FAQs for New Students
General questions for new & returning students


This FAQ page will provide you with answers to typical questions that future LBCC students might ask and help you get a head start on the exciting opportunities for your college life. 

Who is eligible to attend a community college? 

Any person who is a high school graduate, obtained a GED, has passed the State Proficiency Test or is 18 years of age or older may apply for admission. Students whose legal residence is outside the state of California or who have not resided in the state for one year and one day prior to the first day of the semester may apply for admission as non-resident students and are subject to non-resident fees.

How do I apply?

If you are a new student who has never attended classes at LBCC, you will need to complete an application for admission. This can be done by going through the enrollment process and creating an account through the OpenCCC online system. The OpenCCC system is your online gateway to all California Community Colleges and allows you to apply for admission, and obtain financial aid information and applications at Long Beach City College.

You will need to complete the application for LBCC, create an OpenCCC account, and monitor your email for confirmation and an OpenCC ID number. Afterwards, you will be able to monitor your email for a Viking Student System ID number and login instructions, where you can begin enrolling in classes.

When do I apply?   

You can apply to LBCC at any time. You should complete the application and the assessment and orientation (if you’re a new student) before the registration period begins for the term you wish to attend.   

Can I enroll in a COURSE while I am still in high school?

Yes. We are proud to offer Dual Enrollment to our local high school students. This enrollment track allows high school students to enroll in classes at LBCC while still attending high school.  To do so, please review the following steps outlining the different tracks for Dual Enrollment students.

How is the academic year divided at LBCC? 

Long Beach City College operates on a semester calendar system, whereby each semester is 16 weeks. The academic year consists of a Fall and Spring semester, in addition to shorter Summer and Winter sessions consisting of an 8-week schedule. Some colleges and universities operate on the quarter system (4 per year), which is approximately 12 weeks.

What is a unit? 

A unit is the amount of college credit you will receive for a course based on the number of hours the course meets weekly. One unit equals one hour of classroom time, therefore, a 3-unit class means that you will spend 3 hours per week in the classroom.

What is a Pass/No Pass grade and does it count?

A Pass grade is defined as satisfactory completion of the minimum course requirements (a “C” grade or better). Rather than receiving a grade on your transcript, you will earn a Pass if you met the minimum course requirements. Pass/No Pass grading does not affect your grade point average. From LBCC, these types of grades fulfill the requirements for transfer and may count toward your degree or certificate. However, most four-year institutions may restrict the number of units they accept with this type of grade.

How long does it take to complete a degree or certificate? 

The amount of time it takes to complete an associate degree at LBCC varies by individual need. During this time, you are completing general education requirements, major requirements, and any prerequisite courses you might need.

LBCC encourages students to attend either part-time or full-time (12 or more units) as they pursue their academic goals. Students who work more than 20 hours per week are encouraged to take classes part-time as a way to maintain a healthy balance between work and school.   

What is an Associate’s Degree? 

An associate’s degree requires a student to complete a minimum of 60 degree-applicable units. There are three types of Associate’s degrees:

  • Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Associate of Science (AS)
  • Associate Degrees for Transfer (AD-T)

You are able to obtain an Associate’s degree at any community college in California. Please note that CSU and UC schools do not offer Associate’s Degrees. The 60 units must include General Education, Major, and Elective courses.   

What is the difference between an AA and AS Degree?  

An Associate in Science (AS) degree is typically focused on the pursuit of math and science as it relates to a program of study. AS degrees are great building blocks for students who wish to pursue employment in industries such as computer technology, healthcare, and business administration.

An Associate in Arts (AA) degree is typically focused on the pursuit of the humanities and social sciences as it relates to a program of study. AA degrees are designed for those students who wish to pursue further education in areas such as English, psychology, and other Liberal Arts.

The Associate Degree for Transfer (AD-T) is a guaranteed pathway for college students to a CSU. Students opting for this path complete the necessary requirements to enter a four-year CSU as a third-year student and can continue working towards their Bachelor’s Degree.

What is General Education? 

General Education (GE) is a broad range of courses required for all Associate Degrees and Bachelor Degrees. There are three GE patterns you can choose from based on your academic path.  You should consult with a college counselor regarding the GE pattern to follow based on your educational goals.

What is a CTE Program?

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a term applied to educational programs that specialize in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. Formerly known as vocational education, the term has evolved over time and frequently offers both academic and career-oriented courses for today’s student. Many CTE programs provide students with the opportunity to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training, and industry-certification opportunities.

What is the difference between UC and CSU?  

California has two public university systems: the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU).

The Univerisity of California is the research system of public higher education in California. The UC system emphasizes a theory-based approach to learning and offers doctorate programs in most disciplines along with graduate opportunities including medicine, dentistry, business, law, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.

The California State University is the system of higher education in California that grants the highest number of Bachelor’s degrees. The CSU offers traditional and career specific majors, with graduate opportunities at the Master’s Degree level. The CSU has a more practical, career-oriented approach to education in contrast to the more theoretical approach offered by the UC.

What is the minimum GPA for transfer? 

  • The minimum GPA needed to transfer to a California State University (CSU) is 2.0. 
  • The minimum GPA needed to transfer to the University of California (UC) is 2.4. 
  • The GPA needed for transfer to private colleges varies so it is important to speak with your college counselor to verify the mimumum standards.
  • Some majors and some colleges are impacted and will require higher GPAs for admission. 

Do “D” grades transfer? 

Yes. But classes with “D” grades cannot be used for some areas of the General Education requirements depending on the university, and never for the major courses.

What is a competitive GPA for transfer? 

To be accepted to an impacted program or a popular campus, the GPA for admission will need to be considerably higher than the minimum required. A GPA of 3.0 or higher may be required to be competitive for transfer admission and can vary each year according to the specific applicant pool at that time.

Can I transfer without GE certification? 

Yes. You can transfer without GE certification, but it is not recommended. Having Long Beach City College certify the completion of your general education requirements means that a state university will not ask you to complete their lower-division general education pattern after you transfer.