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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to schedule an appointment with a counselor?

All first semester students should schedule an appointment with a Counselor to develop a Student Education Plan. Afterwards, students are encouraged to see a counselor once per semester.

Is a counselor available on a walk-in basis?

Walk-in Counseling is available for quick questions during office hours. Students are served on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-in Counseling is limited to ten minutes and is appropriate for general questions only. Walk-in Counseling is not appropriate for transcript evaluation, Student Education Plans, or counseling, as Walk-in Counselors do not have access to your transcript or other student records.

How do I schedule an appointment with a counselor?

Appointments can be made by person, by telephone, or online at

If you are scheduling an appointment with a counselor for the first time at OCC, you will only be able to schedule in-person or by telephone. Thirty minute appointments are scheduled a week in advance. Each Thursday, Counseling Services begins scheduling appointments for students for the following week.

Will I be assigned a counselor?

Students can request a specific counselor or schedule based on availability. Certain programs may require that students meet with specific counselors. Veterans, Student Athletes, EOPS students, Special Services students, and Honors Program students should request to meet with a designated counselor.

How often should I see a counselor?

You should see a counselor at least once every semester.

How can a counselor help me?

A counselor can help you identify and clarify personal, career and educational goals. Counselors can assist students in developing an education plan and the selection of appropriate courses in preparation for certificates, Associate Degrees, and transfer.

Do I need to complete an Associate’s Degree before I transfer?

No, an Associate’s Degree is not required to transfer. But, the courses required for an AA or AS degree can be integrated into your educational plan for students who would like to transfer and earn an associate’s degree

Can I attend another college at the same time?

While you can attend more than one college at the same time, careful planning is recommended. General education requirements, major requirements, class numbers, and pre-requisites vary from school to school and it is important to make sure classes at other colleges will meet your educational goals. Official transcripts from all colleges outside of the Coast Community College District should be submitted to Records.

How do I find out which courses I should take?

Course requirements vary depending on educational goal. Counselors can assist students in course selection appropriate for their goal. General education, Associate Degree, and Certificate program requirements can be found in the OCC Catalog​ . For transfer to a UC or CSU campus please refer to for required major courses. Schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor for more information.

I completed a pre-requisite or co-requisite at another college. How do I get cleared to register?

Students who successfully completed the equivalent pre/corequisite at another regionally accredited college/university will need to request verification of completion. Students may submit unofficial transcripts​ for pre and corequisite clearance only but must submit official transcripts if they wish to receive course credit/units. Students, who believe that they have completed the OCC course prerequisite/corequisite at another college, should submit an OCC Prerequisite Equivalency Request Form along with their transcripts to Student Records (Enrollment Center,1st Floor, Watson Hall) well in advance of their registration appointment.

What is a Student Education Plan (SEP)?

A Student Educational Plan is plan of courses that you should take in order to reach your educational goal.

How do I get tutoring?

The Student Success Center offers limited free weekly tutoring for OCC students. Visit their website for the tutoring schedule, workshops and other services. (LINK)


How do I get information on degrees and certificates offered at OCC?

Information on degrees and certificates is available in OCC’s Course Catalog (LINK)


Can I get financial aid to help me pay for college?

Visit the Financial Aid Website for detailed information on financial aid programs and options.

Is there a maximum number of units I can take each semester?

No student may carry more than 19 units each semester, 9 during the summer, and 5 during intersession without the permission of the OCC Dean of Counseling Services.

What is the difference between an AA and AS Degree?

OCC offers the AA degree, or Associate of Arts degree and the AS degree, or Associate of Science degree. The AS degree is designed for students pursuing majors that are in science, technical, engineering, math or vocational disciplines. The general education requirements are different for each degree option. Please check with an OCC Counselor or consult the Catalog  for specific requirements (LINK).

How do I apply for graduation?

Students seeking an Associate of Arts degree, Associate of Science degree, or a Certificate of Achievement must submit a petition for graduation at the beginning of the last semester in which you will be completing the requirements for graduation.

Petitioning periods for graduation are:

Summer- June 1 through July 15

Fall- August 15 through October 15

Spring- December 1 through March 15

For more information on graduation requirements, applications, and deadlines, please visit the graduation page at​.

What is an "Incomplete?"

If agreed upon between the instructor and the student, a student may receive an Incomplete or “I” grade when work in a class cannot be completed by the last day of the semester due to a justifiable reason, such as an accident or illness. More information is available in the Course Catalog.

How much credit will I get for my Advanced Placement (AP) scores?

Credit received for AP scores depends upon the exam and score received and can be used to meet OCC general education requirements under Options 1, 2, or 3.

Students should request Advanced Placement credit by submitting official AP test scores to the Student Records window in the Watson Hall Enrollment Center. Exams and courses for which credit is granted will be posted on the student‘s transcript after completion of 12 units of course work.

Do I Need to Send High School Transcripts?

Yes, if you plan to transfer to a University of California campus and wish to use 2 years of high school foreign language to meet the UC’s Language Other Than English Requirement.

What is Academic Probation?

When a student has attempted at least 12 semester units and receives a semester or overall grade point average below 2.0.


A student in the Coast Community College District shall be placed on academic probation whenever a student has attempted at least 12 semester units at a district college and

a. has a grade point average of less than 2.0 in the most recent semester completed, OR

b. has a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0 in all units attempted.

What is Progress Probation?

When a student has attempted at least 12 semester units and receives a "W", "I", or "NP" for more than 50% of the courses attempted.


A student in the Coast Community College District shall be placed on progress probation whenever he/she has attempted at least 12 semester units at a district college and the percentage of units in which the student has been enrolled for which entries of “W”, “I”, and “NP” are recorded reaches or exceeds 50 percent.

How do I get a bad grade removed?

All grades appear on your transcript and there is no way to have a sub-standard grade “removed.” However, it is possible to have previous sub-standard grades omitted in the computation of your OCC GPA:

1) Course Repetition- Repeat a course in which a “D” or “F” was received. After you have repeated the course with a “C” or better, a Petition to Exclude Sub-Standard Grade can be submitted. Refer to the OCC Catalog for more information.

2) Academic Renewal- If certain conditions are met, apply for Academic Renewal which is a forgiveness policy that disregards “D” and “F” grades in your GPA. Refer to the Course Catalog for more information. Make an appointment with a counselor to apply.

Does OCC have an Academic Renewal Policy to disregard substandard grades such as D’s and F’s?

Yes, you must complete 12 units since the substandard grade(s), be in good standing, and a year must have elapsed since the substandard grades in question. Academic Renewal can be used to disregard up to thirty units over a maximum of two semesters in the computation of the GPA.

Do I need to take the Math and English Assessment Tests?

Placement tests for math and English are required for all new students prior to enrolling in courses. Appointments for testing can be made online, in person, or over the phone. The Assessment Center is located on the first floor of Watson Hall in Room 110. Please visit their website for more information and Frequently Asked Questions. ​

What do I do if a class I want to take is closed?

Orange Coast College utilizes a Wait List for closed classes. If a class is closed, you may register yourself on the waitlist anytime on or after your registration appointment time. If a seat becomes available in that course, the next student on the waitlist will be notified via their MyOCC student email. Students will then have 24 hours to register and pay for the class or they will be dropped from the wait list and the next student on the wait list will be notified. Please see the Enrollment Center’s detailed Wait List Information page.

How do I "Add" a class?

You can add a class through MyOCC. See the Enrollment Center’s Registration page for more information.

How do I "Drop" a class?

You can drop a class through MyOCC. It is your responsibility to drop your classes by the withdrawal deadline. Failure to officially drop a class by the stated deadline may result in a “W” or a failing grade. See the Enrollment Center’s Registration page for more information.

Can I use my placement test from another college?

Orange Coast College accepts course placement from other California community colleges, provided that the test has been taken within the past two (2) years. For more information, contact the Assessment Center on the first floor of Watson Hall in room 110.

Do I need to send official transcripts from previous colleges and universities attended?

Yes, it is highly recommended to submit all transcripts for evaluation of general education courses.

How long does transcript evaluation take?

Official transcripts are evaluated as they arrive. During peak times, evaluation can take up to 4-6 weeks.

How do I know when my registration date is?

You can check your registration date on MyOCC. Your registration appointment date and time can be found by clicking the Student Tab/ Registration Tools/ Registration Status a few weeks before registration begins.

I'm in High School, can I take classes at OCC?

High school students may be eligible for Orange Coast College’s Early Start Program. The Early Start Program was designed for 11th and 12th grade high school students seeking advanced scholastic or vocational coursework not available at the high school. Additional information on Early Start can be found here (LINK)

Can I repeat a class if I received a D, F, NP, or W?

For courses in which a D, F, NP, or W is recorded, you may repeat the course one additional time.

Can I repeat a class for the third (3rd) time?

After two unsuccessful attempts at a course, registration for that course is automatically blocked. Students my petition the Academic Petition Council for consideration of a third attempt. If approved, students will be able to register for the course at the end of the priority registration period. Petitions are available in the Counseling Office, located on the 3rd floor of Watson Hall and should be filed at least two weeks prior to the semester start date.

I want to transfer, but I'm not sure where. Which "plan" should I follow?

If you want to transfer to a CSU school, follow Option 2 CSU General Education Breadth Requirements. If you want to transfer to a CSU or UC, you should follow Option 3 IGETC for CSU and UC. Private schools have their own transfer general education requirements however, some will accept CSU GE Breadth or IGETC. The Transfer Center website has a list of private college articulation agreements (LINK). If you are unsure which plan best suits you, make an appointment with a counselor to discuss your transfer goals.

Am I required to take US History and Political Science?

US History and Political Science are required to complete the American Institutions requirement for the AA Degree. UC and CSU campuses also have an American Institutions Requirement. Please consult the Option 2 CSU Breadth (LINK) or Option 3 IGETC (LINK) transfer GE plans or see a counselor for more information.

What is the CSU GE Breadth (Option 2)?

The CSU General Education Breadth is a pattern of courses that community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements for any California State University campus. For more information, please see a Counselor or consult the OCC Catalog.

What is IGETC (Option 3)?
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a pattern of courses that community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements for any University of California or California State University campus. For more information, please see a Counselor or consult the OCC Catalog

What is GE Certification and how do I get it?

GE Certification for the CSU and UC is not automatic. Students need to request it. Certification shows that you have completed for your lower-division GE requirements. To request a certification, submit an official transcript request to the Student Records Office and indicate that you need certification with the transcript (mark the GE Breadth or IGETC certification box on the transcript request form.) Certifications should be requested on the last (final) transcript going to your transfer school. If you have not completed the CSU Breadth or IGETC transfer patterns, you are not ready to send your transcript with this certification. If you’ve completed coursework at other institutions, official transcripts from those schools must be on file at Orange Coast College prior to your request.

Do I need to take a foreign language?

This depends on your educational goal and major. If you plan to transfer to a UC, IGETC has a Language Other Than English requirement that can be satisfied in a variety of ways. Two years of a high school foreign language with passing grades or completion of an OCC foreign language course 180 or above are the two most common ways. Please see a Counselor for more information.

I want to transfer to a California State University, which "plan" should I follow?

Option 2- CSU General Education Breadth Requirements was designed for CSU campuses. The CSU’s will also accept Option 3- IGETC. Please see a counselor to determine which option is best suited to your goals.

I want to transfer to a University of California campus, which "plan" should I follow?

Completion of Option 3- IGETC will satisfy the lower division general education requirements of either the CSU or UC systems. IGETC may not be appropriate for all majors at all campuses. Please see a counselor to determine which option is best suited to your goals.

What is TAG?

The Transfer Admission Program (TAG) is offered by seven of the UC campuses. Each participating campus develops eligibility criteria and requirements are adjusted annually. It is very important for each student to meet with a counselor in order to determine TAG eligibility. The Transfer Center offers TAG Workshops prior to application filing periods. For more information, please visit the Transfer Center (LINK).

Is there a placement test to enroll in Chemistry A180?

The pre-requisite for Chemistry A180 can be met one of two ways: 1) Complete Math 030 with a "C" or better (or appropriate placement) and Chemistry A130 with a grade of "C" or better.  or 2) Complete Math 030 with a "C" or better (or appropriate placement) and complete high school chemistry and appropriate placement based on the OCC Chemistry A80 assessment test.  Please contact the Assessment Center (​)  for information about Chemistry A180 assessment.