I already have a bachelor's degree in a non-programming field (e.g., English, Marketing,
Graphic Design, etc.) and would like to change to a career in programming. Should
I go for the Software Engineering associate degree?
Since you already have a bachelor's degree you do not need to add an associate degree.
An existing bachelor's degree plus our Software Engineering certificate is very appealing
I have been taking CIS classes for several semesters. Can I choose to graduate with
one of the CIS degrees that was available when I started taking CIS classes (before
Fall 2017), or do I have to graduate with one of the new CIS degrees (posted as of
If you were taking CIS classes prior to Fall 2017 AND you went to an OCC counselor
and declared CIS as your major prior to July 2017, then you can choose to graduate
with a degree or certificate from either the old CIS catalog (pre-Fall 2017) or new
CIS catalog (Fall 2017 onward). You only have this choice if you formally declare
as a CIS major prior to July 2017 and do not have an enrollment break of three or
more years. If you have not declared the current CIS program by July 2017, then you
must graduate under the new catalog (no matter how many CIS classes you've completed).
While we are allowing students to finish under the old requirements with the provisions
mentioned, it is also worth noting that students will only have until May 2020 to
complete all requirements of an old degree option.
I'm currently working on a degree under the older program, can I apply any of the
new courses toward it?
Under most circumstances you probably can apply the new courses to degrees and certificates.
Before taking a new course you should meet with your CIS department chairperson to
determine if the course can be used in the degree you are pursuing. If it is a good
fit, then you will need to initiate a course substitution form via one of the OCC
Where do I go for tutoring?
Please visit the OCC Academic Support Center tutoring information page for details.
If I already have a degree, do I need to take any placement tests?
An associate degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university may be
used to exempt you from an English placement test (Accuplacer or MTELP). A bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university may
be used to exempt you from both the English placement and Math placement (ALEKS) tests. Explore the Placement Testing page for further details on the exemptions of each placement test.
I work in industry in I.T., can I get any prerequisites waived?
In general, current college policy does not allow the use of prior work experience
to satisfy course requirements in CIS programs. However, if your work in industry
overlaps with a significant portion of the content of one of the required courses
in your degree or certificate, then you can ask your CIS department chair to see if
you can replace that course with another CIS course. This replacement would be done
via a course substitution form. Note that this does not reduce the number of courses
that you will need to complete, but it does allow you to take a course in a topic
beyond your field of expertise.
I do not have a bachelor degree. Can I get a software job if I complete a CIS certificate
or a CIS associate degree?
The large majority (> 80%) of employers hiring software professionals still require
a bachelor degree along with specific technical knowledge or experience. However,
OCC offers an affordable option for students who complete a CIS associate degree and
then transfer to a four-year program to complete their bachelor degree requirements.
OCC has transfer agreements with many educational institutions. A discussion with
an OCC counselor can help you understand specific transfer details. CIS certificates
are more appropriate for students who already have some college-level education but
need to add specific technical skills that employers seek.