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Degree Completion Programs


What are Degree Completion Programs?

A Degree Completion Program is typically a program designed for working adults who have had some college credit and now wish to complete a bachelor's degree but are unable to attend classes during the day due to their work schedule. Pacific Union College offers two different Degree Completion Programs at locations other than the main campus in Angwin. Classes in these programs meet one night a week from 6:00-10:00p.m., to make it more convenient for working adults.

What academic programs are available, and why pursue them?

For students with 90 quarter units of transferable credit (60 semester units) we offer two different degree completion options: A Bachelor of Science degree in Management (BSM) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE). The pool of management jobs requiring a bachelor's degree is quite large in the four-county area served by this program. A good share of positions in this area will be new or vacated within the next few years. PUC's BSM program will give you a solid base in business management knowledge and skills. Completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from an accredited college like PUC, can give you an edge for a great job in management or will strengthen your capacity to manage your own business. A Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education can prepare you to work as teachers or directors in a wide variety of Early Childhood Programs.

What do you mean by the Cohort model?

The Cohort model of education is where a group of students start and finish a sequence of classes together for the duration of the program. The learning is designed to be interactive and the members of a cohort form a cohesive learning community. They support each other with assignments, they share meals together, and they often end up supporting each other emotionally through life crises that come along. Since all the members of a cohort are adults with work experience, there is a great deal of shared learning that takes place. We believe that the cohort model is one of the most powerful and dynamic contexts in which adults can study and learn.

Where and when are these programs offered?

Degree Completion Programs in Management and Early Childhood Education are offered in Napa and Clearlake. Classes meet one night a week. Cohorts start in the fall (September - October). For the next start dates see the Degree Completion Programs home page or cohort start dates.

Do I have to sign up for each course one at a time?

No. An advantage of the cohort model is that you sign up for all the classes at one time. Once you start the first course of the program, we will automatically register you for all the remaining courses, which are scheduled in a sequence.. In our program, we also supply the textbooks for you in advance of each new course as a part of the package deal.

How often and when would I attend classes?

Students attend class just one night per week. Classes meet on a weeknight from 6:00-10:00p.m.

How long does it take to complete a program?

The length of each program is about 23 months depending on which day of the week the classes meet. For instance, classes held on Monday nights may take longer because of the Monday holidays.

How much is the tuition? Are textbooks included in the tuition cost?

The tuition for the Degree Completion Programs for the 2009-2010 fiscal year is $365 per credit unit for a total of $22,265 for the major courses in the BSM program and $21,900 for the major courses in the ECE program. This rate is about half of the on-campus tuition rates, so adult learners are getting a significant discount on a high quality degree. Textbooks are included in this price.

Can I get financial aid?

Financial aid may be in the form of scholarships, grants, or loans. Since the tuition for the non-traditional programs is already deeply discounted, PUC offers very few internal scholarships for these programs. Other sources of scholarships may be available. State and federal grant monies may be available to qualified students. Students may qualify for a Cal Grant (if their college GPA is 3.0 or higher and their total annual household income is below $65,000) and/or a PELL Grant (if their total annual household income is below $20,000). It is important to follow the application and funding cycles for this type of financial aid. Applications are usually made in January and February for financial aid that will begin in the fall of the same year. Loans can be secured at any time of the year for very reasonable rates with deferred payment until after you have completed your education. The Pacific Union College 6-digit federal school code is 001258. For financial aid applications, information and assistance, contact Pacific Union College Student Finance Office 707-965-7200 or visit

If I take out student loans, when would I have to start making payments?

Most student loans allow for deferred payment until up to six months after you have completed your program and are no longer a full time student. If you plan well, you can wait until you have graduated with your degree and have started in your new high paying job to start making your student loan payments. If you decide to go on to graduate school on a full time basis, your loans may be deferred until you finish with your graduate program.

Is PUC on the quarter or semester system?

Pacific Union College operates on a quarter system. A minimum of 192 quarter units is required for graduation with a bachelor's degree. Our Degree Completion Programs provide 60-61 quarter units of upper division credit toward the total needed for graduation. To convert semester units into quarter units, multiply the number of semester units by 1.5.

Will I find time for school and studying?

We have scheduled the classroom part of your education in the evenings from 6:00-10:00p.m. one evening per week so that it will have the least possible disruption to your work and family commitments. Returning to school will make your life busier, so you will need to schedule your time carefully. You will need to make time for reading, studying, and writing papers outside of class time. Some adult students have found that their involvement in our program has helped the whole family with scheduling time for homework and study. Starting with a strong commitment to your education objective will help see you through to the end. We have had students who have experienced everything from birth to death of close family members while in our program, and who have continued with their classes with the help of their cohort members and instructors. Others before you have done it. You can do it too.

When do I need to apply?

Non-traditional students are admitted throughout the year. Since the cohorts begin in the fall, it is best to apply as soon as possible. From the time you first submit an application and request official transcripts sent to PUC, it can be several weeks before your transcripts arrive. Once you are accepted to PUC, you can join the next available cohort. If you can supply us unofficial transcript copies while your official transcripts are on the way, we can speed up the process. The best thing is to apply as soon as you decide to join the program.