Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Programs for F-1 Students

What is an Associate’s Degree?

An associate degree is an undergraduate degree awarded after post-secondary (high school) study, lasting 2 to 3 years. It is a level of qualification above a high school diploma or baccalaureate, and below a bachelor’s degree.

What is a Certificate?

Certificates often take less time to earn than degrees. Certificates prepare you to get a job immediately after graduating. Some certificates are stepping stones to earning associate degrees. PCC offers many different certificate programs that take one year or less to complete. F-1 international students can earn a certificate while they are earning an associate degree, but they cannot only earn a certificate at PCC.

What are Credits?

“Credit” indicates each hour spent in class. For example, if you are taking 12 credits, plan to spend 12 hours in class every week. For every hour spent in class, plan to spend at least two hours studying outside of class. F-1 international students must be enrolled full-time, in a minimum of 12 credits, each term.

What is a Major?

Your major is the specialized subject that you are studying. For example, you might hear someone say they are “earning an associate in marketing”. Associate is the degree, marketing is the major. Your major is sometimes called your program of study.

What are Prerequisites?

They are classes you must complete before taking other classes.

What types of Associate degrees can an F-1 student earn at PCC?

PCC offers five types of associate degrees. Some are designed specifically for transferring to a 4-year university, others are designed to lead directly to employment and may not be transferable, or may only be transferable under special circumstances.

Each degree has its own set of rules about which classes you need to take. Schools call these rules “degree requirements” and they will be a big part of how you choose your college classes. All PCC degrees include at least 90 credits of classes. All PCC degrees include classes in writing, math, and general education.

What can I study at PCC?

Click on the blue tabs to see the programs available for each degree.

AAS

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is awarded to students in career technical programs who meet the requirements listed below.  Many career technical programs require more than 90 credits for an associate’s degree.

Here are the programs available for F-1 international students to study:

Limited Entry AAS

These programs require a separate admissions application to earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Please see the specific program requirements for admission, as pre-coursework may be required. F-1 international students who select a limited entry program will be issued a General Studies I-20 at admissions.

Here are the programs available for F-1 international students to study:

Transfer Degrees

The Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree is an opportunity for students to complete lower division degree requirements at PCC.

Any student having the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree recognized on an official college transcript will have met the lower division general education requirements of baccalaureate degree programs of any institution in the Oregon University System.

Students transferring under this agreement will have junior status for registration purposes. Course, class standing or GPA, and requirements for specific majors, departments or schools are not necessarily satisfied by an AAOT degree.

All courses should be aligned with the student’s intended program of study and the degree requirements of the baccalaureate institution to which the student plans to transfer. A student is encouraged to work with an advisor in the selection of courses. F-1 international students earning this degree may not qualify for OPT at the completion of their studies.

Here are the programs available for F-1 international students to study:

The Associate of Science Oregon Transfer-Business (ASOT-BUS) degree is designed for students planning to transfer credits to an Oregon public university and seek entry into that institution’s Business program. Students completing the ASOT-BUS will have met the lower-division General Education requirements of an Oregon public university’s baccalaureate degree program. Students transferring will have junior status for registration purposes.

Admission to the Business School of an Oregon public university is not guaranteed upon completion of the ASOT-BUS degree. Some institutions have specific requirements for admission to their Business program. Examples include: a higher minimum GPA requirement, a requirement that specific courses within the ASOT-BUS be taken for a letter grade (meaning that courses taken P/NP will not be accepted), or additional coursework. It is strongly recommended that students contact the specific Oregon public university’s Business program early in the first term of their ASOT-BUS coursework to be advised of admission requirements. F-1 international students earning this degree may not qualify for OPT at the completion of their studies.

The Associate of Science (AS) degree is flexible and can give you a good start before transferring to a four-year school. It allows more freedom in course selection than the AAOT, but doesn’t guarantee you’ll be accepted as having completed all lower-division requirements. You’ll need to work with an advisor to choose your classes based on your major. F-1 international students earning this degree may not qualify for OPT at the completion of their studies.

AGEN

The Associate of General Studies (AGEN) degree is designed for students wishing to acquire a broad education, rather than pursue a specific major or career. Because of the flexibility of this degree, it may not fulfill requirements for transfer to a four-year school. You’ll need to work with an advisor to choose your classes depending on your academic goals. F-1 international students earning this degree may not qualify for OPT at the completion of their studies.

ESOL

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Department offers eight levels of English, from level 1, for students with no or very little English, through level 8, after which students can continue on with their college classes. We welcome deaf or hard-of-hearing students in ESOL. F-1 international students must be enrolled full-time, in a minimum of 12 credits, each term.

Estimated time to complete the program:

  • Each class in Levels 1-3 is designed to be completed in two to three terms.
  • Each class in Levels 4-8 is designed to be completed in one term.
  • A student’s rate of progress through the program is affected by a number of factors, such as native language, educational background, living situation, work schedule, and time available to study and practice.

ESOL Layout

Unavailable

Some degrees at PCC are unavailable for F-1 international students because they do not offer enough courses to meet the F-1 regulations.

Here are the programs that are unavailable for F-1 international students to study:

  • Architectural Design and Drafting
  • Architectural Design and Drafting: Residential
  • Building Inspection Technology
  • Computer Information Systems
    • Computer Information Systems
    • Cybersecurity
    • Network Administration
    • Web Development & Design
  • Construction Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dealer Service Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education
  • Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic
  • Facilities Maintenance
  • Family & Human Services
  • Fire Protection Technology
  • Gerontology
  • Health Information Management
  • Management and Supervisory Development
  • Medical Professions
  • Paralegal
  • Parent Education

*This is not a comprehensive list of programs. If your program offers mostly online courses, please contact the SEVIS team.

This page is maintained by the International Admissions Coordinator.