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Frequently Asked Questions

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

Registration FAQs 

Transcript FAQs

Graduation FAQs

Can students do their own graduation check?
How do I file for BC graduation?

What are the BC general education requirements for a degree from Bakersfield College?
What are the CSU general education requirements for a degree from Bakersfield College?
What are the UC general education requirements (IGETC) for a degree from Bakersfield College?
What is FAQ:

How do I find my Bakersfield College Student ID number?

Students should begin using their assigned Bakersfield College Student ID number instead of their social security number due to security concerns.

Locating BC Student ID number:
Sign in to registration the first time using your social security number for the User ID and your pin number. The computer will generate your new permanent college assigned ID. If you cannot remember your new college assigned ID, please use the following steps:

  1. Log in to Banweb
  2. Click on personal information.
  3. Click on "View your Student/Employee ID"
  4. Your Student ID will be listed in the following format @12345678
  5. Forgot your PIN? The user Account Manager on the BC login webpage can be used to look up your Student/Employee User ID, change your password or change your security question.

How to contact a Counselor/Educational Advisor?

Three options are available for making a counseling session: You can make a counseling appointment, see a drop-in counselor or use the Internet.
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How do I get priority registration?

Priority registration is the ability to register early for the upcoming semester. In order to qualify, students must do the following:
Note: Students who have already earned a degree at Bakersfield College are eligible to register after students who have earned 45-60 units at BC.

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What is an SEP and how do I complete one?

An SEP is your Student Educational Plan which is designed to help you set your educational goals. The SEP is completed in an Educational Planning course which should be taken the first semester.

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How many units should I enroll in?

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, you may sign up for 12 or more units provided that you don't have additional time commitments (e.g. child, spouse, outside activities). If you are not employed, fulltime coursework (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 (Hr/Wk) 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

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How do I calculate my GPA?

For a GPA calculator and information on how to calculate your grade point average, click here.

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   7   18 GPA 2.57

Divide the total number of grade points by the total number of units attempted, and that gives you your Grade Point Average. In the above example, 18 grade points divided by 7 units attempted , which equals a 2.57 GPA.

"How to calculate your GPA" PowerPoint demonstration. If this link does not open, click here.

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What is a major?

A major is a group or series of courses designed to provide intensive education or training in a specialized area. Take an
Educational Planning course specific to your major or a Student Development course (STDV) to learn more about college and to find out what courses you need to meet your educational goals. 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 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 counselor's.  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 a list of your specific major course requirements click here "Programs of Study" or visit the current BC catalog.

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Do I need to have a major?

Students do not need to declare a major right away. However, it is strongly recommended that students declare a major by the end of their second semester in college. If you are undecided about a major you should begin to focus your thoughts regarding your values, personality, interests, and skills toward a college major.

Students need to be aware that many occupations do not have a strong relationship to a specific college major. Employers are looking primarily for candidates who are well-rounded individuals and who have done well in college no matter what their major.  Therefore, identify a major that interests you and in which you can excel and enjoy the learning experience (Career Fitness Program 5th Edition).  To learn more about career information see below.

  • Visit the BC Virtual Career Center for information on careers.
  • Visit the Missing Majors website  for information on majors, careers and vocations.  For access to the EUREKA website, a personal career assessment tool, students may obtain a password from an Educational Advisor in the BC Counseling Center. This assessment provides students with much needed guidance and insight about careers.
  • There is no limit as to how many courses a student can take in their major in their first semester.

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Do I need a degree to transfer?

No. However, the Counseling Department recommends getting a degree to assist with employment while attending college.  Please consult with a counselor and
Transfer Services.

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Should I take all general education classes first?

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. Taking an elective course that you enjoy (guitar, acting, dance, or computers) is a good idea because it makes your college experience more rewarding.

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

  • New students
    All new students must attend a
    New Student online Counseling 2 hour Workshop. Or, call 395-4421 to make an appointment for the mandatory Workshop in person. New Student Counseling Group Workshops fill quickly, particularly during registration periods.
  • Continuing students Continuing or returning students may visit a drop-in counselor or advisor. Drop-ins are available every day on a first come, first served basis. In order to maximize your chances of being seen during peak registration periods, it is recommended that you come to the Counseling Center early in the morning and be prepared for a possible wait to be seen.
  • Enroll in a Student Development course, preferably within the first 15 units, to develop an Educational Plan. Some students will take longer than two years to complete a degree depending upon individual situations.
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What is a full-time and part-time student?

Full time is 12-19 units
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.

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How do I transfer units earned at Bakersfield College to other colleges and universities?

To request an official copy of all courses taken at Bakersfield College, complete a transcript request form at the Admissions Office at window #8 or request it online. Please consult with a counselor and
Transfer Services.

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How do I transfer units to Bakersfield College from other colleges and universities?

  1. Have official transcripts sent to Bakersfield College, Admissions Office, 1801 Panorama Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305.
  2. Complete a formal request to evaluate transcripts as soon as possible at the Admissions Office (window #6) or email* your request. 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 after a minimum of 12 weeks. Evaluations will not be mailed to the student. Check online at MyBanWeb for results.
  3. Students are advised to double check that the transfer college/university has mailed your transcript to BC.
* Students with last names starting with A-L email
Linda Allday, M-Z email Kathy Goehring.

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What is a unit?

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.

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What is an AA or an AS Degree?

An Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) Degree is awarded by a community college upon completion of an organized sixty unit program of study.

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What is a BA or BS Degree?

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) 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.

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What is a Certificate Program?

A certificate program is an occupational program that offers specialized career training.

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What is 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 AA/AS or BA/BS degree. These courses are listed in the Bakersfield College catalog.

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What is a prerequisite?

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. For example:
General Microbiology - 5

Introduction to the study of microorganisms. Topics include: survey of microorganisms, history, physical and chemical agents, bacterial genetics, bacterial metabolism, bacterial diseases by transmission, fungal and protozoal infections, viral diseases, immunology, public health and epidemiology, nosocomial infections, biogenetic engineering, applications to food, water and sewage treatment. Prerequisite: Any college level chemistry and any college level biology course with a grade of C or better. Hours: 54 lect, 108 lab. Field trips required. Offered: F, S. CCS: Liberal Arts and Sciences. Transferable: UC, CSU and private colleges.

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What is a semester?

A semester is a 16-week session.

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What is lower-division?

Lower-division refers to students and courses at the freshman and sophomore level of college study. Community colleges offer only lower-division courses.

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What is upper-division?

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.

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What is a 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.
Please consult with a counselor and
Transfer Services.

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What is the 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.

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What is the 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.

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What is matriculation?

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:
Student Educational Plan (SEP)

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What is the 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.

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What is Academic Probation?

Students are placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0. Students may be required to repeat coursework and/or maintain a 3.0 GPA. These students must meet with a counselor or attend an online
Academic Success Workshop in order to enroll for the upcoming semesters until their cumulative GPA is a 2.0.

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What is 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%.

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What is Disqualification?

If a student does not earn a 2.0 GPA or does not complete 51% of their units for three consecutive semesters, they are disqualified. The student must meet with a counselor
or attend a Disqualification Workshop to complete a Reinstatement application and determine if they can return to BC for the upcoming semester.It is highly recommended that students attend a Disqualification Workshop as soon as possible since there are deadline dates for readmission consideration. Call to reserve a space in the Disqualification Workshop at 395-4421.

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Can Students do their own unofficial graduation check?

Yes, BC students can do an unofficial graduation check online at any time; it is called a What-If-Degree Evaluation. Follow the directions below:

  • Log onto the registration site off the BC home page
  • Put in your ID # (SS#) and your Pin #
  • Click on Student & Financial Aid
  • Click on Student Records
  • Click on the What-If-Degree Evaluation & follow the directions
Students should print a copy of this, and take it to the counselor/advisor when they are applying for graduation during their final semester. The link below will instruct the student on how to file for graduation:

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How do I file for BC graduation?

It is advisable to do a pre-graduation check with a counselor or Educational Advisor when the student has completed 45 units.

Students are only allowed to file for graduation during their final semester at BC. The following procedures must be followed.

  • Students must meet with a counselor or educational advisor to complete the appropriate paperwork. This should be done early in the final semester to assure meeting all deadline dates.
  • Students must file for graduation before the following deadline dates:
    Fall Graduation- Nov 1; Spring Graduation- April 1, Summer Graduation- July 1
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Can students retake classes as many times as they would like?

No, Bakersfield College must follow California state guidelines on repeating courses.

REPEAT POLICY for Bakersfield College

  • Students may generally repeat a course only one time. Refer to the college catalog for specific information regarding the current repeat policy.

  • How to have a grade be disregarded in your GPA calculation:
    When a student completes the course, the student must submit the Repeat Petition found on the Admissions and Records website. Refer to the college catalog for specific information regarding the current repeat policy.

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