Academic Catalogs

Graduation Requirements

Associate Degree (AA, AS)

Orange Coast College awards the Associate Degree to students who have met all the requirements for graduation. OCC offers the Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science Degrees. Check with your counselor to determine which degree you should complete.

In accordance with the law and with rules and regulations of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and the Board of Trustees of the Coast Community College District, the requirements for the degree of Associate in Arts or Associate in Science include the following:

  1. Unit Requirement
    60 Degree-applicable UNITS, with at least a 2.0-grade point average. At least 12 of the units must be earned at OCC, with a minimum of one course taken for a letter grade. At least 3 units in an advanced course from the program must be completed at OCC. A student must be enrolled at the time of application for graduation. Units earned at an accredited college or university on a credit/no credit basis will be counted toward the degree requirements of the college, to a maximum of 15 units.
  2. Major Requirement
    Complete the AA or AS major requirements as detailed in the Degree and Certificate section of this catalog.
  3. Mathematics Requirement
    Demonstrate competence in mathematics by either obtaining a satisfactory grade (grade of “C” or better or “pass”) in a mathematics course at or above the level of Intermediate Algebra as demonstrated by prior coursework, or by demonstrating competency that is comparable through the completion of a college-level math course that has Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite: Psychology A160 or Math A100 or higher, with the exception of Math A220.
  4. General Education Requirement
    Students may choose to complete Option 1 (OCC AA/AS GE), Option 2 (CSU GE), or Option 3 (IGETC) to satisfy the general education requirement. See the General Education Patterns section of this catalog for more information.
  5. Global and Multicultural Requirement (Required for AA degree only)
    Some of the courses listed in this requirement can also be used to meet General Education Requirements. Courses that are repeatable for credit can only be used once in this area.

    Select one or more courses from the following totaling 3 units (Courses subject to change. To confirm course eligibility, schedule an appointment with a counselor):
Course Title Units
ANTH A100Cultural Anthropology 13
ANTH A100HCultural Anthropology Honors 13
ANTH A102Native American 13
ANTH A190Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology 13
CMST A155Intercultural Communications 13
CDE A126Teaching in a Diverse Society3
COUN A107Chicana/o & Latina/o Experience and Success in Higher Education 13
COUN A107HChicana/o & Latina/o Experience and Success in Higher Education Honors 13
DANC A130Mid-Eastern Dance 1 10.5-2
DANC A133Intro To World Dance 10.5-2
DANC A135Flamenco Dance 1 10.5-2
DANC A137Classical Danc of India 10.5-2
DANC A138African Dance and Drumming I 10.5-2
ENGL A152Race, Culture, and Identity in Literature 13
ENGL A173Women Writers 13
ETHS A100Contemporary Ethnic America 13
ETHS A150Ethnic Groups in the U.S.: Their Histories 13
FN A185Cultural Foods2
GEOG A185Cultural Geography 13
HIST A101Afro-American History 13
HIST A150Ethnic Groups of the United States: Their Histories 13
HIST A151History of the Middle East to 1500 13
HIST A152History of the Middle East Since 1500 13
HIST A161World History 1 13
HIST A161HWorld History 1 Honors 13
HIST A162World History 2 13
HIST A162HWorld History 2 Honors 13
PHIL A120Ethics 13
RLST A110World Religion 13
RLST A150Eastern Thought 13
SOC A100Introduction to Sociology 13
SJS A101Introduction to Race and Ethnicity3
SJS A102Social Justice and Activism3
SOC A100HIntroduction to Sociology Honors 13
SOC A150Introduction to Race and Ethnicity 13

Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T, AS-T)

The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440, codified in California Education Code sections 66746-66749) guarantees admission to a California State University (CSU) campus for any community college student who completes an “associate degree for transfer,” an established variation of the associate degrees traditionally offered at a California community college. The Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or the Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in a similar major at a CSU campus. Students completing these degrees are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major.

In order to earn one of these degrees, students must complete a minimum of 60 required semester units of CSU-transferable coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students transferring to a CSU campus that accepts the AA-T or AS-T degree will be required to complete no more than 60 units after transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree (unless the major is designated a “high-unit major”). This degree may not be the best option for students intending to transfer to a particular CSU campus, or to a university or college that is not part of the CSU system. Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

The following is required for all AA-T or AS-T degrees:

  1. Minimum of 60 CSU-transferable semester units.
  2. Minimum GPA of at least 2.0 in all CSU-transferable coursework. While a minimum of 2.0 is required for admission, some majors require a higher GPA. Consult with a counselor for more information.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 18-semester units in the major as detailed in the Degree and Certificate section of this catalog. All courses in the major must be completed with a grade of C or better.
  4. Certified completion of the California State University General Education Breadth pattern (CSU General Education Breadth — Option 2) OR the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC — Option 3).
  5. A minimum of 12 units in residence at OCC

Certificate Awards

Orange Coast College offers two types of certificate awards in career programs designed to prepare the graduate to enter a particular field of employment. At least 3 units in an advanced course from the certificate must be completed at OCC.

  1. Certificate of Achievement - 8 units or more in a state-approved program.  Certificates of Achievement are not automatically awarded. A petition must be filed in Enrollment Services or online at the beginning of the semester in which the student will be completing his or her final requirements.  The petitioning periods are listed below.
  2. Certificate of Specialization - 16 units or less in a locally approved program.  Certificates of Specialization are not automatically awarded, not printed on official academic transcripts, and there is no acknowledgment of completion given at graduation.  Please contact the division for details regarding the submission of petitions as procedures for each division vary.  Most division offices prefer that students complete all of the required courses and then provide a copy of the transcript while some divisions allow petitions for Certificates of Specialization before finishing.

A list of certificate programs and requirements can be found in the Degree and Certificate section of this catalog. Check with a counselor to determine the requirements for completion.

Continuous Attendance and Catalog Rights

Continuing Student: A continuing student is a student who attended the previous semester. To be classified as a continuing student with registration priority privileges, a student must maintain continuous enrollment (enrolled in at least one course each semester, not including summer).

Catalog Rights: A student may elect to meet the graduation requirements in effect at the time of entrance, during subsequent years of attendance or at the time of graduation provided that he/she maintains continuous enrollment.

Catalog rights are not in effect when a program requires that a student complete specific courses within an established time frame or when career and technical education requirements change due to industry standards. Catalog rights do not apply to the certification of general education (GE) for transfer; courses used for GE certification must be on an approved GE Plan at the time they are taken.

Continuous Enrollment: Continuous enrollment is defined as being enrolled in at least one course each semester during a calendar year and receiving an A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, I, IP or W at Orange Coast College. If there is a break in enrollment for more than three consecutive semesters, the student will be held to the new requirements listed in the catalog at the time of re-enrollment. Absence from a summer session is not considered a break in enrollment. In extenuating circumstances, a student may submit a request for an exception to the Director of Enrollment Services for consideration.

If transferring to a California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC), continuous enrollment rules will be defined by the receiving institution.

The Academic Petition Council may authorize or require substitutions for discontinued courses.

Catalog rights do not apply to the certification of general education for transfer. Students must follow the general education pattern in effect when they petition for certification. Courses used for certification must be on the approved list at the time they are taken.

Minimum Grade Requirement

In order to be awarded a degree or certificate, students are required to obtain a grade of “C” or better in all program-required courses.

Grades of “CR” or “P” will be accepted whereas “CR” or “P” meet the equivalency of a “C” or better.

Petition for Graduation

Degrees and certificates are not automatically awarded. A petition must be filed at the Enrollment Center on the first floor of Watson Hall at the beginning of the semester in which the student completes the final requirements. Forms are also available online at

Petitioning periods are as follows:

  • Summer — July 1 through August 1
  • Fall — September 1 through October 15 (ADT - CSU Admission), November 15 (AA, AS, and/or Certificates)
  • Spring — December 1 through February 15 (ADT - CSU Admission), March 15 (AA, AS, and/or Certificates)

Note: If a break in enrollment occurs (resulting in the loss of Catalog Rights) students must comply with the competency, general education, and major course requirements in effect at the time the student resumes attendance in order to meet Graduation requirements.

Requirements for Additional Associate Degrees

  1. Students are not permitted to acquire duplicate associate degrees in the same major from another college within the Coast Community College District.
  2. General Education requirements earned for one associate degree may be applied toward an additional associate degree.
  3. A student who holds a degree from any regionally accredited institution may earn an additional associate degree in a specific major.
  4. A candidate for an additional associate degree must complete the requirements for a separate major at Orange Coast College, including an additional 12 or more major-related units of credit at Orange Coast College beyond the requirements for the prior or additional degree.
  5. A student must complete all the required courses listed in the current catalog and general education.
  6. A student may obtain an associate degree for transfer (AA-T/AS-T) and an associate degree (AA/AS) in a different major without an additional 12 units of coursework.
  7. A student may obtain an associate degree for transfer (AA-T/AS-T) and an associate degree (AA/AS) in the same major without an additional 12 units of coursework.

Waiver of Associate Degree and/or Certificate Requirements

Students wishing to substitute or waive courses that satisfy the Associate Degree or Certificate of Achievement requirements must see a counselor and petition the Academic Petition Council. Counselors are located on the third floor of Watson Hall.