Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

International student advisors in the Office of International Education (OIE) can help you with academic advising. Below are a few examples of what we can assist you with:

  • Placement testing, interpretation of scores, and helping with electronic overrides
  • Learning how to read the catalog and schedule
  • Informing of PCC's Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • MyPCC
    • Online registration
    • Checking your grades
    • Making payments
  • How to apply to specific programs
  • Choosing appropriate classes and requirements for your degree
  • Arranging short- and long-term educational plans
  • Monitoring your academic progress
  • Serving as a liaison between staff, faculty, and community
  • Information about transfer procedures requirements
  • When and how to petition for graduation
  • And much more!

Educational Goals

To succeed at Portland Community College, you need clear educational goals. To establish and realize your goals, we suggest these important steps.

Determine which educational option is best for you. A counselor or advisor can help you through this decision making progress.

  1. One or Two Year Certificate - leading directly into a career
  2. Associate of Applied Science Degree - leading directly into a career
  3. Associate of Science or Arts Transfer - leading to transfer to a 4-year college
  4. Associate of General Studies - a highly customized course of study designed to meet your unique educational goals.

Sit down with an advisor or counselor and develop an educational plan. A three-term plan is a good start. You can and should update this plan each quarter. To make a plan, your counselor or advisor will need to see the results of your placement test.

Placement Test

Before you start planning your class schedule, you will need to take a placement test to help us determine your reading, writing and speaking skills. All international students whose English is a second language have to take a placement test. Math placement testing is available if you have sufficient English language skill. New international students are given placement tests during orientation before the quarter begins.

Class Schedule

Scheduling college classes is a flexible process. In most cases you decide when and where to attend. In some health related programs, classes are scheduled 8am to 5pm.

At Portland Community College, you can take classes:

  • Monday / Wednesday / Friday
  • Monday / Wednesday
  • Tuesday / Thursday
  • Morning, afternoon or evening
  • Saturday
  • Distance Learning

Most classes last 11 weeks. During the summer, many classes are shortened to 6 or 8 weeks. Always check the beginning and ending dates of your class in the quarterly schedules of classes and on your registration schedule.

When planning your quarterly schedule, consider the following guidelines:

  • Generally, each credit equals one hour of class time. For example, a three-credit class means that you will be in class three hours each week.
  • For each credit you take, plan on at least 2 hours of study time per week. For example, if you enroll in 12 credits you will be in school approximately 12 hours a week and need to allow 24, or more, additional hours for study time.
  • In addition to class and study time, consider family and work commitments and time for yourself.

Educational Planning

During your first quarter at PCC, make an appointment with an International Student Advisor or counselor to prepare an educational plan. An advisor can help you with the following requirements:

Program Prerequisites

Does your program have prerequisites that must be completed before you can enter? If so, your advisor can help you plan to complete those quickly and efficiently.

Requirements for your major

The requirements for Business majors are very different than the requirements for History majors and Computer Science majors. Your advisors can help you plan for success within your major field of study. A good resource for students who are planning to transfer to a four-year university is the University Transfer website where you can find out the prerequisites and required courses for your program major before transferring.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes in which they are enrolled. If you do not attend the first class session, you may be dropped. Repeated absences will affect a student’s grade. Students must follow the published guidelines for dropping/withdrawing from class.

If a student has excessive absences and fails to drop/withdraw from class by the published deadlines, a grade of "F" may be assigned.

Faculty members are not required to drop students for non-attendance. In addition, student who do not attend or stop attending class and fail to drop will be responsible for the associated tuition and fees.

Withdrawal Policy

If you are withdrawing from college or dropping a class you must use MyPCC, the PCC online services or file a ADD/DROP form with the Registration Office. 100% of charges associated with a class will be removed if you formally drop by the deadlines listed in the class schedule. No charges will be removed if you drop after the refund drop period.

Please refer to the current class schedule for exact drop and withdrawal dates for the term in question. Withdrawal dates vary depending on the length of the class. If you stop attending without formally withdrawing, you will receive a grade by your instructor, and you will be held liable for all charges on your account.


  • A, B, C, P - Acceptable
  • NP, D, F - At Risk / Academic Standards
  • I, CIP, CIPR - Acceptable with timeline
  • W, AUD!!! - Not Acceptable
    1. If withdrawing from a course results in less than 12 credits, it may be better to stay in the course and get an F or NP grade
    2. Less than 12 credits - without prior approval - out of status