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Frequently Asked Questions

(click on a question or scroll through the page for answers to each).





The Garrison Honors Center (home to the Honors Program and OCC Honor Societies) is located near Global Engagement and the Planetarium.  Click here for a map:  GHC.2017Map.png

What's the first step I should take to enroll in the Honors Program?

All prospective applicants are required to complete an Honors Orientation before their application for the Honors Program will be processed.  To make a reservation for an upcoming Honors Orientation, review the schedule available through the link "Honors Orientation" on the left side of this page. Then, send an email from your STUDENT email account to to reserve a seat in a session that has not yet filled. A confirmation will be sent to you by return email, along with instructions about how to prepare for your orientation.


No, not at this time. We are in discussions with the CCC District administrators about this and hope to win that privilege for our Honors students in the near future.  For now, students in their second and successive, uninterrupted academic terms who have counselor-approved Student Education Plans on file receive  the earliest regular registration dates.

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Why should I enroll in the Honors Program?
The Honors Program provides a number of opportunities for motivated students to distinguish themselves academically and socially. For those who desire an enriched collegiate experience, honors courses and completion of Honors Program certification requirements (including completion of at least 15 units of honors coursework while earning an overall minimum GPA of 3.50) are encouraged. Honors courses are typically more demanding, requiring the student to explore topics more deeply than might be required in non-honors classes. Completion of all the Honors Program priority transfer requirements is acknowledged with a certificate of achievement at an annual reception held in the students’ honor, along with the presentation of honors regalia for graduation. A notation of Honors Program completion is added to the student’s academic transcript following final grades. Agreements with other HTCC (Honors Transfer Council of California) schools guarantee priority consideration of applications for transfer to several top colleges and universities in California and across the nation for those who complete the OCC Honors Program certification process. Besides transfer benefits, other academic opportunities such as creative works competitions and academic conferences, volunteerism, and public speaking engagements are available to members of the Honors Program.

No. Enrollment in the Honors Program is not automatic. An application is required, and if the student meets all of the enrollment criteria s/he will be accepted and notified in writing. Applications may be picked up in person at the Academic Honors office, Transfer Center, Re-Entry Center , EOPS office, or Counseling Department; they may also be downloaded (see "Enrollment Criteria") or requested by phone (714.432.5061) or e-mail ( There is no application or enrollment fee for the Honors Program.

Honors classes offer students and professors the opportunity to explore the world of ideas together. The emphasis is on critical thinking and writing, including comprehensive research and the presentation of those results. Classes are often smaller and frequently offer field trips and guest lecturers. Students are not required to enroll in the Honors Program to qualify to take honors classes, nor are there any other prerequisites for honors classes than for non-honors sections of the same courses. However, completion of or concurrent enrollment in English 100 is highly recommended as most honors sections include an advanced writing component (see below). See "Honors Courses" for more information.

No, if there are prerequisites for a course, they are the same for the honors and non-honors sections of that course. However, because most honors sections include an advanced writing component, completion of or concurrent enrollment in English 100 is strongly recommended.

Because most Honors courses require students to produce reasonably sophisticated essay assignments and exam responses, the Honors Program requires that students possess a college-level command of composition skills. We believe that honors education should demand the constant improvement of critical thinking and writing abilities. 

We encourage all students to take advantage of the wide variety of honors courses offered on the OCC campus. Students enrolling in the Honors Program must complete a minimum of one honors course within one year of being admitted to the Program in order to maintain active enrollment. Additional coursework is required for transfer certification and to receive certain other benefits, including graduation with Honors and the transcript notation of Program completion.

Aside from the extraordinary people and learning experiences you will encounter in any of the honors courses, meeting Honors Program requirements and certification for successful completion will provide you with priority transfer consideration to several top public and private universities. Check with an honors counselor for a current list of universities participating in HTCC transfer agreements with Orange Coast College. Additionally, students enrolled in the Program will receive benefits available only through the Honors Program, including invitations to receptions and guest lectures, scholarship opportunities, library cards to UCLA and UCI, and the opportunity to enter research competitions. See "Benefits" for more information.

Due to the popularity of honors courses at OCC, they do tend to fill up very quickly. Students are encouraged to join the waitlist for any section that is filled and still has room on the waitlist. This assists us in knowing which of our classes are in highest demand so that we can explore the possibility of adding additional sections in future semesters. In addition, students may and should petition for enrollment in classes they would like to take by attending the first class session and requesting an add slip with a registration code from the instructor. While there is no guarantee that a petitioner will be admitted to a class, very often seats open up for petitioners within the first week or two of the semester.
Those students who wish to take honors classes not being offered at OCC or those who are unable to enroll in a filled class may want to consider taking a few honors courses at other 2-year institutions. We will accept up to seven (7) UC-transferable honors units earned at other community colleges toward your OCC Honors Program certification. Contact an honors counselor or staff member for details about how to take advantage of this opportunity and have your outside work considered toward your certification. Note: grades in all coursework done at (an)other institution(s) will be considered in calculating your transferable GPA and determining your qualification for Honors Program certification.

A lot! See "Honors What?!" and, in particular, the Honors Program and honor societies sections.

In order to be certified for the purposes of transfer consideration, applications should be submitted before the final semester in attendance at OCC, even if up to three units of honors course work will be taken in the final semester.

See "Contact the Honors Program" in the links at the left side of this page to find out how to contact the Honors Program and Honors Counselors.

Be one of those upon whom nothing is lost. ~ Henry James
The Orange Coast College Honors Program:  Creating a Community of Scholars
Revised 6/27/18