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Pima Community College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn what certificate and training programs Pima Community College (PCC) offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Pima Community College

Pima Community College served a little over 2,000 students when it opened its first campus in 1970. Since then, the community college has grown into an important part of the Tucson, AZ, community, directly serving over 60,000 students in 2011. A 2011 report found students earn $5.30 in higher future income for every dollar invested into their education at Pima. The same report found that in addition to providing job training to area residents, the school contributed $887.3 million in added income due to the increased wages of graduates and the added output of area businesses.

Pima Community College continues to develop its offerings to both the community and students through its 2012-2013 comprehensive plan. Put into effect in July 2011, four of the five strategic areas focus directly on student access and success, including improvement of online and self-paced courses. The comprehensive plan runs through the end of June 2013.


Pima Community College offers many programs, ranging from short training curricula to full, two-year associate's degree programs. Many adult education services are available, such as English Language Acquisition for Adults, GED preparation and the Workplace Education Program. Project RAISE provides free education and life skill courses, which are free for Title 19-qualified adults with developmental disabilities. Students may also choose from a wide array of associate's degree and certificate programs in over ten categories. Areas of study include information technology, professional trades and even non-bachelor's level teaching programs, such as early childhood education. The school also offers a low-cost transfer program, designed to allow students to take a number of general education courses that can transfer to various four-year institutions.

Pima Community College uses a variety of delivery methods to bring education to the Tucson area. In addition to online courses, Pima offers some 'hybrid' programs, which combine classroom learning with online components. Pima Community College also holds 'express' classes that last only five weeks, as well as evening and weekend courses. In addition to a number of physical campuses, Pima Community College partners with over 115 locations throughout the county.


Pima seeks to make quality career education available to everyone; however, a certain number of criteria must be met in order for an application to be considered. Students must have graduated high school or hold a valid GED certificate. Math, writing and reading assessment scores must be collected, with the exams administered at the campus student services center. Transfer students do not have to take the assessment exam, provided they have completed courses equivalent to Pima's MAT 086 or WRT 100.

In addition to these requirements, many programs at Pima Community College carry their own prerequisites. The Dental Hygiene program, for example, requires vaccinations, attendance at a program orientation session and the completion of all core courses with a C or better. Dental Hygiene admits only 25 students in the fall semester, and applicants may have to wait up to four years before admission. Though not all programs carry the same stringent requirements as dental hygiene, students are advised to check with their academic department to find out what additional application requirements exist for their desired programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Pima Community College's tuition is assessed on a per-credit basis. Residents of Arizona pay a little more than half the tuition non-residents pay. Non-residents are billed $106 per-credit, while residents pay a little over $63. Pima recently instituted a differential tuition structure, which allows them to bill more per credit for courses that cost more to administer. Courses in differential structure 'A' cost approximately $20 more per credit and include program courses in aviation technology, massage therapy and more. Differential tuition 'B' costs approximately $25 more per credit, and is billed for program-specific courses in many health fields, such as dental hygiene, nursing and radiologic technology.

To help students pay for the cost of school, PCC administers a number of financial opportunities based on need. For male, Latino students, the Adelante program provides a performance-based award. The PCC Foundation scholarships are available to any students based on need, with applications for the next year often becoming available in the spring. Numerous other opportunities are available for those who participate in school and community activities, with each one having a separate application. It's best to speak with a financial aid representative about what best opportunities are available.

School Type Two-year, public*
Degrees Offered Less-than-one-year certificate
One-but-less-than-two-years certificate
Associate's degree*
Religious Affiliation Not applicable*
Academic Calendar Semester**
School Setting Large city*
Student Body 56,886 credit
10,095 noncredit (2010-2011)**
Student Housing None**
Schools (and/or) Programs 172 transfer and occupational programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 29 to 1 in 2011***
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) Less-than-one-year certificate : practical/vocational nursing or nursing assistant (84)
One-but-less-than-two-years certificate: liberal arts and sciences (1,543)
Associate's: liberal arts and sciences (856)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 5% percent for 'normal' two-year
12% for three-year (normal * 1.5), student beginning in fall of 2008*
Admission Rate Open admissions*
Entering Class Size Not available
First-Year Retention Rates 60% full-time
40% part-time*
Average SAT (and/or) ACT Score of Admitted Students Not available
Application Due Date Rolling, open admissions**
Decision Notification Date Not available
Tuition (2012-2013) $63.50 per credit for residents
$106 per credit for non-residents**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) Grant or scholarship aid (38%)
Pell Grants (34%)
Federal student loans (16%) in 2010-2011*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 68% in 2010-2011*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, **Pima Community College, ***IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Info

  • Address: 4905 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85709-1010
  • Phone: (520) 206-4500
  • Website: www.pima.edu

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