Academic Catalogs

Alternate Methods of Study and Course Credit

Orange Coast College recognizes work taken at other accredited colleges. Additional college credit is awarded for prior learning in accordance with Board Policy 4235 and Administrative Procedure 4235 Credit for Prior Learning and as further described below:

Credit by Examination

Credit by Examination may be offered on a limited basis at the discretion of the respective instructional division. Students who have completed a minimum of 12 units at OCC, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.4 (C+) may inquire in the respective division office regarding eligible courses. If the course is eligible, students may petition through the division office and seek approval. Since Credit by Examination may not transfer to other institutions, students are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with a counselor. The final approval is determined by the respective division office.

  1. Contact the respective division office to determine course eligibility for Credit by Examination.
  2. If eligible, obtain and complete the petition from the respective division office and attach an official or unofficial OCC transcript showing successful completion of a minimum of 12 units at OCC prior to the petition, AND a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.4 or higher. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  3. If the petition is approved by the dean and the instructor, take the petition to Enrollment Services in Watson Hall to file your petition for credit and make payment no later than the third week of the semester.
  4. Meet with the instructor at the agreed-upon time and place, and take the examination. Exam grades are final and will be posted to the transcript. Failure to successfully complete the examination will result in an unsatisfactory grade.

Students should not enroll in the course to be taken as Credit by Examination. The course credit is clearly identified on the student’s transcript and designated as “Credit by Examination.” Transferability of Credit by Examination is subject to review by other colleges and universities, and may not transfer. Units earned by examination are excluded from enrollment verifications, Financial Aid eligibility, and OCC residence requirements for associate degrees.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Orange Coast College grants academic credit towards an Associate Degree for successful completion of examinations of the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board.

Course credit or General Education area credits granted for Advanced Placement Examinations can be used to meet OCC general education requirements for an A.A. and/or A.S. degree under General Education Options 1, 2, or 3.

Course credit earned through Advanced Placement Examination can be used to certify general education requirements for transfer to UC under Option 3 (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum). AP credit can be used to certify general education for transfer to CSU under Option 2 (CSU General Education Breadth) or Option 3 (IGETC). Students certified using Option 3 can satisfy only one course requirement per exam on the IGETC.

Posting of Advanced Placement credit on the OCC transcript does not guarantee transfer to other colleges. The respective college or university determines eligibility for AP units, according to its policies. AP scores must be submitted for evaluation to the college or university where the student requests credit. Students planning to transfer should consult the catalog of the transfer institution to determine how AP credit is granted at that school.

Students may request AP credit through Enrollment Services on the first floor of Watson Hall. Submission of official exam results is required prior to any evaluation and posting of credit.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Orange Coast College grants a maximum of 24 units for any combination of CLEP general exams and subject exams, using as minimum standards a score at or above 500 on the general exams and 50 on the subject exams, and 50 for all CLEP computer-based exams. CLEP scores count toward graduation requirements at OCC under General Education Option 1 or Option 2, and AS GE. CLEP credit may be used to certify general education requirements for transfer to the CSU only. The University of California does not grant credit for CLEP exams. CLEP scores must be submitted for evaluation directly to the college or university where the student requests credit. CLEP policies for each private or out-of-state four-year college may be found in their catalogs.

Students may request CLEP credit through Enrollment Services on the first floor of Watson Hall. Submission of official exam results is required prior to any evaluation and posting of credit.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students can earn OCC credit for International Baccalaureate examinations with a minimum score of 5. Exam results can be used to satisfy CSU General Education-Breadth and IGETC requirements but may require a score of 4 in some of the areas.

Students may request IB credit through Enrollment Services on the first floor of Watson Hall. Submission of official exam results is required prior to any evaluation and posting of credit.

Learning Contract for Independent Study

This is an alternative method of college study. If the instructor and the division dean approve, a student may take any course in the Orange Coast College catalog on a contract basis. The number of units received and the prescribed hours of study follow the approved catalog description. Two kinds of independent study exist at OCC:

Contracted Studies

A student who, for one reason or another, cannot attend a class or classes (excluding class or time conflicts) may negotiate an Independent Study Contract by following these procedures:

  1. Request a Learning Contract from the respective division office.
  2. Request the permission of the instructor and ask the instructor to specify in detail in the context of the contract the way the student will master the study area and the criteria for evaluation.
  3. Ask the instructor and division dean to approve the contract.
  4. Take the contract personally to Enrollment Services in Watson Hall. If the contract is approved, the Enrollment Center will officially enroll the student in the course and notify the student.
  5. After the student completes the coursework, the instructor will certify the earned grade. Enrollment Services will then record the grade on the student’s transcript.

Directed Studies

A student may take advanced coursework in a field of study after having completed the introductory courses. Most departments offer a set of directed study courses numbered A291-A295. In unusual cases, students may petition to enroll in directed studies without completing the pertinent beginning courses. Directed Studies students must ask the instructor to fill out a Learning Contract for Independent Study and have it approved by the Division Dean. Follow the procedures given under Contracted Studies.

Course No. Units Clock Hours per Semester
A291 1 54
A292 2 108
A293 3 162
A294 4 216
A295 5 270

A maximum credit of 3 units per term –6 units total– in otherwise transferable subject areas is allowed. Letter grades are assigned for Directed Studies (grade only). Transfer credit for courses of this kind is contingent upon a review of the course outline by a University of California or California State University campus.

Not all courses are eligible for Contracted Studies or Directed Studies options. Students must first meet with the appropriate instructor and division dean to determine if a Learning Contract for Independent Study is a viable option.

Licensure Credit

Radiologic Technologist

Forty-five units may be awarded for holders of valid Certified Radiologic Technologist State License (or equivalent agency). Students must show the original license to Enrollment Services in order to be eligible for this credit. Credits are posted to transcripts upon completion of 12 units of credit at Orange Coast College.

Other Licensure Credit

Other licenses issued by the State of California will be considered through the Academic Petition Council procedures as appropriate.

Military Study Programs

OCC recognizes and grants academic credit to veterans for eligible military service and training credit completed in the armed forces for a maximum of 15 units. To be eligible for academic credit, Veterans must have had at least one year of active duty service. OCC reserves the right to evaluate and grant credit based on the academic policies established by the College. Veterans may apply for evaluation of this credit by presenting official military service and training records — including a copy of discharge papers indicating honorable discharge — to Veteran’s Services in the Enrollment Center on the first floor of Watson Hall. Awarded credit will be applied once the student has completed 12 units at OCC. Credit earned for military training may count toward satisfying requirements for the Associate Degrees; military credit awarded may not transfer to other colleges. Veterans are advised to check with the college they plan to transfer to for information regarding awarding military credit. Under no circumstances will OCC graduate a student who has not completed 12 units of OCC coursework.

Technical Advanced Placement Process (TAP for ROP/High School Students)

Students who complete approved articulated courses in high school, or with an ROP program with a “B” grade or better, may be eligible for TAP credit at the college. Students must provide the appropriate TAP Petition Form and Official High School Transcripts to the Counseling Office at OCC for processing. Additional information is available on the OCC website at

Upper-Division Credit

Request for transfer of upper-division courses and credits will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Upper-division units may be considered for application towards a Certificate, local/non-transfer Associate Degree, Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), CSU/GE, and IGETC certification. The units will count toward the 60 units required for the associate degrees and meet the transfer requirements. If you are using upper-division courses to fulfill a lower-division IGETC or CSU/GE course or Associate Degree for Transfer major requirement, remember that you are required to have a certain number of upper-division courses at the transfer institution. Contact the receiving institution to see how upper-division course credit will be awarded towards the baccalaureate degree. See the IGETC Standards or the CSU policy for details.