Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

FAQs for Graduation and Associate Degrees

Degree Options (AS / AA / AS-T / AA-T)

What degrees are available at PCC?

For Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees, we have over 70 majors. For these degrees, students are required to complete a Certificate of Achievement to fulfill their major requirement. The list of certificates can be found on pages 122-123 of the PCC catalog.  The list of requirements are listed alphabetically by Certificate of Achievement on pages 129-200. 

For Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees, we currently have 19 with the following areas of emphasis:

For Associate Degrees for Transfer (A.A.-T. & A.S.-T.), we currently have 16 majors:

For more information on A.A.-T. & A.S.-T. degrees, please go to http://www.pasadena.edu/academicprograms/degree-addendum.cfm

Which general education (G.E.) pattern should I follow to get my Associate degree?

For the Associate in Arts Degree, you may follow the IGETC or CSU or Traditional A.A. GE requirements. For the AA-T and AS-T, you may follow the IGETC (for CSU) or CSU GE requirements. For the Traditional Associate in Science Degree, you will need to use the Traditional A.S. GE requirement. On the Traditional A.A. and A.S. GE requirements, you will find there is a competency requirement called Diversity. The Diversity requirement may double count with other GE areas (A-E) on the Traditional A.A. and A.S. GE requirement sheets.

Graduation

How do I apply for graduation?

You may request a graduation check online at the following link: Preliminary Graduation Check Request or at the front Counseling Counter at L-104 (you do not need to stand in line for this request); however you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have not applied for graduation this semester OR want to apply for an additional degree
  • Have completed ALL college credits at PCC with a minimum of 45 units completed (so NO transcripts from other colleges/universities OR Advance Placement (AP) scores of 3 or higher)

If you qualify to graduate, the counseling office will contact you to return to sign your graduation petition. If you do not qualify yet, we will provide a check list of classes you still need.

OR in person with a counselor in L building.

The 3 step process to see a counselor:
1. Enter your PCC ID# at the Counseling check-in computer
2. Have a seat and wait to be called
3. You will be assisted by a counselor (may lead to follow-up appointment)
*Please bring a copy of your transcript. 

We are open M-Th from 8:00am – 6:30pm and Fridays 8:00am – 4:00pm.   

If you have credits from another college, you can only apply for graduation in person with a counselor. 

When do I apply for graduation?

We graduate students 3 times per year (Fall, Spring, and Summer).  Once you register for your final semester, you may apply for graduation.  Graduation deadlines are posted in the academic calendar at http://www.pasadena.edu/calendar/academic-cal.cfm.  Deadlines are usually in September for Fall, January for Spring, and May for Summer.

What are the benefits in getting an Associate degree?
  • Associate degrees can stand alone or be a stepping stone to a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Associate degree holders earn up to 25% more each year than someone who is doing the same job without a degree.
  • More employers are requiring job candidates to have a degree, getting an Associate’s degree will open more doors.
  • A different Associate degree from your Bachelor’s degree will diversify your resume (i.e. A.A. in Business and B.A. in Economics). 
  • In case it may take you longer to complete your Bachelor’s degree than planned, you will have an Associate degree to fall back on.
  • Completing an Associate degree from PCC demonstrates that students can accomplish their goals at each stage in their education.
  • By meeting your transfer requirements, you may already qualify for a degree without taking additional classes.
Is an Associate degree required to transfer to a university?

UC’s, CSU’s, and most universities in California do not require an Associate degree for admission. Only CSU’s give admission and graduation incentives for students with an AA-T/AS-T degree in their admitted major.  However, some out-of-state or private institutions may require an Associate degree, please check with those institutions.

Do I need to see a counselor to get a degree?

No, you might not need to see a counselor to get a degree if all your college credits were completed at PCC. You will need to have all the requirements completed by the end of the term you are applying. For example, if you are applying for Spring graduation, you must complete all your requirements by the end of that Spring semester.

Please refer to question #3 above to find out how to apply for graduation.
 

Can I still get financial aid after I receive my Associate degree?

If you are receiving financial aid and are planning on attending next semester at PCC, please wait to apply for graduation during your final semester at PCC (unless you have completed over 90 units at PCC). Receiving an Associate degree may impact your financial aid (at PCC only) but has NO impact on the Fee Waiver. If you are transferring, an Associate degree does not affect your financial aid at the university.

How many Associate degrees may I receive at PCC?

For students who started at PCC Fall 2009 and after OR who have elected to receive post Fall 2009 degrees, you may have multiple A.A. degrees and one A.S. degree..

For students who started at PCC prior to Fall 2009 and have maintained continuous enrollment, you may have one A.A. degree and multiple A.S. degrees.

You can only have rights to pre-Fall 2009 or post-Fall 2009 rights, not both. 

I have credits from another college; may I use those credits to graduate from PCC?

Yes, you must send an official transcript to the Records Office (L113). After you have completed 15 units of coursework at PCC, you should ask a counselor to submit a transcript evaluation request.  You may also make a transcript evaluation request through online counseling at:  http://www.pasadena.edu/studentServices/counseling/online.cfm.

I have college credits from another country; may I use those credits to graduate from PCC?

You may be able to use your credits from another country.  However, you are required to have your foreign transcripts (Academic Records) 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 a transcript evaluation. Most universities have their own evaluators who evaluate foreign transcripts. Transcript evaluation is not necessary if you are transferring to a university.

I have submitted my graduation check request but have not heard anything, what should I do?

Once a student submits a request, it will be given to a counselor to complete the graduation check.  Please allow 10 business days to process.  Once the graduation check is completed, our counseling staff will contact you to return to L-104 to receive results. 

If you have not heard from us after 10 business days, please email gradpetition@pasadena.edu.

I have signed my graduation petition, what happens next?

Your graduation petition will be forwarded to a Graduation Evaluator for a second review.  If there is a problem with your graduation requirements, you will be contacted by mail.  If there are no other missing requirements, you will not receive any notices.  Only students who have filed for the AA-T/AS-T degrees will receive a mailed notice stating the pending degree to submit to the CSU. 

For confirmation of your graduation petition, you can view your degree listed as "Pending" at the top of your unofficial PCC transcript in LancerPoint.  After your grades are posted for that semester, a final review will be done and your degree will be posted on your PCC transcript.  The diploma will be mailed to you approximately 3 months after the term ends. 

In March, you will receive graduation commencement information by mail.  If you are interested in participating in the May Commencement (once a year), please follow the instructions to rent your cap and gown.

What happens if I fail my required class/es?

You will receive a letter by mail from the Graduation Evaluator stating your missing requirements.  Once you enroll in the course again, you will need to reapply for graduation.

Do I have to participate in Graduation Commencement ceremony to receive my diploma?

You are not required to attend the ceremony; however we highly encourage you to attend and invite your family and friends to celebrate your achievements at PCC.

Do I have to pay to graduate or receive my diploma?

No, the graduation application and diploma is free.