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How do I get started at SAC?

Apply online by visiting www.sac.edu. For the fall semester, we begin to accept applications staring April 1st; for spring, November 1st.
Take the English and Math Placement Tests. Appointments to take the Placement Tests can be made by calling the Testing Center at 714 564-6147. You will need scores in order to register for English and Math classes. The results will also help in deciding  which classes you can take. If you have taken English or Math courses at another college or university, a counselor may be able to place you in an English or math class if you bring in a transcript.
Do I need to take the Math and English Placement Tests in order to take classes at SAC?
You only need to take the Math & English Tests if you want to take English & Math courses. A few of our vocational programs require English and/or Math proficiency that can be met through our Placement Tests. Otherwise, a student can enroll in any class at SAC unless there is a stated prerequisite.  To find out if a class has a prerequisite, look at the course description in the class schedule or catalog.

How do I get information about a specific degree or certificate program at?
Click on our catalog or educational options in the student planning guide at this website. In the first part of the catalog you will find descriptions of all of our degree and certificate programs as well as the major courses needed to complete each program. In the back half of our catalog are course descriptions of the courses we offer. To get a sense of when we offer classes, click on our current class schedule at this website and you can see the days and times we offer our classes.

What’s the difference between a degree and certificate program?
To earn an Associate Degree from SAC you must complete 60 degree applicable semester units. The 60 units must include general education (math, science, social science, humanities, etc, courses) and your major courses. A certificate program is a specific list of courses in a vocational area. To earn a certificate, you do not need to complete general education requirements. A certificate program can be 12 units to 40 units or more depending on the program.

What’s a unit?
One semester unit is equivalent to 16 hours of class. Most college courses are 3 units and so they meet for three hours per week for sixteen weeks. We do offer mini-semester courses as well as courses that are condensed and meet on Friday nights and Saturdays. See the Quick Study section of the Class Schedule.

If I am planning to transfer to a university, do I need to complete an Associate degree first?
No. The minimum requirements for an Associate Degree do not generally meet all the requirements for transfer to a university (with the exception of Associate Degrees for Transfer). Some of the courses taken to complete Associate degree requirements may also satisfy transfer requirements. Through careful course selection at, you can complete your general education courses and many major courses that will help you transfer to a university. The lists of courses that meet California State University (Plan B) and University of California (Plan C) general education requirements are in the first part of the catalog.

What’s the difference between Santa Ana College and a university?
At a university you can earn a bachelor's degree. It takes 120 - 132 semester units to earn a bachelor's degree. A university is significantly more expensive than Santa Ana College. At you can complete the equivalent of the first half of your bachelor's degree and then transfer to a university to finish. Hundreds of students do this and save a great deal of money. Students also enjoy the fact that the class sizes at are smaller and there is more personal attention than at a large university.

If I’ve completed courses at another college or university, can I use them to meet degree requirements at Santa Ana College?
A thorough answer to this question requires a transcript of the courses you've completed along with course descriptions from the catalog. Sometimes a syllabus that was used in the course is also needed. If you have these, make an appointment with a counselor (714-564-6100) and bring in copies of the transcripts and course description or catalog and the course will be evaluated.

Will the courses I take at Santa Ana College transfer to a university?
It depends on the course. We have transfer agreements with California State Universities (CSU), University of California (UC) campuses and many private colleges and universities. Each year hundreds of students transfer to universities from SAC after they have completed their lower division general education and major preparation requirements. They have saved thousands of dollars by completing equivalent coursework and many are able to graduate within two years from a university with their bachelor's degree. For more information, visit our Transfer Center website.

I’ve never attended college before and I don't have a major. Which courses should I take first?
Either 100, Lifelong Understanding and Self Development, or 116, Career/Life Planning and Personal Exploration is a good course to take in your first semester. These courses give an overview of the higher education system, show how to research careers and teach exercises for decision making and personal exploration. Other courses recommended for first semester students include English, Math and depending on your placement test results, Reading.

What do I do if I am interested in nursing and fire technology?

Call the Counseling Department for program orientations (714) 564-6100.

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Content Type: SAC Page
Version: 4.0
Created at 11/3/2011 2:06 PM by Nguyen, Tuan
Last modified at 9/23/2013 5:20 PM by Canzona, Paula