International Student Services
Student Services Building
Office 48271 (2nd floor)
ISS Office will be closed:
March 30, 2018
Spring 2018 Office Hours:
|Monday||8 am - 5:30 pm|
|Tuesday||8 am - 5:30 pm|
|Wednesday||8 am - 5:30 pm|
|Thursday||8 am - 5:30 pm|
|Friday||8 am - 4:30 pm|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQs Quick Links:
International students must complete an on-line application for the college. After the application is submitted, the next step is to gather the supporting documents listed below and submit them to the college. Your application will be processed once ALL documents are received. Allow up to two weeks processing time.
To be considered for admission, please follow these steps:
- Complete the Pierce College International Students On-line Application by the due date. It is important that you answer the questions correctly so please be sure to read all directions. To access the on-line application, click on this link: Pierce College International Students On-Line Application
- Submit supplemental documents by the due date. After you submit your on-line application, you will need to gather the supplemental documents listed below and submit them to the college either in-person or via mail/courier service. Documents are not accepted via email. Please note that any documents submitted for the application become the property of Pierce College. They will not be returned to the applicant.
Supplemental Application Requirements for F-1 Students
Proof of English Language Proficiency
View the list of acceptable documents to submit as proof of English Language Proficiency.
Official Academic Records
Official transcripts from high school/secondary school and all colleges & universities. Verification of high school graduation required since the applicant must be a high school graduate.
School records in foreign languages must include a certified English translation. Foreign transcripts do not require an academic evaluation for admission to the college.
FOR STUDENTS WHO ATTENDED SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES:
If you are transferring from a language school in the United States, please submit an official transcript or progress report from your school. Minimum 2.0 GPA required for admission.
If you attended any colleges or universities in the United States, please request that those institutions mail your official transcripts directly to Pierce College. In other words, do not include these transcripts in your application packet. The institution must send the transcripts directly to Pierce. Minimum 2.0 GPA required for admission.
On this form, the name of your sponsor must match the name on the Bank Verification Letter. Check that the form has all the appropriate signatures. A minimum of $26,500 USD per academic year must be guaranteed by your sponsor. If you are supporting yourself, then check "Personal Funds."
Exception - if someone is providing you with free housing in the U.S., then a minimum of $18,500 USD must be guaranteed by your sponsor. However, the person providing you with housing must also sign the Sponsor Food & Lodging portion of this form.
Official Bank Verification Letter
The official letter issued by a bank must be dated within the last 6 months. The letter must also include the account holder's name and an account balance. The balance should reflect a minimum of $26,500 USD (or $18,500 USD if someone will be providing you with housing near the college).
$50 USD non-refundable application fee
Credit card payment is accepted via the Student Portal. The Student Portal is mycollege.laccd.edu
One (1) passport sized photograph
The size of this photograph should be approximately 2 x 2 inches or 51 x 51 mm.
A copy of your passport ID page
Provide a clear copy of your passport identification page.
MINORS ONLY. This form is required for students who will be under the age of 18 when they start their studies at Pierce. Contact our office for this form.
TRANSFER STUDENTS ONLY. This form is required for active F-1 students currently studying in the United States who wish to transfer into Pierce. Fill out the top portion of this form and submit it to your current school so they can fill out the bottom portion.
Copy of F1 Visa, I-94, and I-20
TRANSFER STUDENTS ONLY. These documents are required for active F-1 students currently studying in the United States who wish to transfer into Pierce. Please submit a clear copy of your F1 Visa, your I-94, and your current I-20 (pages 1 and 2).
Applicants will receive an admission status update via email once the application and supplemental documents have been processed. Applications are processed the order in which they are received. In order to expedite the processing of an application, we advise you to submit all supplemental forms in one packet. Incomplete applications will cause delays in processing or a denial. All required documents must be received by Pierce College in order to determine admission eligibility. Allow up to two (2) weeks processing time (excluding weekends and holidays) from the date your complete application, including supplemental documents, is received by the college.
International Student Admissions PMB 304
6201 Winnetka Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91371 USA
Yes. All application material must be received in our office by the deadline dates. If a student fails to meet the deadline for a given semester, they will be given the opportunity to have their application considered for the following semester.
No. Tuition is payable once a student has arrived to school and has registered for classes. Fees are due upon registration. Students can check their payment deadline and pay fees using the on-line Student Information System.
If tuition is covered by a scholarship program or third party agency and that entity is unable to cover expenses at anytime, the student is responsible for payment of all outstanding fees due.
Yes. Verification of high school graduation is always required. If you have already completed a university degree you must also provide a statement about why you wish to attend a school which offers courses below the academic level that you have already completed.
No. Transfer students who are out of status (terminated or expired I-20A form) will not be considered for admission to Pierce. Applicants must be maintaining status in order to be eligible for admission.
Yes. You may apply to Pierce College although admission is not guaranteed since the minimum GPA for admission is a 2.0. Along with the standard application forms, submit a short essay explaining why you were disqualified from your previous institution. Discuss what you will do differently to maintain your academic status. Eligible applicants will be admitted to Pierce under probationary status. Probation students will be required to check-in at the International Student Services Office three times during the first semester in order to track progress and receive advisement. Space for probation students is limited.
An admissions decision is made once all the required application material is received. Students will receive an email response to their application within 2 weeks from the time all documents are submitted. Please be sure to include your email address on the application.
If you are applying from outside the U.S., an acceptance packet will also be mailed to the address on your application. Pierce ships via USPS Airmail which can take up to 3 weeks and does not include a tracking number. If you wish to have your acceptance packet sent via DHL, FedEx, or UPS at your cost, please let us know when you submit your application and we can send you more information about setting up an eShipGlobal account. You can sign up for this account once you have been admitted to the college.
Admission to Pierce College is not guaranteed to all students who apply. Applications are reviewed and eligible students will receive an admissions offer. We advise you to continue attending classes at your current school or college if you are in the middle of a term or semester. Please remember that Pierce College only admits students who are maintaining F1 status at their current school or college.
Yes. There is a separate application for the Nursing Program (ADN) at Pierce College. Students are eligible to apply directly to the Nursing Program once all prerequisites are completed. Prospective international students who have not completed the prerequisites can apply to the college as a Pre-Nursing major and complete the prerequisite courses at Pierce. Please note that many nursing programs in California are impacted. After completing prerequisites, students are advised to apply to multiple nursing programs for admission.
You will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment to meet with an international students counselor regarding your courses once you have been admitted to Pierce. The college does not have the resources to pre-evaluate transcripts prior to admission. Please note that our counselors can only evaluate your transcripts for Pierce degrees and certificates. This includes IGETC and CSU Breadth General Education certification for transfer.
Foreign coursework must be evaluated course by course (comprehensive evaluation) by a CTC approved evaluation agency prior to meeting with a counselor. Foreign coursework from non-United States regionally accredited institutions cannot be applied to IGETC or CSU Breadth certification.
If you plan on transferring, your transfer university may to conduct their own evaluation of these courses based on their standards and policies.
All visas are issued by the United States State Department at an Embassy or Consulate of the United States. These facilities are located outside of the United States in all countries with which this government has diplomatic relations. The college does not issue any visas. However, the college does issue the I-20 which is one of the documents required to apply for an F-1 Visa. For the locations of US Embassies or Consulates, visit the US Embassy website.
For more information about F-1 Student Visas, visit the U.S. Department of State website.
The I-20A Form is called the “Certificate of Eligibility.” This form is issued from the college to the United States government to say your qualifications meet all standards for admission. The student must have an I-20 to apply for a student visa.
The I-20 gives you permission to attend a specific school. The visa gives you permission to enter the United States to attend that school.
You must apply and receive acceptance to the college. If you meet all admissions requirements, the college will issue an I-20.
Standard processing time for complete applications is up to 2 weeks. The I-20 is prepared as soon as the student is accepted. If the student is a new student who does not yet have an F-1 Visa, the I-20 is mailed to the student in their country. If the student is already in the United States on a valid F-1 Visa, the I-20 is held in our office until the student has officially transferred to Pierce, registered to classes, and paid all tuition.
If you are applying from outside the U.S., please note that Pierce ships via USPS Airmail which can take up to 3 weeks and does not include a tracking number. If you wish to have your packet sent via DHL, FedEx, or UPS at your cost, please let us know when you submit your application. To order expedited shipment of your acceptance packet, please visit the eShipGlobal website. You will need to create a student account and make a payment. You can complete this step after you have received an admission offer from the college.
When a visa officer conducts your interview he or she will be reviewing your English skills, your financial resources and your intent to return to your home country when you finish your program. In countries where a lot of persons have not returned after the completion of their education, it can be very difficult to obtain a visa. However, it is the visa officer’s wish to assist you in pursuing your education in the United States as long as you meet the criteria for visa issuance.
Be prepared for your visa interview. Bring all your original documents with you including but not limited to your I-20, your passport, proof of I-901 payment, DS-160 Confirmation Page, official transcripts, bank statements, etc. Be prepared to answer questions regarding your educational goal as well. Most visa interviews average around 5 minutes although this varies per person. Visit the website for the U.S. consulate in your home country for the most current information.
First you must apply to the college and be accepted. If you are accepted, an I-20 is issued. You will need the I-20 to file for a change of status to F1. For questions relating to change of status, you must contact an immigration attorney.
Our Course Catalog has complete course and degree information.
Pierce College offers over 100 types of degrees and certificates. The college also prepares students for university transfer. Popular majors include (but are not limited to): Agriculture, Business Administration, Computer Science, Environmental Science, General Studies/University Transfer, Pre-Engineering/University Transfer, Pre-Nursing/Nursing, Theater Arts, and Pre-Vet/Veterinary Technology.Does Pierce have an Intensive English Program?
No. Pierce does not have an intensive English language program. However, the college does offer college level English as a Second Language (ESL) courses although students are not admitted solely for English language studies.
If you need to improve your English skills before applying to the college, Pierce has several partnerships with language schools in the the Los Angeles area. Contact the schools directly for more information about their application process. After attending a language school and completing the appropriate English proficiency level, you may apply to Pierce as an F-1 transfer student. Completion of any of the the courses listed below will meet our English proficiency requirement. Here is the list of language schools that have an agreement with Pierce:
- American English College - completion of Level 6
- CSUN IEP - completion of Level 9
- ELS - completion of Level 109 or higher
- English Language Center - completion of level 600A or higher
- Language Systems International - completion of Level 6 or higher
- Mentor Language Institute - completion of High Intermediate Level (Track 2) or higher
- UCLA Extension American Language Center - completion of Level 105 Advanced I or higher
- USC International Academy - completion of Level 5
The 2+2 model is a popular choice for many students. A bachelor's degree in the U.S. requires a minimum of four years to complete. In the 2+2 model, the student finishes the first two years (or more) of transfer coursework at Pierce. This includes includes classes for major preparation and General Education (GE). A student may also complete an associate's degree and Pierce offers Associate's Degrees for Transfer (AD-T) in certain majors. Attending a community college is an attractive option for many students because tuition is generally less expensive and classes are smaller.
After completing transfer requirements, the student can then attend a university to complete the coursework for the bachelor's degree. This may take an additional 2 or 3 years. In summary, the 2+2 model means "2 years at a community college + 2 years at a university = bachelor's degree."*
*It's important to note that the actual time to finish a degree can vary based on certain circumstances. For example, prerequisite courses and unit load can affect the number of semesters required to complete a degree. All students will have the opportunity to meet with a counselor for an educational plan so that you will know what classes to take and when you need to apply for transfer.
The cost of tuition for F-1 visa international students is $297 per unit. In order to maintain a full-course load, an international student must enroll in a minimum of 12 units every fall and spring semester. Winter and summer sessions are optional. Tuition does not include other mandatory fees such as health insurance or the cost of books and supplies. View the International Students Tuition and Fee Schedule for more information.
Pierce College is located in Woodland Hills, Southern California. Woodland Hills is an affluent suburb of Los Angeles located in the San Fernando Valley. The city is generally safe and clean. For more information about the San Fernando Valley, visit the Discover Los Angeles website (this is an external website not monitored by Pierce College).
One of the benefits of living in the San Fernando Valley is that rent can be more affordable than living in other areas of Los Angeles. However, cities like Malibu, Hollywood, Brentwood, Venice Beach and Downtown Los Angeles are just a short drive away.
No. Like most two-year colleges, Pierce does not have dorms. Most students live in apartments or home stays in the vicinity of the college. View our Housing page for more information.
The Metro Bus System is available. The Orange Line has a stop at Pierce. A car certainly makes getting around the city much easier although many students find that they are able to function quite well without one. Visit the L.A. Metro website for more information including how to obtain a student TAP card at a discounted rate.
Many of our students also ride bicycles to campus. There are bike racks set up at different locations of the campus so you can securely lock your bike when you attend class.
No. Pierce does not have the resources to offer financial aid or scholarships to international students. Each student is expected to fund their education from their own resources.
An international student may work on campus after successful completion of their first semester. Although the college does employ a number of international students every semester, employment is not guaranteed. Job availability depends upon department needs and available funding.
Students may not accept employment off-campus without authorization from the college and/or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This authorization may only be obtained at times of extreme economic necessity or for approved practical training purposes.Are university programs the same as they are in my country?
It depends on the country. The United States is one of the few countries in the world which requires a number of courses in what is called General Education (GE) in addition to major coursework. General Education provides opportunities for students to develop skills and knowledge from a variety of fields to help you understand the complex world in which you live. It will help you build a foundation for future coursework and lifelong learning. GE courses are required for both associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees.
For most bachelor degree programs, GE coursework is generally completed during the first two years at a university. However, many Pierce College students complete their lower division GE requirements and major preparation coursework before transferring to a university. One of the advantages of doing this is that tuition is more affordable at Pierce College versus most universities. Thus, students may be able to save on tuition by completing their GEs at Pierce.Are degrees and certificates from Pierce recognized?
Pierce is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). That means that courses completed at this college which are university level can be applied to programs at any other college or university in the United States. The associate's degree is more common in the United States than in other countries and you may experience some challenges in having the degree accepted. The college can assist in providing detailed information about course content and degree requirements.