Education Center ( or Extended Learning Center (

Personal Growth and Lifelong Learning

  • The Community Education Center offers free non-credit classes such as Short-Term Career & Technical Education Programs, Civics classes and Parenting classes.
  • The Extended Learning Center offers fee-based, not-for-credit classes, including topics on the arts, fitness, home and garden, finance, personal growth, and trips and tours.
  • You may enroll at PCC and take any credit class you wish.
    NOTE: Some credit classes have prerequisites, which may be met by taking placement tests or by providing transcripts that indicate completion of needed classes.

Undecided about your Goals?

It's normal to be undecided about your major or career goals when you begin college. Apply and begin taking general education courses while exploring your areas of interest.

  • Taking COUN 17: Career Planning, helps you assess your interests, values, skills and personality.
  • You may take PINPOINT, a free career test, conduct career research or make an appointment with a career counselor in the Career Center, L103.