Palomar College request information


Palomar College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research Palomar College. Learn more about its admissions requirements, degree and certificate programs, and financial aid information to make an informed education decision.

About Palomar College

Palomar College is a two-year public institution located in San Marcos, CA, about 30 miles north of San Diego. It's part of the California Community Colleges educational system, which is comprised of 108 schools. Palomar College serves roughly 25,000 students, with about 35% attending as full-time degree or certificate seekers. The college aims to provide students with opportunities for career/technical education and certification, the chance to transfer to bachelor's degree programs at four-year universities, the opportunity to pursue a liberal arts education, and/or the chance to complete general learning for life enrichment. While the main 200-acre campus is located in San Marcos, the college operates a total of nine campuses and educational centers around the greater San Diego area.


Palomar College offers over 300 degree- or certificate-track programs, varying in length from one to two years, depending on the program. Palomar divides its academics into five general areas including languages and literature; arts, media, business and computer systems; mathematics and the natural health sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and career, technical, and extended education.

The college focuses on a variety of educational tracks to provide students with multiple opportunities. Many of the degree programs provide students with enough education or a certification to enter the workforce upon completion. For example, nursing programs and fire fighting programs allow students earning these certifications to enter either nursing or fire fighting occupations after meeting the relevant state requirements. Other degree tracks are intended to provide students with the education required to transfer to four-year institutions.

There are also opportunities to take non-credit and non-degree-track programs for general education and/or cultural enrichment. These options primarily are aimed at students who are already in a professional field and who are looking to expand their knowledge bases or skill sets.


Palomar College has an open admissions policy and rolling admissions; therefore, students can apply for admission and be accepted at any point up to the beginning of the next semester. Students need not be high school graduates to apply. For fall 2012, the first date applications were accepted was February 1, 2012. Despite the open admissions process, students probably want to apply by the middle of summer, because registration for the fall 2012 semester began July 5.

Students must submit an online application. The application requires 11 steps and, after completing it, students are automatically accepted and immediately receive a student ID number. Prior to enrolling, students must apply for financial aid, sit for an assessment, receive and review their assessment results with an advisor, and complete an orientation session. The college estimates that the assessment and orientation processes take roughly three hours.

Tuition & Financial Aid

For the 2012-2013 school year, California residents are charged $46 per unit. The college estimates that tuition for a full-time resident costs $667 per semester or $1,334 per year. Nonresidents are charged $176 per unit, plus a $4 per unit capital outlay fee. Thus, a full-time nonresident can expect to pay roughly $2,520 per semester or $5,040 per year. These figures include associated fees, but do not include room and board, books, or course materials. The cost for books and supplies is approximately $833 per semester, and costs for housing, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses vary based on whether students live at home or in off-campus housing.

Financial aid is available to students in the form or federal grants or loans. There are no scholarships available through the institution, though students can use scholarships awarded to them from other sources towards the cost of attendance. In 2011, 49% of full-time beginning students received some form of financial aid.

School Type Two-year, public*
Degrees Offered Certificate programs, associate's*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Small city*
Student Body 25,427 undergraduates in fall 2011*
Student Housing Not available*
Schools and Programs One school, over 300 certificate and associate's degree programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 29:1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Less-than-one-year certificates: Accounting technology/technician and bookkeeping (37)
One-to-two-year certificates: Liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies (581)
Associate's: Social science (484)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 8% within 'normal time'
24% within 150% of 'normal time'
32% within 200% of 'normal time' (students who started in fall 2007)*
Admission Rate Open admissions*
Entering Class Size 2,169 part-time students and 2,119 full-time students in fall 2011***
First Year Retention Rates From fall 2010 to fall 2011:
66% (full-time students)
42% (part-time students)*
Undergraduate Application Due Date Rolling admissions**
Decision Notification Date Rolling notifications**
Tuition $46 per unit for residents and $176 per units for nonresidents in 2012-2013 (figures do not include fees, books, or course materials)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (27%), Pell grants (27%), other federal grants (6%), state and local grants/scholarships (47%), institutional grants/scholarships (0%), federal student loans (2%)*
Percentage of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 49% of full-time students in 2010-2011*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics; **Palomar College; IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Palomar College, 1140 West Mission Rd, San Marcos, CA 92069
  • Phone: (760) 744-1150
  • Website:

Find Your Program:

Get Admission Info

Take the first step by getting admissions information directly from Palomar College. Simply answer a few questions to get started.