Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College student

Counseling FAQs

The following are questions commonly asked by college students. Understanding these answers may help you plan your studies more effectively.

Select type of question:

General Counseling

At this time, Counseling and Advising Appointments have transitioned to a virtual counseling and advising environment. We are excited to offer your choice of a 30-MINUTE “ZOOM” or PHONE APPOINTMENT, commencing, Monday, March 16, 2020. We are also continuing to service students via email and through our direct office lines.

There are many ways to connect with the Counseling Center! Our hours of operation remain:

  • Monday–Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Call the campus of your choice:

  • Panorama Campus: (661) 395-4421
  • Delano Campus: (661) 720-2000
  • BC Southwest Center: (661) 395-4150

Email our Counseling Center:

Additionally, there are Counselors and Advisors located in other departments on campus:

  • Athletics: (661) 395-4681
  • Allied Health: (661) 395-4476
  • Career & Technical Education (CTE): (661) 395-4809
  • Financial Aid: (661) 395-4428
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM): (661) 395-4772
  • Veterans Services: (661) 395-4312

For a complete listing of Counseling Administration, Support Staff, Program Managers, Counseling Faculty and Educational Advisors, see our Counseling Faculty and Staff Directory.

Appointment Process

Your Counselor or Advisor will contact you via your BC email or call your on-file phone number (if you do not have internet access, this is a great option!) to schedule and confirm your appointment. If you need to update your phone number, please call the Counseling Center at (661) 395-4421.

Prepare for your Zoom meeting

You must log-in from a computer, laptop, or tablet with a microphone and web camera to optimize your virtual appointment. Your smartphone is also an option. After you schedule your appointment you will receive a link with steps on how to log-in and "meet" with your Counselor or Advisor.

A Counselor can help you identify and clarify personal, career and educational goals. Counselors and Advisors assist students in developing an education plan and the selection of appropriate courses in preparation for Certificates, Associate Degrees, Associate Degrees for Transfer, our Bachelor’s Degree, and transfer.

Counselors can also evaluate transcripts from other colleges and universities, as well as external credit by examination, to determine general education and/or completion at BC and transfer, clear pre-requisite holds, and clear probation holds.

The Counseling and Student Success Center recommends that all students meet with a Counselor or Advisor at least once every semester.

A Student Educational Plan or SEP is a semester by semester list of all the courses you need to complete to reach your major and/or career goal. An SEP is either completed in a student development (STDV) course, a workshop or an individual counseling or advising appointment

It depends on your unique situation. Students who are employed full-time (40 or more hours per week) should limit themselves to no more than 6 units. If you are employed no more than 20 hours per week, it's recommended that you sign up for 12 or more units, provided you don't have additional time commitments (e.g. child, spouse, outside activities). If you are not employed, full-time courseload (12-19 units) may be appropriate.

However, if you have never attended college, are a returning student, or the subject is challenging for you then you should ease your way into the school routine by taking 6-9 units per semester.

The following chart is a valuable tool for students to estimate the amount of time needed to support a quality learning experience:

Work (Hrs/week) Recommended units per semester Estimated Study Time Total hours per week
40 6 12-18 58-64
30 9 18-27 57-66
20 12 24-36 56-68
10 15 30-45 55-70
0 18 36-54 54-72

See GPA calculator and information on how to calculate your grade point average.

Your GPA, or grade point average, is the main indicator of your academic performance in college. GPAs are based on the following system:

Grade Points:

  • A = 4
  • B = 3
  • C = 2
  • D = 1
  • F = 0

To calculate your grade point average, multiply the letter grade points by the number of units in the class. For example, if you received an "A" in English 1, a "C" in Math 52, and an "F" in Human Development 12, you would have:

Class Grade Points Units Attempted Grade Points
English 1 A 4 x 3 = 12
Math 52 C 2 x 3 = 6
HMDV 12 F 0 x 1 = 0
Total: n/a n/a 7 18

Divide the total number of grade points by the total number of units attempted. This gives you your grade point average. In the above example, 18 grade points divides by 7 units attempted equals a 2.57 GPA.

A major is a group or series of courses designed to provide intensive education or training in a specialized area.

Students may take classes for their major any semester they choose as long as they are eligible for the course (read course description for prerequisites), the course is offered in the desired term and seats are available.

As you think about a field of study, consider these points:

  • Your choice of major should be based on personal interest. What subject (s) are you curious about? What fascinates you?
  • Your choice of major should be challenging, not frustrating.
  • Your choice of major is not a lifetime commitment. If you start taking classes in your major and realize that you do not enjoy the coursework, change your major.
  • Your choice of major should be YOUR choice, NOT your parents’ or your high school counselors'. You, no one else, will be reading, thinking and writing about your major. You are investing in yourself, not someone else.
  • Your choice of major should fulfill a need that is meaningful to you. Do not base this need on the latest “hot” career or the highest paying salary. The former may disappear, and the latter, you may end up disliking

In addition the following resources could be used to gather more information about your major:

  • Interest Inventories
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Career exploration courses
  • Faculty members
  • Organizations and clubs
  • Internships and volunteer experience

(On-Campus - An Interactive Guide To College. Diane S. Fitton, 2009)

For information on specific major course requirements, visit Programs of Study or the Bakersfield College Catalog.

Yes, students must declare a program of study when they complete their admission form for Bakersfield College. There are several great websites designed specifically for California community college students to help you choose a major and career pathway, including:

No, but you are encouraged to earn your BC degree prior to transfer. It looks good on your resume and shows future employers that you are someone who sets and attains goals. The most streamlined pathway to transfer is the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) program in conjunction with the California State Universities.

Visit the A Degree With A Guarantee site for more information about the Associate Degree for Transfer program.

No, students may generally repeat a course only one time. Refer to the BC Catalog for more specific information on the repeat policy.

Students on less than “Good” Academic Standing need help and tools to get back to Good Standing. Students on Second Semester Probation need to complete the online Student Success Seminar and attend a Probation Workshop.

Being on either academic or progress probation can delay achieving your educational goals. Finding solutions begins with knowledge. The more you know about academic standing, what Bakersfield College expects of you, and the timelines involved, the easier it will be to develop an effective action plan.

Find detailed information on our Academic Standing page.

Registration FAQs

If your assessment scores suggest you need to improve your basic skills in reading, writing/English and math, we recommend that you concentrate on improving your college-level reading and writing skills first. If possible, taking an English course your first semester is a good idea regardless of where you assessed. If you placed at English B50 or above, you should consider taking general education courses that interest you and/or courses that are related to your major.

For example, if you are a math or science major, it is essential that you begin the math sequence as soon as possible.

How can I figure out how long I will be at Bakersfield College?

Your student educational plan or SEP will include a semester by semester plan of all the courses you need to reach your major and career goals.

Number of Units Enrollment Status
12-19 Full Time
9-11 3/4 Time
6-8* Half-time
5 or less Part-time

* Generally, to be eligible for financial aid, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units.

Be sure to complete an online Update Form each semester to register! You can check your registration date through your InsideBC account. Your registration appointment date and time can be found a few weeks before registration begins:

  • Click the MyBanWeb Menu dropdown
  • Select Registration Status
  • Select the term
  • Click Submit

Be sure to complete an Update Form online each semester to register via InsideBC. You can check your registration date through your InsideBC account. Your registration appointment date has not changed, and time can be found a few weeks before registration begins by clicking the "MyBanWeb" tab, then "Registration Status", "Select the Term", and "Submit".

  1. Complete an Admission/Update Form (this must be done each semester) by entering your ID (Banner ID or Social Security Number) and PIN/Password (that you selected). If you forget your PIN/Password, click, Forgot Pin/Password, and follow the online instructions or call the 24-hour help desk at 877-382-3508.
  2. Click Login to Secure Area (using your ID or Social Security Number and PIN/Password).
  3. Click Student & Financial Aid.
  4. Click Registration.
  5. Click Add/Drop Classes if you know the CRNs of the classes you want or Look Up Classes to Add if you don’t.
    • Select the subject and college you want from the drop down menu. You should leave the other choices defaulted to “all”. Click Register.
    • Look Up Classes to ADD shows an empty check box if the course still has seats. The other columns list: Course Reference Number (CRN), Subject (Subj), Course (Crse), Section (Sec), Campus (Cmp), Credits (Cred), Title, Days, Time, Instructor, Date, Location, Capacity (CAP), Actual (Act), Remaining Seats (Rem), Waitlist Capacity (WL Cap), Waitlist Actual (WL Act), Waitlist Remaining Seats (WL Rem).
  6. If you are successfully registered, the classes and their status will show in the middle of the Add/Drop Classes page. If there are problems, they will show at the bottom of the Add/Drop Classes page. Registration errors can include:
    • CLOSED-### WAITLISTED means you can get on the waitlist by selecting that option from the drop down menu, and clicking Submit Changes at the bottom of the page.
    • CLOSED SECTION or CLOSED-WAITLIST FULL means you can’t register for that class.
    • DUPL CRSE WITH SEC followed by CRN means you are already registered in that class.
    • TIME CONFLICT WITH CRN means you have another class in that time period.
    • CORQ_REQ means there is a corequisites course required.
    • PREQ and TEST SCORE-ERROR means you are not eligible to take that class. See an advisor or call Admissions and Records if you think you are eligible.
    • REPEAT COUNT EXCEEDS means you have taken the class as many times as you are allowed. If you have two unsatisfactory grades, including Ws, you can see the faculty chair for permission to take it again.
    • INSTRUCTOR, FACULTY, CHAIR OR DEAN means the class may not open for registration.
  7. When you have all of the classes you need, click the big blue, Complete Registration button.
  8. Pay for your classes within 10 days or you will be dropped for non-payment or have a hold placed on your record.

The lengths of the waitlists were set upon two factors

  1. Past experience of the number of students who registered and then dropped classes during the registration period before the start of the semester.
  2. The number of students who were able to enroll in the class ('crash' the class) on the first day of the semester.
  • Because of the great flux in enrollments in classes before the start of the semester, students should use the waitlist to ensure themselves a chance of getting into the class they want.
  • Students will not be charged the enrollment fees for waitlisted classes until they are actually enrolled in the class.
  • Students who have opted to be placed on waitlists MUST attend the first meeting of the class or they will be dropped from the waitlist.
  • Courses for which students are waitlisted will appear on their schedules with a registration status of "WL." When the student is moved into the class, the registration status will change to "RE."
  • Students will not be able to register for one section of a class and get on the waitlist for another section. They will not be able to register for a class at a specific time and get on the waitlist for another class at the same time.
  • Students will be able to drop themselves from a waitlist at any time.
  • Waitlisted classes will count in the 19 total units that students may enroll in each semester.
  • When new sections of a course at the same day and time are opened, students on the waitlist will be moved into that section.
  • Students who have received two previous "W" or unsatisfactory grades in a class since 1987, those who wish to audit a class, and concurrently enrolled high school students will only be able to register if there are seats available in a class after everyone on the waitlist has been enrolled.
  • Students receive financial aid only for those classes they are enrolled in.
  • The prerequisite, basic skills, time conflict, and repeat checks will prevent ineligible students from getting on a waitlist just as they prevent students from registering for the classes.
  • Until the Wednesday before the start of classes, students who are moved from a waitlist into a class will be notified by receiving a new schedule/bill in the mail. After that Wednesday, students will need to check their registration/waitlist status on the phone or the web.
  • Students who might be away for long periods of time between registration and the start of classes should consider prepaying the fees for the waitlisted class so they are not dropped because of non-payment after they are automatically moved off the waitlist and into the class.

Priority registration is the ability to register early for the upcoming semester. In order to qualify, students must do the following:

  • Enroll in an Educational Planning course and complete an SEP.
  • Complete all matriculation components including orientation, assessment and counseling.
  • Students on disqualification must see a counselor.
  • Continued students who were registered on Monday of the 3rd week of classes are assigned early registration appointments for the following semester in the following order:
    1. Students who belong to specific groups or special programs and who have completed matriculation.
    2. Students who have completed orientation, assessment, counseling, and have a student educational plan on file in descending order of the number of units completed, except that students who have completed 45 to 68 units will be first.
    3. High School seniors who have completed the early registration process

If you have successfully completed the equivalent of a pre/co-requisite at another regionally accredited college or university, you will need to submit a request for a Pre-requisite Clearance, including a copy of unofficial transcripts and/or College Board scoresheet to the Counseling Center’s email address:

If you wish to receive course credit/units, please submit your official transcripts and/or College Board scoresheet to the BC Admissions Office, and follow up by also submitting a Request for Evaluation

Bakersfield College utilizes a Wait List for closed classes. If a class is closed, you may register yourself on the waitlist anytime on or after your registration appointment time. If a seat becomes available in that course, the next student on the waitlist will be added to the class, so check your schedule often to complete your registration online.

High school students may be eligible for Bakersfield College’s Early College Program. Early College packages college course opportunities for high school students into pathways that begin in the 9th grade, allowing cohorts of students the opportunity to earn associate degrees and/or certificates by the time they walk across the stage at their high school graduation. Types of Early College Opportunities include Dual Enrollment, Concurrent Enrollment and Career and Technical Education articulated courses. Additional information can be found on Early College.

Financial Aid

Visit the Financial Aid section of our website for detailed information on financial aid programs and options.

The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOP&S) is a state-funded support program designed to provide academic support, financial assistance and encouragement for educationally disadvantaged students. Find additional information at EOP&S.

Academic Planning FAQs

With the passing of AB 705 into state law, starting the Fall 2019 semester, you may register for first level transfer courses in English and Mathematics regardless of placement or current enrollment in a pre-transfer level English and/or Mathematics course. For more about AB 705 and placement, see our Placement page.

Credit received for AP scores depends upon the exam and score received and can be used to meet General Education requirements under three options:

  • BC General Education (BC GE) - Option 1
  • CSU General Education (CSU GE) - Option 2
  • Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) - Option 3

Course requirements vary depending on the educational goal. Counselors and Advisors can assist you in course selection appropriate for their goal by creating a Comprehensive Student Education Plan in Starfish (online degree planner). CSEP selections include: Associate Degree, Associate Degree for Transfer, Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Automation, Certificate program requirements or the Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Automation. Detailed information on degrees, certificates and general education can be found in the BC Catalog.

For transfer to a UC or CSU campus please refer to for required major coursework. Schedule an appointment to meet with a Counselor or Advisor for more information.

Your CSEP is located in your online Starfish account, under “degree planner”. This is a plan of courses that you should take in order to reach your educational goal. The CSEP is completed, recognizing key “momentum points” to increase academic success, degree completion, and transfer to a university within two years.

  • Attempt 15+ units in the first term
  • Attempt 30+ units by end of first year
  • Complete transfer-level Math and English in the first year
  • Complete 9 core pathway units in the first year

*If you are interested in earning a certificate along the way, we will embed its completion within your first year of attendance.

Students cannot carry more than 19 units each semester, 7 during the summer, without the permission of the BC Counseling Chair or the Director of Counseling and Student Success. Any student interested in taking more than the maximum number of units during the semester can submit an “Overload Petition” request to

Bakersfield College has grouped Programs of Study together in categories to better support students. Select one of the Learning and Career Pathways to access to resources to help you stay on track with your educational journey. Each Pathway has a list of programs, contacts for support and career exploration information. Get started on your Pathway to an education at BC, transferring to a 4-year college or university, and your future career. Our Counselors and Advisors are assigned to specific Pathways and connect with you often to maximize your success and completion, to prepare you for your future career! Explore Pathways opportunities.

Transcript FAQs

To request an official copy of all courses taken at Bakersfield College, complete a transcript request online via our website at Request Transcripts.

  • Have official transcripts sent to Bakersfield College electronically. If electronic transcripts are not available at your previous/current college you can mail them to: Bakersfield College, Admissions Office, 1801 Panorama Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305.
  • Complete the Request for Evaluation form as soon as possible by emailing your request form using your Bakersfield College assigned email address. Be sure to include your name, social security/ID number, any previous names, phone number, and indicate whether you need a transfer evaluation, a military evaluation, and/or a CLEP or AP evaluation. Transcripts are not automatically evaluated at Bakersfield College. A formal request must be made and results will be posted online within 24 weeks. Evaluations will not be mailed to the student. Check online at MyBanWeb for results
  • Students are advised to double check that the transfer college/university has mailed your transcript to BC.

Transfer FAQs

The CSU General Education Breadth is a pattern of courses that community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements for any California State University campus. For more information, please see a Counselor or consult the online BC Catalog.

The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a pattern of courses that community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements for any of the University of California or California State University campuses. For more information, please see a Counselor or consult the online BC Catalog.

If you are unsure which plan best suits you, make an appointment with a Counselor or Advisor in your Pathway to discuss your transfer goals. If you want to transfer to a CSU school, follow CSU GE - Option 2 Requirements. If you want to transfer to a CSU, HBCU, UC, Independent California college or university, or out-of-state, you should follow IGETC - Option 3 for CSU and UC. Private schools have their own transfer general education requirements, however; some will accept CSU GE Breadth or IGETC.

GE Certification for the CSU and UC is not automatic. Students need to request it. Certification shows that you have completed for your lower-division GE requirements. To request a certification, submit an official transcript request to the BC Admissions Office and indicate that you need certification with the transcript (mark the GE Breadth or IGETC certification box on the transcript request form).

Certifications should be requested on the last (final) transcript going to your transfer school. If you have not completed the CSU Breadth or IGETC transfer patterns, you are not ready to send your transcript with this certification. If you’ve completed coursework at other institutions, official transcripts from those schools must be on file at Bakersfield College prior to or submitted with your request.

The Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) is offered by six of the UC campuses. Each participating campus develops eligibility criteria and requirements are adjusted annually. It is very important for each student to meet with a Counselor in order to determine TAG eligibility. The Transfer Center offers UC TAG Workshops prior to application filing periods. For more information, please visit the Transfer Center page.

US History and Political Science are not required to complete the American Institutions requirement at Bakersfield College for the AA/AS degree or the AA-T/AS-T degree/. UC and CSU campuses have an American Institutions Requirement. Please consult the Option 2 or Option 3 transfer GE plans or see a Counselor or Advisor for more information.

This depends on your educational goal and major. If you plan to complete the IGETC-Option3, it has a Language Other Than English requirement that can be satisfied in a variety of ways. Two years of a high school language other than English with passing grades (C or above) or completion of a BC language other than English course or above are the two most common ways. Please see a Counselor or Advisor for more information.

Graduation FAQs

Yes, students should follow the instructions below:

  1. Log in to InsideBC, then click on "Tools" on the top bar.
  2. Click on the link for MyDegreePath.

Graduatin application periods:

Semester Graduation Application Period
Fall April 1 to end of fall semester
Spring August 1 to end of spring semester
Summer November 1 to end of summer semester

Detailed instructions for submitting the Graduation Petitition can be found on the Graduation Requirements page.

Detailed instructions on submitting a Graduation Petition can be found on the Graduation Requirements page. With the statewide order issued by Governor Newsom for all of California, we have postponed the commencement ceremony. President Christian and the administration are working on options to celebrate our students. We will update you as solutions develop.

Transfer and Graduation/General Education sections of the current catalog.


A.A. / A.S. degree
An Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate in Science (A.S.) Degree is awarded by a community college upon completion of an organized sixty unit program of study.
Academic probation
Students are placed on academic probation and a hold is put on their ability to register for classes when their grade point average drops below a 2.0. To lift the hold, students must complete the online Academic Success Workshop each semester until their cumulative GPA reaches at least a 2.0
B.A. / B.S. degree
A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) are degrees awarded by a four-year college or university after the completion of an organized program of studies consisting of approximately 124 semester units. The freshman and sophomore years at a community college are equivalent to the freshman and sophomore years at a four-year college.
Certificate program
A certificate program is an occupational program that offers specialized career training.
CSU system
The CSU System stands for the California State University System. It includes twenty-three campuses. Three examples are Cal State Bakersfield, SDSU and CSU Cal Poly. When you have completed approximately 45 transferable units at BC, you may apply online to a CSU at CSU Mentor. Please consult with a counselor and Transfer Services.
If a student does not earn a 2.0 grade point average or does not complete at least 51% of the units they attempt for three consecutive semesters, then they are disqualified from attending Bakersfield College. Students must contact the Counseling and Advising Department to make a counseling appointment to determine what steps they need to complete to determine when they can return to BC. Remember, counseling appointments are not available during peak registration times, so it is suggested that students seek advising and counseling advice mid-semester if they are struggling in their courses.
General Education
General Education refers to a broad range of courses taken to increase a student's knowledge of a variety of subjects. They are courses outside your major and are required of all students receiving an A.A./A.S. or B.A./B.S. degree. These courses are listed in the Bakersfield College catalog.
Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
This is the general education pattern which students use for transferring to the UC system. It can also be used by students who are not sure if they would like to transfer to the UC or CSU system. Please consult with a counselor and Transfer Services.
Lower-division refers to students and courses at the freshman and sophomore level of college study. Community colleges offer only lower-division courses.
Matriculation is the process that allows the college and you to form a partnership which helps you attain that goal. We ask you to commit yourself to an educational objective and we will commit ourselves in assisting you to succeed. Matriculation includes the following:
  • Admission
  • Orientation
  • Assessment
  • Counseling
  • Student Educational Plan (SEP)
A prerequisite is a requirement that must be met prior to enrolling in a particular course - usually an entrance test or completion of a preparatory course. To locate the prerequisite, refer to the course description in the college catalog.
Progress probation
Students are placed on progress probation when they have not completed 51% of their cumulative units attempted. These students must meet with a counselor or attend a online Academic Success Workshop in order to enroll for the upcoming semesters until their cumulative completion of units has reached 51%.
A semester is a 16-week session.
Transferable course
A transferable course is a course at Bakersfield College that is accepted by a four-year college, including community college, or university. The transferability of courses are listed in the course description section of the Bakersfield College Catalog.
UC system
The UC System stands for the University of California System. The UC System includes nine campuses. In 2008, more than 80 percent of admitted transfer students came to the UCs. from California Community Colleges.UCSB and UCLA are the closest campuses to Bakersfield College. The UC application must be submitted online. Please consult with a counselor and Transfer Services.
A unit is a measurement of college work which reflects the amount of credit given to a course. You can generally count on one hour of class time weekly for each unit a course is assigned.
Upper-division refers to students or courses at the junior or senior level of college study. These courses can only be taken at the university or college.