Degree, Certificate, and Course Overview

Portland Community College operates on the quarter system. The PCC Catalog is published and dated with each academic year, which begins fall term and ends with the next summer term.

While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this catalog, Portland Community College has the right to make changes at any time without prior notice. This catalog is not a contract between Portland Community College and current or prospective students.

Granting Degrees and Certificates

A complete listing of Portland Community College’s (PCC) degree and certificate programs and transfer disciplines can be found in the Programs and Disciplines [] section of the catalog.

For degree purposes, a governing catalog is a set of academic programs and their requirements.  PCC publishes a new catalog each academic year, which begins in the Fall and runs through the end of Summer term the following year.  An edition of the catalog is valid for six academic years.  For example, a catalog that takes effect fall term 2012 is only valid through summer term 2018.  Students should review the catalog and consult with an advisor regularly about their course of study.  

To earn an associate's degree or a certificate, students may select the requirements of the catalog in effect during the year they first earned credit(s) at PCC or unless they choose to meet the requirements of a later catalog. This is what is known as “catalog rights”.  However, at the time of graduation all students must use a catalog that is no more than six years old.  

Some career technical education (CTE) programs may impose shorter time limits on accepting credits for degree or certificate requirements. CTE programs that are accredited or licensed must ensure that students are meeting requirements imposed by their accrediting agency or licensing authority.  Occasionally, the college may change courses and course numbers within a program.  Depending upon the college certificate or degree, students may be asked to complete updated requirements or petition to the Department Chair (for CTE programs) or Registrar for an exception. 

Students at Portland Community College will receive degrees and/or certificates based upon an institutional awarding standard. The College will grant degrees and/or certificates upon completion of requirements for the student’s recorded program of study. Opting out of an institutional award requires completing the appropriate request through the Student Records office. Multiple credentials may be institutionally awarded within a student’s program of study. For details regarding this standard, see the Graduation web page [].

For Certificate Requirements

See Handbook section C100

For Associate's Degree Requirements

See Handbook Sections, A102, A103, A104, A105, A106, and A113

Portland Community College Confers Five Associate Degrees

  • Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT),
  • Associate of Science (AS),
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS),
  • Associate of General Studies (AGS),
  • Associate of Science Oregon Transfer in Business (ASOT-BUS);

In addition, PCC offers numerous certificates in career technical education programs.

Computer Proficiency: A Statement to Students

In order to succeed in college and in the community, students need to be familiar with and capable of using computers and computer software. Both upper division college work and the requirements of the workplace demand such skills. Many PCC faculty will require students to access class materials on the Internet and use a word processor, e-mail and databases as part of regular course activities.

Students need to determine which computer skills are appropriate to their areas of study and take positive steps to acquire and use them early. In order to facilitate appropriate student access to computers and computer software, each comprehensive campus at the college provides classrooms, labs, course work, and library access where students can learn about and use these tools.

Students should contact their instructors, the campus library, the campus Office of Student Development, the Associated Students of Portland Community College, or the campus Advising and Counseling Offices to find out what computer resources are available and when they can be accessed. Advisors and faculty can assist students in choosing appropriate courses to help them achieve computer proficiency.

*For example, a catalog that takes effect fall term 2023 is only valid through summer term 2029.