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Admission Requirements

Anyone age 18 or older can apply to El Camino College. If you’re under 18, you qualify for admission if you’ve graduated from high school or passed the California High School Certificate of Proficiency Test.

Read on to learn about admission requirements for high school or younger students, plus residency requirements that help determine your college costs.

How to Apply

You can apply online or submit your application at the admissions office located in the Student Services Center. Apply as soon as possible—we assign course-registration appointments on a first come, first served basis.

Office hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays. Find visitor parking off the Manhattan Beach Blvd. entrance to campus. Bring your social security number when applying in person.

See a step-by-step guide to becoming an El Camino student.

High School or Younger Students

Students in grades Kindergarten through 12 (K-12) can enroll at El Camino as special part-time or special full-time students, or through Dual Enrollment.

High school students—especially in grades 11 and 12—often use these options to earn college credits early or complete courses that satisfy both high school and college requirements at the same time (as permitted under California Administrative Code Section 1630 Title 5).

If you’re a high school student applying to El Camino, first request an enrollment approval form from your high school, then apply to the college. You’ll need to submit a separate approval form for every semester or summer session in which you enroll.

El Camino waives enrollment fees for K-12 special students and Dual Enrollment students who qualify as California residents (pursuant to Education Code Section 72252). Residents of other states and international students pay out-of-state tuition.

Residency Requirements

Whether you’re a California resident determines how much you’ll pay for your El Camino education. You qualify as a California resident if you’ve lived in the state for more than a year.

El Camino will determine your residence based on information you provide when applying for admission. Physical presence and demonstrated intent to make California a permanent home generally establish your residency.

See more information about residency.


To attend El Camino as a California resident you must have been a legal California resident for more than one year prior to the first day of the semester or term in which you’re enrolling (see the California Education Code)

You qualify as an El Camino Community College District resident if you’re age 18 or older and live in the district. You can enroll in any course for which you’re qualified.

If you’re under 18, you qualify as a district resident if you have a parent whose legal address is within the district.

El Camino’s admissions office will notify all students classified as non-residents and consider exceptions that may affect residency determination. Exceptions include evidence that a student is in active U.S. military service or a dependent of a military service member.

If you’re classified as a nonresident and can present evidence of an exception, contact the admissions office.

You can appeal a final decision on residency clarification within 30 days of notification (as established in California Administrative Code Title 5).


Application & Enrollment

Find a step-by-step guide to applying for admission and financial aid, orientation and academic counseling, and enrolling for your first classes.


Get more information about becoming a California resident and appealing a residency determination.