The Best of Locations
Palomar College is one of 108 colleges in the California Community Colleges system and eight in San Diego County. Located in San Marcos, California, our 200-acre main campus is nestled at the foot of the region’s rolling coastal hills and valleys in a lovely area once named Los Vallecitos de San Marcos (Little Valleys of St. Mark) by Spaniard settlers in 1797. San Marcos is perfectly situated just 30 miles north of San Diego, 90 miles south of Los Angeles, 12 miles east of Southern California’s serene beaches, and a two-hour drive from the Laguna Mountains and the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. In addition to our main campus in San Marcos, we operate an educational center in Escondido, and seven smaller centers throughout north San Diego County, in Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, Fallbrook, Ramona, Pauma Valley, Borrego Springs, and Camp Pendleton. (Click here for detailed maps and driving directions.)
The Students We Serve
Palomar College serves more than 30,000 full-time and part-time students each fall and spring semester, while about 18,000 students attend during summer semester. About 25 percent of our students are enrolled full-time, while about 60 percent are enrolled part-time in credit classes, and 15 percent are enrolled in non-credit classes. About half of our students are aged 18 through 24, while the other half are 24 through 60+. A majority of Palomar students are employed. Our student population is nicely diverse in its ethnicity, with about one-fourth Hispanic, about 6 percent Asian, about 4 percent African-American, and smaller populations of Filipino and Native American. Another 10 percent of our students have not indicated their ethnicity. We typically serve about 300 international students from 49 different countries each semester as well. These students must achieve a minimum score of 470 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language and carry an F-1 student visa.
Our Academic Program Offerings
Palomar College offers more than 300 Associates Degree and certificate programs, as well as not-for-credit community development and personal enrichment classes for life-long learning. We have transfer agreements with the California State University and University of California systems, and our high-level coursework in transferable classes fully prepares our students for success at four-year colleges and universities. In fact, Palomar students who transfer perform better in their first year at a four-year college than students from other community colleges. Our five academic divisions are: Arts, Media, Business and Computer Systems; Career, Technical and Extended Education; Languages and Literature; Mathematics and The Natural and Health Sciences; and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Instructional departments are:
Administration of Justice
Culture and Community
Palomar College serves as a cultural hub of north San Diego County. Our 400-seat Howard Brubeck Theatre is the scene of highly-regarded dramatic, dance, and musical productions throughout the year. The Boehm Art Gallery has gained a national reputation as a fine contemporary visual art space and offers free art exhibitions by internationally renowned artists as well as locals. Palomar College hosts the only planetarium in north San Diego County and offers weekly planetarium shows for the community. Our five-acre arboretum is home to hundreds of native plant species enjoyed by staff, students and community members. And for the sports fan, Palomar offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic teams, which consistently win regional, state, and national recognition for excellence.
The California Community College system offers the most affordable education among community colleges through the United States. California residents pay an enrollment fee of only $46 per credit. Out-of-state residents pay the enrollment fee plus tuition fees of $176 per credit. Financial Aid from the federal and state governments, Palomar College and private sources is available to assist students with the costs of attending college. Aid comes in the form of grants, student loans and work-study opportunities. We encourage all students to apply for financial aid, regardless of ability to pay.
Palomar College has nearly two dozen athletic teams in about one dozen sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, swimming, water polo, and cross country. The College also competes against other colleges in football, baseball, softball, golf, and wrestling. Admission is free to all home athletic events held during the day, and students can attend evening competitions free with their Palomar Identification Cards. Palomar’s athletic teams consistently win regional, state, and national recognition for excellence.