FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How long will it take me to graduate or finish my A.A. degree?

In order to get an A.A. degree, you need at least 60 degree-applicable units, and to transfer to a four-year institution, you need at least 56 transferable units.  If you take 12 units each Fall and Spring semester, and six to nine units in the summer, consecutively; if you make at least a "C" in each transferable class, or maintain at least a 2.0 G.P.A. for your A.A. degree; if you don't have to repeat any classes; and if you don't have to take any basic skills classes such as Reading, ESL, or lower-level Math or English; then you can graduate within two years.  Generally, however, it takes most international students more than two years to finish an A.A. degree and/or transfer to a four-year institution.  Some programs require two and one-half or three years to finish.

2. Can I double-count a course that is listed as a general education requirement and a lower-division major/certificate requirement?

In some cases, yes; in others, no.  The Cerritos College catalogue will explain what to take for lower-division requirements, and the semesterly schedule of classes explains General Education requirements.  Each four-year institution and its individual departments has their own regulations concerning this matter.  For clarification, see a counselor.

3. Do I have to take assessment tests?

If you plan to take a Math, Reading, or English class at Cerritos College, and you have not already received at least an A.A. degree from a U.S. college, then you must take the Math, Reading, English, and (if English is not your first language), the ESL assessment tests.

4. How do I register for classes?

If you are a new student, you must first see the counselor to obtain an educational plan.  You will receive a registration appointment date online (myCerritos).  If you are a returning student, you can register through the FalconPhone system or online at the Cerritos College website.

5. Do I have to have medical insurance?

All international students at Cerritos College must have medical insurance for themselves and any accompanying dependents while enrolled at Cerritos College.

6. Can I take less than 12 units in a Fall or Spring semester?

All international students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units each Fall and Spring semester while at Cerritos College.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, but it is difficult to get permission to be enrolled in less than 12 units.  See the counselor or an advisor for more information.

7. Can I take more than 18 units in a Fall or Spring semester?

If your G.P.A. is good and you have not dropped out of many classes in the past, you may be given permission by the academic counselor to take more than 18 units. 

8. I took some college courses in my country.  Can I transfer that credit to Cerritos College?

In order to have international college credits transferred to Cerritos College, you must first request your college or university in your country to submit an English-language version of your transcript to a foreign credentials evaluation service (the International Student Center has information on such services).  After receiving a report from the evaluation service, you must submit your official sealed evaluation to the International Student Counselor.  It will be processed in Admissions and Records.  It will take at least one semester for that credit to appear on your transcript, so please submit this request during your first or second semester at Cerritos if you want some credit to be applied toward your degree.  If you plan to transfer to a four-year institution, you will have to request that institution to evaluate your international college credit.  Even though Cerritos accepts your international credit, another institution might not.

9. Can I get college credit without actually taking a class?

At Cerritos College, there are three ways to earn college credit without actually taking a class.  One way is through the CLEP test, administered by the College Entrance Examination Board.  Another way is through various Credit-by-Examination tests, administered by different divisions and departments at Cerritos College.  The third way is for students who attended a high school that provided A.P. classes.  Students who took A.P. classes in high school can take A.P. exams and, if their scores are high enough, they can earn some college credit.  See the counselor for more details.

10. Are there any scholarships or financial aid available for international students at Cerritos College?

There is no need-based financial aid available for international students at Cerritos College.  There are occasionally some scholarships for which international students might qualify.  See the counselor, an advisor, or the Financial Aid office for more information.

11. How can I get involved on campus, and what is the benefit in that?

All international students are encouraged to get involved in extra-curricular activities during their enrollment at Cerritos College.  The Student Activities Office has information on a variety of campus clubs and organizations.  There are several organizations specifically for international students and U.S. students interested in international students, including the International Student Association, the Muslim Student Association, the Punjabi Student Association, and Phi Theta Kappa, a scholarly organization for international students.  The benefits in being involved in extra-curricular activities are many, but one big one is that universities with competitive admissions processes often look for students who have been very involved in campus activities outside the classroom.  Extra-curricular activities also look good on a resume, especially for one who has recently graduated from university and has little work experience.