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Academic Advising FAQ

General Advising & Counseling

Pima's Programs

Class Scheduling

Degree Progress

General Advising and Counseling

When should I meet with an advisor?
We recommend meeting with an advisor or counselor at least once each semester. Located at each campus, they support your academic goals by guiding you through procedures for classes, majors, unofficial degree checks and transferring. Counselors additionally assist with general college procedures, student success skills and personal concerns and crises.

Who is my advisor?
Students are not assigned to specific advisors. Each campus has a team of advisors ready to help you with your questions about college life. 

Do I need an appointment to see an advisor or counselor?
No. Advisors and counselors are available on a walk-in basis. If you would prefer an appointment, call or visit any Student Services Center, or through email or through Pima Chat. PimaChat sessions connect you to Pima advisors, counselors and financial aid experts through an easy-to-use web site. The current chat schedule is available on the PimaChat homepageContact advising.

How do I plan for my degree?
MyDegreePlan allows you to plan your program of study and track your progress.  It is access through the MyPima Academics tab.  It is a great idea to go over your plan with an advisor.

How do I manage my time, school, work and family?
This is one that you must answer according to your personal values and goals. Pima can help, though.

  • Take advantage of the wide variety of course formats that Pima offers.
  • Consider taking a Student Success course. STU 100 will teach you how to manage your time, learn to study more efficiently and generally be a better student.
  • Student Success workshops are offered at each of the campuses.

Pima's Programs

What type of class formats do you have?
Pima's alternative-style classes are held in traditional classrooms and online. They run over different time periods, from self-paced to weekend only.

What is the (AGEC) Arizona General Education Curriculum?
The AGEC is a certificate that allows you to transfer to Arizona state universities. It is a set of classes that, when completed with a grade of “C” or better, transfers in its entirety to the university and fulfills the general education requirement there. You will need to take at least 35 credits. 

Do your programs have waiting lists?
A few programs do have waiting lists, especially those in the health related fields. Contact the program you are interested in to find out its availability.

What are the differences between certificates, associate and bachelor's degrees?
Certificates at Pima can be completed within a year, sometimes in one semester. They give you specific skills and knowledge either to find employment in a specific occupation or to transfer to a university. 

Associate degrees at Pima typically take two years with full-time enrollment to complete and may lead to direct employment or university transfer. They include courses in a particular area of study as well as general education requirements.

A bachelor's degree is typically a four-year degree awarded by a university and provides advanced coursework in a specific area of study.


Class Scheduling

How do I know what classes to take?
From the Programs and Degrees page, follow the appropriate links to see required classes for a field of study.  You are also welcome to see an advisor at any campus.

How many credits do I take and in what order?
Determine how much time you can devote to your coursework and that tells you how many credits to take at one time. In a traditional 16-week semester, you'll spend about three hours of classroom and homework time a week for one credit. If you take 12 credits in a semester, you should plan to devote 36 hours a week to school. In an eight-week course, you'll spend six hours a week per credit.

Your program guide will help you determine what classes to take and in what order depending on prerequisites and other requirements.

The class I need is full.  Can I be added?
Your best bet is to keep watching the online class schedules for an open seat.  Then log in to MyPima and register. As the beginning of classes approaches, students will make changes to their schedules and a seat may come open in the class you need. Keep a close watch for a spot, then register.

You may also email the instructor and ask for his or her approval, then show the email with instructor approval to an advisor to get registered.

Finally, you could attend class on the first day to see if the instructor might add you. Bring the Registration Transaction Form with you. Be aware that instructors often cannot add students beyond the designated capacity due to classroom size or other considerations. 

How do I drop from a class?
There is a deadline for dropping classes. Students can use MyPima to drop a class.  If you have a hold, you must visit a campus Student Services Center.

How do I withdraw from a class?
The procedure is the same as for dropping a class but occurs later in the semester.

I never went to a class that I registered for. Can I get my money back?
That depends on when you ask for a refund, how long the course was, what type of course it was and if you had extenuating circumstances for not attending. It is your responsibility to get the process started. Call Student Accounts, (520) 206-4574.

Can I take a class on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base?
There are some restrictions, but most student can qualify for access to the base. At least two weeks before your class begins, start the process to gain access.

Can I test out of a course?
The CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) is popular for gaining college credit for second languages, but it's actually available for a variety of subjects. CLEP exams, for which you pay a fee.


Degree Progress

How do I calculate my GPA?
PCC has a formula for determining your grade point average (GPA), a numerical value for the letter grades you earn.  Your most recent GPA will be provided on your unofficial transcript.

What do I do to transfer the most credits possible?
Start by pursuing a program that allows you to complete a degree or certificate designed for transfer.

As soon as you know the major you want to pursue, visit the website of the institution you want to transfer to and study information about the department that offers your major. Or contact an advisor there. Both resources will have information about what you need to take to study the major there. They may also have tips on classes you should or shouldn’t take while you are at Pima.

A year before you want to transfer out of Pima, become familiar with the application dates, deadlines and admissions requirements at the school you plan to transfer to. You can find information on that school's website.

Is there a way to track my degree program to know how many credits I have left to take?
Absolutely. The college has an automated degree audit system, MyDegreePlan, accessible through MyPima.  An advisor can help you check your progress and plan your next steps.

How long will it take me to get a degree?
Several factors go into determining how long it takes, including

  • type of degree you choose to pursue.
  • how you place in your assessments.
  • the amount of time you can devote to your studies.
  • the amount of effort you put in.
  • how carefully you plan and sequence the required program coursework.