Academic Information


Students at Pasadena City College are expected to attend every class meeting. It is especially important to attend the first two class meetings or make prior arrangements with the instructor because nonattendance may result in being dropped from the class. It is equally important to maintain attendance throughout the semester or intersession because instructors may drop students who have missed 1/9th (11%) of the total number of class meetings for excessive absences. Three “tardies” (late arrivals) may be considered the equivalent of one absence. See “Academic or Administrative Drop” section.

Course Examinations

Final semester examinations are required in each course. All students must take these examinations at the scheduled time and place.

Examinations, other than the final examination, are given during class with the requirement that a midsemester grade can be determined and reported to the student.

Distance Education

PCC offers Distance Education (DE) courses where some or all of the course is completed online (via the internet) in Canvas, the College’s learning management system. These fully online or partially online (hybrid) courses offer the same quality instruction, cover the same material, and maintain the same expectations of student participation and engagement as face-to-face courses.  This form of learning is a good option for students who are comfortable using computers, are self-directed and motivated, highly organized, and need a flexible schedule. Available DE courses can be found in the Schedule of Classes.  For more information, go to

Independent Study    

Under the independent study program, the student may pursue topics or problems of special interest beyond the scope of a regular course under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The work is of a research or creative nature, and normally culminates in a research paper, production or comprehensive examination. Regular progress meetings and reports are required throughout the semester. Completion of the project is required before credit is earned. Before registering for independent study, the supervising instructor and division dean must approve the student’s plan or project.


Students are required to buy books needed for courses and may do so at the College Bookstore. Supplies for specialized curricula such as drafting, cosmetology, nursing, photography and sign arts will require additional expenditures.

Although costs for textbooks vary depending on the classes in which students enroll, some classes utilize Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are textbooks and course materials that can be accessed online for free. Classes at PCC are increasingly using OER to reduce the overall cost of college. Starting Spring 2018, course sections that are using OER can be found through the online Schedule of Classes. For more information about OER at PCC, see:

PCC Honors Transfer Program

The PCC Honors program is designed to engage and challenge motivated students to prepare them for successful transfer from community college to university. The program offers special sections of a wide variety of UC transferable courses that fulfill general education requirements for transfer. These Honors classes are open only to students participating in the program and offer a variety of special opportunities, including student research projects, special field trips, service learning, and other enhanced learning enrichment. Completing the Honors Transfer Program strengthens transfer applications and gives students priority consideration for transfer to many universities.

To be part of Honors program, a student must have a GPA of 3.2 or above either from high school (unweighted) or college with 9 units or more of UC transferable courses completed. Honors students must maintain a 3.2 or above GPA in UC-transferable courses while at PCC and enroll in at least one Honors course per semester until the program is completed. Completion of the program requires a total of 15 units of Honors coursework with a grade of “B” or better in all courses. Completing the Honors program is noted on the college transcript and strengthens a student’s transfer application to many universities and gives students priority consideration for transfer to participating universities (UCLA, UC Irvine, and others). For more information contact the Honors program at or visit the program website:


Dean’s Honors is posted to the student’s transcript each semester. It includes all students whose semester grade-point average is 3.500 or higher, with A, B, or C grades in 12 or more units of courses other than those in the 400 series.

Administration Honors are awarded to graduates who have completed at least 36 units at Pasadena City College and who have achieved a grade-point average of 3.670 or above in work at Pasadena City College and in all work attempted. Courses taken on a pass/no pass (P/NP) basis are not included in the required 36 units at Pasadena City College. Non-degree applicable courses numbered 400 and above are also excluded from the required 36 units.

Valedictorian Award recognition is given to the graduate(s) with the highest grade-point average among the recipients of Administration Honors.

Alpha Gamma Sigma is a California state honor organization the purpose of which is to encourage and recognize scholarship on the community college level. Pasadena City College has the Alpha Chapter. Counseling Services is responsible for providing students with the membership requirements.

Dean’s Honors, Administration Honors and Alpha Gamma Sigma are recorded on the student’s transcript.

Study Abroad Programs

Room C245, (626) 585-3365
The College offers both short-term and semester-long Study Abroad Programs in a variety of study locations.  Information about these programs is available on the College website, the Schedule of Classes and from the Study Abroad Office.

Fall Semester Study Abroad: Florence, Italy.  PCC offers a semester of study in the Renaissance city of Florence, Italy. Students select a program of 11-20 units of transferable credit. Field-study excursions include such places as Rome and Siena. Students live in shared apartments. The program is accepted by the PCC Honors Program. For more information, call (626) 585-3365 or visit

Spring Semester Study Abroad: Oxford, England. PCC offers a semester of study in the rich cultural environment of Oxford, a center of learning since the 13th century. The program offers 15 to 18 transferable units and includes field-study excursions to such places as London, Bath, and Stonehenge. Students live in British home stays. The program is accepted by the PCC Honors Program. For more information, call (626) 585-3365 or visit

Winter and Summer Study Abroad Programs. PCC offers 2-6 week summer study abroad programs in various locations. Previous programs have traveled to Spain, Ireland, Viet Nam, China, Costa Rica, Austria, Mexico, and South Africa. For information about future programs and study locations, call (626) 585-3365 or visit www.pasadena/edu/study-abroad.