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Colleges of Contra Costa

United States


The Colleges of Contra Costa are three community colleges that enroll nearly 1,000 international students from 70 countries. The colleges are:

  • Contra Costa College
  • Diablo Valley College
  • Los Medanos College

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the colleges offer over 125 degree programs of study, along with a range of certificate programs. The colleges also have five start dates during the year. There are even programs for non-native English speakers to improve their English language proficiency.

The colleges offer transfer guarantees to 29 out of 32 public universities in California, as well as excellent transfer records to private four-year institutions in California and to public and private colleges and universities elsewhere in the United States. In addition, Diablo Valley College is the number one transfer institution to UC Berkeley among international students. 38% of international transfer students have been admitted to UC Berkeley since 2010 (1,000+ students).

With average class sizes ranging from 24 to 30 students, faculty are known for being welcoming, accessible, and dedicated to their students. Along with support services such as one-on-one counseling and robust transfer and career centers, international students can be assured that college staff are available to help them at every step of their student journey.

Annual tuition is just over USD 10,000 for 30 units per year, making the colleges one of the most affordable options for university transfer students. International students are also eligible for merit scholarships, as well as on-campus employment options that assist with their education and living costs. Accommodation includes private or shared apartments and friendly homestays. A range of housing options are located near college locations and offer secure and enjoyable living experiences.

Students have plenty to get involved with outside of their studies. There are over 133 clubs and organizations to join. There are also many exciting opportunities for outdoor activities and entertainment in the San Francisco area.

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What's new

What's new

COVID-19 update

The Colleges of Contra Costa have made arrangements and contingency plans to support students during the coronavirus pandemic. For September 2020, the colleges have introduced both fully online and hybrid courses, with the latter involving some on-campus learning. Student services have been put in place to continue to assist all international students.

Application deadlines for the 2020 academic year have been extended to July 15th, and the colleges are accepting the following and additional tests, as evidence of English language proficiency:

  • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
  • IELTS Indicator
  • iTEP
  • Duolingo

International students who are enrolled for the September 2020 semester can take classes online while abroad for the first semester or have the option of deferring enrolment until March of 2021. International students who are transferring from colleges within the U.S. can also enroll in online classes while residing in the country. International students who are currently studying must maintain their enrolment for a full course of study even if they are studying from outside of the U.S.

Students who enroll for courses online from outside of the U.S. will not be required to show evidence for financial support, however evidence will be needed in order for an I-20 to be issued and for an F-1student visa to be granted. The colleges will send a digital along with a paper copy of the I-20, if required, for the January 2021 intake.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

At the Colleges of Contra Costa, students receive a solid education in their chosen academic area, helping them to transfer to university in their current or even new majors. Faculty are hired to teach, not to do research, so students always have classes with professors and not graduate students. With five different start dates throughout the year, programs incorporate tutor sessions and academic counseling, so students can be sure their choices are right for them.

Teaching staff at each of the three colleges are dedicated to helping their students enrich their skills and competencies so they're successful learners for life. They ensure program content is up to date with industry developments, and designed around preparation for their students' next steps, whether that be to university or into a career.

Students regularly comment that teachers are supportive, friendly, willing, and accessible. Professors go the extra mile to assist their students, through innovative and interactive classes, and by being available outside of the classroom.

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Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

Transfer opportunities

The Colleges of Contra Costa strive to help students reach their educational goals, by providing programs where they can transfer to top U.S. colleges and universities. It offers transfer guarantees to California State University and University of California schools.

Over 1,000 American and international students from the colleges continue their learning and enroll at respected institutions throughout the U.S., such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara. DVC is the top international student transfer college to UC Berkeley.

The Colleges of Contra Costa have a global alumni network of over 10,000 members who have transferred to a four-year college or university and earned a bachelor's degree.

Career support

Current students and alumni members can receive career support from the Colleges of Contra Costa. Help on offer includes career advice, interview preparation tips, application help, and job search support. The career services team is dedicated to helping the student community reach their career goals.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

To study at one of the Colleges of Contra Costa, students will need to provide proof of their academic records. No SAT/ACT scores are required for admission.

English language requirements

Students whose native language is not English must provide evidence of their English language abilities. They need to meet one of the following minimum test scores, or equivalent:

  • TOEFL iBT – 61
  • IELTS Academic – 5.5 with no band lower than 4.5
  • Duolingo English Test – 90
  • CAE – 160
  • iTEP Academic – 3.5
  • PTE Academic – 45
  • GTEC CBT – 1,100
  • EIKEN – 2A
  • TOEFL iTP (*only for international students spending one/two semesters at the colleges)

There are also TOEFL/IELTS waivers available. For partner intensive English programs, students will receive a conditional letter of admission if they have the following:

  • IEC@DVC – Advanced B Level Certificate
  • ELS Language Centers – Level 109 (EAP)
  • UC Davis Intensive English Program – Level 600, with minimum GPA of 3.0 and grade B or above in writing for Continuing and Professional Education

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Student support

Student support

Dedicated international student support

The International Student Offices at each college support non-immigrant, international students throughout their journeys with the Colleges of Contra Costa. Services they provide include:

  • International admissions
  • Immigration and visa advice
  • Mandatory health insurance information
  • Orientation events
  • Clubs and international groups

College-wide support

Other student services across the colleges include career support, counseling, disability services, academic counseling, credit transfers, learning communities, and tutoring. Many extracurricular activities are in place to help students with their university transfers and career plans. Students comment that the support teams are very friendly, supportive, helpful, and knowledgeable, and will do anything to help students.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

Tuition costs

At the Colleges of Contra Costa, students can enjoy quality education with low tuition costs. Tuition fees are around USD 10,000 per year, which is an affordable pathway to earning a bachelor's degree. Included in these fees are free tutoring and one-on-one academic counseling.

Tuition at IEC@DVC is USD 3,200 for an eight-week course.


Each of the three colleges offers its own merit scholarships, and there are also external scholarship opportunities from donors, organizations, and foundations. These are in place to financially support students with their college costs.

Most merit scholarships range from USD 100 to USD 1,000. Awards have their own eligibility requirements, which students will have to meet. This could be based on criteria such as GPA, field of study, and community service participation.

International students are encouraged to check what might be available from each of the colleges.

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United States平均生活費用

At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa
At Colleges of Contra Costa


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Pleasant Hill California 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
San Pablo California 2600 Mission Bell Drive
Pittsburg California 2700 East Leland Rd
San Ramon California 1690 Watermill Road, San Ramon, CA 94582
Pittsburg California 101 Sand Creek Rd
Colleges of Contra Costa was founded by a public vote in December 1948 and first opened its doors in 1949. It is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. Colleges of Contra Costa serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District Office is located in historic downtown Martinez.

Since 1949, Contra Costa College (CCC) has provided exemplary educational services to hundreds of thousands of residents from the greater West County area. The college has superior faculty and staff members and a learning environment that maximizes the potential of students. Technology is available throughout the institution and connects students to the world to ensure a relevant exchange of ideas. The college is proud of its diverse student body and commitment to individual student success. Excellent programs such as the Center for Science Excellence, The Advocate newspaper, the green Automotive Services program, the Nursing program, and the Culinary Arts program are known throughout the state and the nation. A model of excellence, CCC prides itself on being one of the finest community colleges in the country.

Diablo Valley College (DVC) has distinguished itself as one of the nation's most successful community colleges by offering incomparable transfer opportunities and exceptional career-technical programs and degrees to a diverse student body, while responding to an evolving need for robust adult basic skills and ESL programs. At both the Pleasant Hill and San Ramon locations, local and international students engage with high-quality instruction and support services designed for student learning and success. Faculty from DVC's various career-technical programs are in continuous dialog with its surrounding community to keep pace with emerging technologies and new skill requirements that students need to be successful in any job market. The college's unparalleled transfer programs prepare students in large numbers to be successful in four-year colleges and universities all over the state and the country. DVC continuously ranks among the top transfer pathways to UC Berkeley.

Los Medanos College (LMC) provides excellent transfer and innovative career-technical opportunities in East Contra Costa County. A focus on student learning and success helps students build their abilities and competencies as lifelong learners, and provides critical educational preparation to help them to succeed in their career endeavors. Special opportunities include the only honors program certified as part of the UCLA Transfer Alliance, and learning communities supported by faculty and staff. With programs like Engineering, Nursing, Communication Studies, Child Development, Instrumentation Technology, Mathematics, and Process Technology, students receive the resources they need to excel in today's competitive workforce and at four-year colleges. LMC's main campus is located in Pittsburg, with a center in Brentwood.
https://images1.content-gbl.com/commimg/myhotcourses/institution/profile/myhc_314489_320px.jpg Colleges of Contra Costa https://www.idp.com/taiwan/universities/colleges-of-contra-costa/iid-us-01290/
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