To transfer units from another U.S. college/university to GCC, you would need to bring in or send an official copy of your transcript to GCC, meet with an academic counselor and fill out a “Transcript Evaluation Request” (the evaluation takes about 4-8 weeks to process). To transfer units from an international college/university to GCC, you would need to request an evaluation of international transcripts from a NACES member agency, such as IERF (www.ierf.org) or WES (www.wes.org), and bring in or send an official copy of that evaluation to GCC, in order to do then fill out a “Transcript Evaluation Request” with an academic counselor. You will need to provide us with course outlines/syllabi in some cases.
You may drop a class if doing so does not drop you below 12 units of enrollment. If you drop below 12 units without obtaining authorization from your international student advisor, you will lose your F-1 Visa status. It is best not to drop any courses until you speak with an international student program counselor first. In immigration’s eyes, it is better for you to fail a class than to drop below 12 units. If you cannot drop a class due to unit limitations, it is important to continue attending the class and do the best you can do. If you earn a D or F, you may repeat the class and apply for grade replacement. Please see Admissions & Records’ Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on this process.
A “W” (Withdrawal) grade does not count towards your 12-unit full-time enrollment requirement. If you drop a class after the “Drop without a W” deadline, you will earn a “W” notation on your transcript for that course, still owe the tuition for that course, and not be about to count the units for that course towards your required 12-unit enrollment. If you drop below 12 units without obtaining authorization from your international student advisor, you will lose your F-1 Visa status. You should also understand that professors will drop you from courses if you do not meet their attendance requirements. It is important to understand your professor’s attendance requirements (generally outlined in the course syllabus) to avoid being dropped from classes and losing your F-1 status.
If you cannot withdraw from a class due to unit limitations, it is important to continue attending the class and do the best you can do. If you earn a D or F, you may repeat the class and apply for grade replacement. Please see Admissions & Records’ Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on this process.
If you wish to enroll in a course at another school, and count those units towards your 12 unit full time enrollment requirement, you will need to meet with an international counselor to complete the Concurrent Enrollment Request process. If you are enrolled in 12 units at GCC, and wish to enroll in additional units at another campus “for fun,” you may do so and do not need to complete the concurrent enrollment request form. To learn how to transfer units in, please see our first FAQ.
As an international student you may work on campus up to 20 hours a week without permission (F-1 students; J-1 students must receive written authorization from their sponsors prior to beginning work). To work off campus or participate in an internship, you must receive either F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization or F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization prior to working; please visit our Immigration page under the Advising Hub for a guide to Working in the US and detailed information about each of these processes. J-1 students must speak to their sponsors about Academic Training prior to beginning work. It is important to never work without proper authorizations. Working without necessary authorizations will result in the loss of your immigration status and denial of future benefits applications (i.e. H1-B or permanent residency applications).
If you need more time to complete your educational goals, you need to request an extension of your I-20 no later than 2 weeks before the expiration date. To request an extension, you must meet with an academic counselor to complete the I-20 Extension Request Form and discuss your educational plan, provide appropriate financial documents, and submit a personal statement. By law, you cannot request an extension if the only reason you need more time is due to a previous academic probation or suspension issue. Please discuss this with the international student advisor if this is your case.
The application deadline to apply to a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campus for the Fall term is November 30th of the previous year. Some UC and CSU campuses give F-1 international students additional time to apply/submit application documents, but to be safe, make sure to apply before this deadline. Note that even if you are accepted into another university, you cannot drop below full time enrollment (12 units) at GCC. The only time you can drop below full time in this situation is if you have fewer than 12 units left to earn your certificate or associates degree. Please meet with an academic counselor to determine if this is your case prior to enrolling or dropping classes.
UC and CSU campuses require 60-transferable units to be completed by the end of the Spring semester before Fall transfer, including English 101, Critical Thinking and a transferable Math course, among other requirements. Some campuses/majors require completion of specific major-preparation courses and may have a GPA minimum. Private universities typically require between 24-30 transferable units to have been completed before transfer, and may also have a GPA minimum, depending on the campus. Meet with an academic counselor to find out more about specific university admission requirements.
Please note that acceptance to another school does not mean you can drop below full time enrollment (12 units) at GCC. The only time you can drop below full time in this situation is if you have fewer than 12 units left to earn your certificate or associates degree. Please meet with an academic counselor to determine if this is your case prior to enrolling or dropping classes.
Earning an Associate Degree requires the completion of 60-degree applicable units, including required major and general education coursework. To be awarded an Associate Degree or Certificate from GCC, please fill out a Petition for Graduation with an academic counselor at the beginning of your final semester of coursework for the Associate Degree.
To be awarded a Certificate, you would need to complete required major courses for that Certificate and meet with an academic counselor to fill out a Petition for Graduation at the beginning of your final semester of coursework for the Certificate.
You may travel with an I-20 that says “initial attendance” so long as you have a valid travel signature on page 2. A “continuing attendance” I-20 may be issued for a number of reasons (program extensions, change of major, etc), but is not necessary. If you transferred to GCC, you should be given a final I-20 within 2 weeks of the start of the term. If your I-20 still says “transfer pending” after you begin your studies at GCC, please request an updated I-20.
Your travel signature is technically valid for one year, but we recommend a new one every 6 months (every semester). You may only use your travel signature to return to the US if you plan on resuming studies at GCC. After you have completed your studies, you are no longer eligible to travel outside of the US and return using our I-20, unless you have applied for OPT. Please see the Travel page under the Advising Hub page for more information on travel procedures.