Your First Year at Cal Poly
Newly Admitted Transfer Students
Newly admitted transfer students will not receive a full schedule of classes from the Office of the Registrar their first fall quarter at Cal Poly. Refer to Newly admitted transfer page for information regarding transfer credit and how to enroll in courses.
Newly Admitted First-Year Students
My Class Schedule (Block Scheduling)
To facilitate your transition to Cal Poly, the Office of the Registrar in partnership with your major will enroll you into a full schedule of classes for your first fall quarter and a partial schedule for the following winter and spring quarters. We call this process “block scheduling”. Block scheduling only occurs during your freshman year.
Is there anything I can do to help ensure that my block schedule reflects my interests and preferences?
You can assist the Office of the Registrar to best prepare your fall block schedule for you by completing the Cal Poly Admission Survey. This survey is emailed to new students who have accepted their offer of admission. Students should receive the survey in early May and will be given the deadline of when it needs to be completed. The survey includes questions related to incoming transfer credit, test scores, General Education preferences, graduate level interests, extra-curricular interests, and interest in programs offered at Cal Poly.
For more detailed information on how the Office of the Registrar uses the answers from the survey to help build schedules for students, please watch the New Student Survey video.
If you have any questions regarding the survey, you can reach out to Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will I get my Fall class schedule?
Your finalized fall 2021 block schedule will be made available the morning of August 11, 2021. Prior to that time, you may see classes reflected in your block schedule, but please note that updates are ongoing until the morning of August 11, 2021.
To locate your block schedule, access your Cal Poly Portal and click the “Student Center” link on the left-hand side of the screen. You will see your schedule reflected in your Student Center, but you can also access your schedule via Schedule Builder. You have been officially enrolled in the courses you see reflected in your block schedule.
Please avoid making changes to your fall block schedule without consulting an Advisor. The Office of the Registrar makes very intentional efforts in placing you into classes that align with the Degree Flowchart and Curriculum Sheet of your major. If you really do believe that you have to make changes to your schedule, please talk to your Academic Advisor or contact the Mustang Success Center first. You will be able to change your schedule during your enrollment appointment.
NOTE: Any college transfer work that newly admitted first-year students might bring by July 15 will be taken into consideration for block schedules. Any work that is received after July 15 may take up to one to two quarters to evaluate after the official transcript has been received. Official transcripts that includes college credit must be sent to Cal Poly directly from the institution that awarded the credit; we cannot award credit for college courses listed on a high school transcript.
How does Cal Poly choose my classes?
When the Office of the Registrar chooses your classes for the fall term, we consult the Degree Flowchart and Curriculum Sheet of your major, we consider your academic history (e.g., AP exam credit, transfer work), and we review your preferences from the Cal Poly Admission survey, which was sent to you after your admission.
Some of the classes you will see in your fall schedule are “major” classes (classes that are required for your major). Some are “support” classes (classes that are meant to support the material that you learn for your major; for instance, mathematics classes are considered “support” classes for engineering majors). Finally, some are “general education” (GE) classes (see General Education).
NOTE: Any college transfer work that newly admitted first-year students might bring by July 15 will be taken into consideration for block schedules. Any work that is received after July 15 may take up to one to two quarters to evaluate after the official transcript has been received. Official transcripts that include college credit must be sent to Cal Poly directly from the institution that awarded the credit; we cannot award credit for college courses listed on a high school transcript.
For more information on the classes chosen for you, visit the Mustang Success Center Block Scheduling support page.
How do I make changes to my class schedule?
As of August 11, you can view your block schedule in your Student Center or in Schedule Builder. However, you will not have the opportunity to make changes to your schedule until your enrollment appointment (August 17 - 19). Your specific enrollment appointment (aka, your assigned date/time to make changes to your schedule) can be found in your Student Center.
Please avoid making changes to your fall block schedule without consulting an Advisor. The Office of the Registrar makes very intentional efforts in placing you into classes that align with the Degree Flowchart and Curriculum Sheet of your major. If you really do believe that you have to make changes to your schedule, please talk to your Academic Advisor or contact the Mustang Success Center first.
What are the different ways that classes are being offered at Cal Poly?
As of fall 2021, there are six different modalities of instruction being offered at Cal Poly:
- Sync/Async Hybrid
- In Person
- In Person/Sync Hybrid
- In Person/Async Hybrid
For definitions of modalities and instructions on how to search for classes by modality of instruction in Schedule Builder, please visit the Fall 2021 Term Information page or the Schedule Builder page.
I am not planning on coming to campus in fall 2021, but I have been block scheduled into an in-person class. What do I do?
If you have been scheduled in an in-person class and require a virtual section instead, you can work with the Mustang Success Center to see if there is an alternative virtual class that you can enroll in. It is possible that there are no alternative virtual offerings for the specific class that you need, or the available virtual sections are full. In that case, you will need to directly contact the department offering the course and ask if they can work with you to find a solution that fits your needs.
Again, it is extremely important that you speak with an Advisor before making any changes to your block schedule.
Will I be blocked into classes for Winter and Spring quarters?
The Office of the Registrar will partner with your major to also enroll you in some classes during the winter and spring quarters of your freshman year. You will see which courses you are enrolled in a few days before the enrollment appointments begin for these quarters (see Calendars and Deadlines for exact dates). Here is how winter and spring block scheduling differs from fall block scheduling:
- What's the difference between Fall and Winter/Spring block schedules?
Unlike fall block schedules, you will only be placed into critical major and/or support classes for winter and spring quarters. In other words, your winter and spring block schedules:
- Most likely will not be full-time schedules;
- Will not include any general education (GE) classes (with the exception of GE Area A)
- Do I have to do anything when I receive my Winter/Spring block schedule?
Ideally, each student should enroll in a full-time schedule (at least 12 units) to make adequate degree progress. So, if you receive a less than full-time block schedule, you are expected to supplement your schedule with additional classes according to your Degree Flowchart. You may add classes or make changes to your block schedule during your enrollment appointment. However, you should keep in mind that if you drop a class that we have placed you in, you may not be able to add it back later.
- What do I do if I want to add classes to my Winter or Spring schedules?
Please refer to your Degree Flowchart to figure out which additional classes to add to your schedule for winter/spring quarters. Note: If you have credit for or have taken all of the recommended classes in your first year before the year ends, you are encouraged to choose from classes recommended for your second year. Before you choose your classes for your winter and spring terms, as well as any other future terms from here on, you are also highly encouraged to view your Degree Progress Report to verify which degree requirements you have completed and which ones are still remaining.
- What if I'm planning to change my major?
Just like your fall block schedule, your winter and spring schedules will reflect classes that pertain to your declared major. If you are planning to change your major or have started the change of major process, you must meet with an Advisor either in your college advising center or in the Mustang Success Center before you attempt to make changes to your block schedule.
- I do not see a block schedule for Winter or Spring in my Student Center. What do I do?
If you do not see a block schedule for winter and/or spring quarters in your Student Center, this most likely means that your major has not prescribed any specific classes for you for winter/spring quarters. In this case, please use your Degree Flowchart and your Degree Progress Report to pick the classes you wish to enroll. You can also reach out to an Advisor to help you with this process.
- What happens if I have a hold on my account?
You will NOT receive a winter and/or spring block schedule if you have a hold on your account. You are responsible to clear the hold(s) on your account by the deadline listed in the Planning Calendar. Typically, students might have holds on their accounts for the following reasons:
For more information on winter and spring block scheduling, speak with your college advising center:
How can I find more information about Degree Planner?
What is Degree Planner?
Degree Planner is a degree planning tool which provides you with a personalized, pre-populated path to graduation. Your path contains a sequence of courses that you are encouraged to regularly adjust to accurately reflect your future plans.
Is it a required tool?
Even though Degree Planner compliance enforcement (aka, required use by all undergraduate degree-seeking students) has been suspended, departments still access this data for course planning purposes. They try to accommodate your academic plans so you are able to enroll in the classes you need to graduate on time.
Maintaining an accurate plan improves your odds of getting your desired courses.
Where can I find my Degree Planner?
Degree Planner is located in the Student Center. In your My Cal Poly Portal, your Student Center will appear on the left-hand side under "My Apps." Both Degree Planner and Schedule Builder are located in the Student Center.
When should I log into my Degree Planner?
To ensure that your planned courses are considered in course demand data for the upcoming terms, log into your plan regularly and keep it updated. The Office of the Registrar posts login window deadlines which fall on the 8th business day of each term. Deadlines correspond with departmental planning dates.
Login window deadlines can be found on the Planning Calendar for each term.
My Degree Planner displays courses that are not the courses recommended by my Advisor or my Department. What should I do?
Because coursework is still being posted for fall term, you may see discrepancies between PLANNED courses in Degree Planner and what you actually intend to take. You should work with an Academic Advisor in the Mustang Success Center for guidance on recommended coursework for your first term at Cal Poly. Once you log in and begin to use Degree Planner to plan future terms, you will see a higher level of accuracy in interaction between Degree Planner and Schedule Builder.
How do I use Degree Planner?
I have questions about how to use Schedule Builder. Is there anyone I can speak with?
Depending on your question, you will need to speak with a representative of the Office of the Registrar or an Advisor in the Mustang Success Center.
The Office of the Registrar will be able to assist you with Schedule Builder functionality and registration questions, and the Mustang Success Center will be able to assist you with curriculum-related questions. Contact information can be found on the bottom of the Schedule Builder webpage.
Again, it is extremely important that you speak with an Advisor before making any changes to your block schedule.
I have a block scheduling question that I don't see here. Where can I get more information?
For more detailed block schedule information, please visit the Mustang Success Center block scheduling page.
AP/IB Scores and Transfer Credit
How can I confirm Cal Poly received my AP/IB scores?
If we received your scores, you will see them posted on your Poly Profile under “Test Credits” after they have been processed.
What requirements did my AP/IB scores satisfy at Cal Poly?
To see the breakdown of which Cal Poly requirements were met by your by your AP/IB scores, click on “Test Credits Detail" on the upper right-hand side of your Poly Profile.
The right-hand column titled “Exam” shows the scores you received credit for. The left-hand column titled “Cal Poly” shows the requirement(s) that your scores have satisfied.
For more information on how test credit transfers to Cal Pol, visit the Mustang Success Center Block Scheduling support page.
Has my transfer work been received and processed by Cal Poly?
All transfer course transcripts and test scores received by Cal Poly by end of day on July 15, 2021 will be reflected in your Degree Progress Report (DPR). If you submitted transcripts AFTER the July 15 deadline, that credit will NOT yet appear in your Degree Progress Report.
However, if you submitted test scores AFTER the July 15 deadline, that credit may appear in your Degree Progress Report. You should work with an Academic Advisor in the Mustang Success Center to review your fall 2021 block schedule in anticipation of the final processing of your transcripts/test scores; you may need to make changes to your schedule to prevent duplication of credit.
Please use the following links as additional resources during your transition to Cal Poly: