Orange County, California

orange county surfing

About Orange Coast College (OCC)

Why choose OCC?


Academic Programs

An education that begins at OCC ends with a four-year degree from one of many esteemed universities. The academic plan is simple: after two years at OCC, students transfer to a four-year university in order to complete their degree. *OCC’s Transfer Admission Guarantees (TAG) secure international students' admission into 6 University of California campuses: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Merced, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz. In addition, OCC has transfer agreements with nearly all of the 23 California State Universities, including San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, San Diego State University, Cal State Long Beach, and Cal State Fullerton. 

Attending OCC also means students have a strong chance of acceptance into the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA): OCC has priority transfer admissions to UCLA through a program called TAP (Transfer Alliance Program). OCC additionally transfers an impressive number of students to UCI (University of California, Irvine) each academic year.

*Transfer students receive the same Bachelor’s Degree as students who attend university for four years.

Education with Value

Community college tuition is significantly less expensive than four-year universities, making it an excellent value in terms of price: students who begin their Bachelor’s Degree at Orange Coast College save thousands of dollars compared to students who begin their studies at a four-year college or university! Full-time tuition for an international student at OCC is approximately $11,090 per academic year for students taking 12 units per semester.

The fees shown below are an estimated yearly cost for attendance based on 12 units per semester for Fall and Spring (24 units total).

2024 OCC Estimated Annual Expenses
Non-resident tuition + health, service, and enrollment fee $11,090
Room & Board $13,000
Incidentals, books, and supplies $1,400
Medical insurance $1,980
Total $27,470

Dedicated Staff and Helpful Student Services

OCC has an entire office dedicated to international students, ensuring that you feel welcome in your new environment. The Global Engagement Center prides itself on offering admission, housing, registration, orientation, advising, and immigration services to all international students. Throughout the year, the Global Engagement Center at OCC provides a variety of cultural activities such as cultural dinners, beach days, movie nights, and amusement park visits. One of OCC’s main goals for international students is to ensure they have the language skills necessary to succeed in the American classroom. IEC (International Education Center) at OCC offers intensive academic English language programs that prepare you for the American university setting. Once you have the language skills necessary to succeed, the process of transferring from IEC to OCC is simple, and the staff is here to help you with every step of the transfer process.

A beautiful California location. Orange Coast College is located in the city of Costa Mesa, which is in sunny Orange County, Southern California.

International Students at OCC

occ student nationalities 

The Orange County Lifestyle

  • Orange County, CA is a safe community with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Neighboring Los Angeles, one of the world’s most exciting cities, has a wealth of restaurants, museums, and stores. A 65-kilometer (40-mile) ride from Orange County will take you directly to LA.
  • Orange County’s Mediterranean climate (almost 300 sunny days per year!) makes it an agreeable place to live year-round. Members of the community take full advantage of the beautiful weather and are outdoor-loving and athletic.
  • Weekend trips are endless: drive up the coast and go visit beaches in beautiful Santa Barbara, drive inland and go hiking in Yosemite National Park, enjoy surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or head down to San Diego, California’s border town, for a day of fun and sun. All of these excursions are short trips from Costa Mesa.
  • Orange County offers exciting places for shopping, and dining, and is home to Disneyland. More Information on OCC Programs Offered: Orange Coast College offers students over 130 academic and career programs. Students can obtain a two-year Associate Degree in Arts or Science; additionally, OCC offers transfer programs into four-year colleges and universities. International students completing certificates or associates degrees are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT), a one-year work program.

Start Dates + Deadlines

OCC accepts applications three times a year. Exact start times vary from year to year. There are two different application deadlines for international students. The application deadline for students who apply from abroad is typically two months prior to the start of the semester in which they plan to attend. For international students who are currently in the U.S. and are planning to transfer, the application deadline is typically 3 weeks prior to the start of the semester in which they plan to attend.

  • Fall (Late August)
  • Spring (Late January)
  • Summer (Early June) 


Orange Coast College is a public community college that provides quality higher education to American and international students. OCC is accredited by the Community Colleges Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Number of Students

  • Approximately 25,000 full-time and part-time students
  • Number of international students: More than 1,300 students from over 75 countries 

Student Activities

Orange Coast College’s student clubs (over 60 in total) represent a wide range of OCC student interests and include theatre, dance, music, orchestra, public speaking, business, and student government. For students interested in athletics, OCC also offers many physical education courses, including dance, aquatics, bowling, golf, soccer, and volleyball. Orange Coast College is also proud to have 13 collegiate-level sports for men and women, such as baseball, basketball, American football, tennis, sand volleyball, swimming, and water polo.


International students can choose to live in a homestay with an American family or arrange their own housing. For information on how to apply for homestay please contact the homestay companies on the OCC Housing and Homestay webpage.

Medical Insurance

All F-1 visa international students are required to purchase medical insurance from OCC each semester. Students will be required to purchase health insurance after admission.

OCC Admission Requirements

To be eligible to apply to OCC, you must have achieved the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma. Students whose native language is not English (or who did not graduate from a high school whose classes were taught in English) must also provide proof of English proficiency. For admission, OCC accepts completion of IEC’s Advanced B level or one of the following test scores:

To apply for admission at OCC, the following documents are required:

  • OCC International Student Application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic records. If not in English, these must be translated by an official translation agency
  • Proof of financial support
  • Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, IEC Advanced B level, or ITEP score) See the OCC website for complete details on admission requirements.

Conditional Admission to OCC

Students who do not have proof of English proficiency may receive conditional admission to OCC degree or certificate programs.  GEC admissions will review both the IEC@OCC Application and the OCC International Student Application.  If the applicant is a high school graduate or 18 years of age and meets the academic requirements for admission to OCC degree or certificate programs, a "Letter of Conditional Admission" will be issued.   

The student will be fully admitted to the OCC degree or certificate program once the English language proficiency requirement has been met. This condition may be met by completing Advanced B, the highest level of English at IEC. In this case, the Advanced B level will be accepted in lieu of other acceptable methods of English proficiency demonstration. A student who is not eligible for conditional admission will be notified and have the option to attend IEC@OCC without conditional admission to OCC degree or certificate programs.