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Your First Year at Cal Poly

Newly Admitted Transfer Students

Newly admitted transfer students will not receive a schedule of classes from the Office of the Registrar. Please refer to the Newly Admitted Transfer Students page for information regarding transfer credit and how to enroll in courses.

The information below applies only to newly admitted first-year students.

Newly Admitted First-Year Students

What is a Block Schedule?

Cal Poly's Office of the Registrar will enroll first-time first-year students in a full-time schedule in fall quarter and a partial schedule in the winter and spring quarters.

Your schedule is created with the following in mind:

  • Your academic history (e.g., AP exam credit, transfer credit)
    • Your official scores and official transcripts need to be received by July 15. Any work received after this deadline may not be considered for your block schedule.
  • Degree Flowchart and Curriculum Sheet of your major (in collaboration with your major)
  • Extracurricular obligations & future academic goals
  • General Education (GE) area preferences from the New Student Survey (was sent to you after your admission)

Block Schedule Information

Step 1: Find your block schedule

Once your block schedule is finalized, log into your My Cal Poly Portal. Click on your "Student Center" under the "My Apps" section:

Student Center under My Apps

In your Student Center, click on "My Schedule" to view the courses you are enrolled in. Be sure to select the correct term from the drop-down menu.

My Schedule option highlighted in menu

Step 2: Determine how your classes will count towards your degree

The Degree Progress Report (DPR) will show how your units count toward your degree (Directions on the degree progress report). Use the DPR to check off the courses you have completed (green check mark) on both your curriculum sheet and your flowchart.

Flowchart from Academic tab

Pick the Academics tab

Pick Curriculum sheet



You can also see information via the Curriculum and Flowcharts website.

Open your curriculum sheet and flowchart. If possible, print both.

  • On your curriculum sheet, circle the classes that you see on your block schedule. Reference your DPR (directions above) or find the specific course on your curriculum sheet from and search for the course under, “Courses A-Z.”
  • It is okay if your fall block schedule does not perfectly match the first quarter of your flowchart. There are limited seats in some classes, and the block scheduling team chooses available classes from your first year on the flowchart to ensure you have a full-time schedule in the fall.

Step 3: Understand timeline of dates and deadlines

Use the Enrollment Appointments and Student Planning Calendar found on the Office of the Registrar website to find out more about registration timelines.

Key Dates and Deadlines in the Student Planning Calendar

  • Block Schedules finalized
  • Incoming first-year student registration
    (Find student enrollment appointment calendar here)
  • Second round registration for all Cal Poly students
  • Open Enrollment for all Cal Poly students (begin and end dates)
  • First day of classes
  • Last day to enroll without a permission number
  • Last day to enroll with a permission number
  • Add/Drop Deadline 

Step 4: Contact an advisor with your questions

If you have further questions regarding your block schedule, please contact the Mustang Success Center.

Fall Quarter Block Schedule Information

Full-time schedule

During your fall quarter, you will be enrolled in 12-18 units decided by your Major Department and the Office of the Registrar. This will make you a full-time student enrolled in a full-time course load of degree-applicable classes (major, support, and GE).

Math placement

Cal Poly data shows students are coming to Cal Poly with the necessary knowledge to be successful in the course they are placed in based off of their Advanced Placement/Transfer Credit. Read more about selecting your math course on the Math Department Website.

Course descriptions on what content is covered in MATH courses can be found at Search under "Courses A-Z" and by MATH. Read more about selecting your math course on the Math Department Website.

If you are still wary of the MATH course you are placed in, contact the Mustang Success Center to discuss how it will affect your degree progress. Student can make changes to their class schedule the first 8 days of instruction. This means you should wait to attend the class the first week and then make a better assessment on taking the course.

Medical school or another health profession information

If you indicated you are considering a health profession graduate program in the New Student Survey, your plans were taken into account when your block schedule was created. Consider visiting the pre-health advising page.

Flowchart vs schedule you received

Some students may be alarmed if the classes they received for fall quarter do not match their flowchart. For most majors, the flowchart is just one way students can complete their degree, so if you are not enrolled in any or all of the classes, please read all the way through before feeling alarmed.

Classes are chosen based on many factors, including AP/IB credit, transfer credit, course availability, GE area preference (from survey), extra-curricular obligations, and future academic goals.

The flowchart is a tool for students to see how they can complete their degree requirements. It takes into considerations the prerequisites of courses and provides an order in which courses can be taken. The prerequisites can be found in green underneath each course.

When looking at your flowchart, make sure you are enrolled in the necessary prerequisites to progress in your major courses. If you are not enrolled for a prerequisite course for a major course that you will be taking next quarter (winter quarter), then you can contact the Mustang Success Center to see if this is of concern. Otherwise, you were block enrolled into degree applicable classes and can enroll for courses that are listed during the first year later in your Cal Poly career.

Changing your block schedule

Your academic department carefully selected the courses in your block schedule. All of the courses are recommended to be taken in your first quarter of your first year.

Most students do not need to make changes to their block schedule. We discourage first-year students from adjusting their schedules unless they need to add additional units of a different class based on credit not yet reflected in their academic record.

Approved reasons to make a change to your block schedule:

  1. You are not enrolled in enough units
  2. Your department recommends you add an additional course
  3. You were placed in a class that you already received credit for (AP/IB or community college credit).

Reasons NOT to make a change to your block schedule

  1. You don't like the time
  2. You don't want to take that many units
  3. You don't want to be in your major

We understand that there can be a variety of personal reasons a student may desire to change their schedule. If you want to discuss the possibility of making changes to your block schedule, please do the following:

  1. Check your Student Center for your registration appointment. Each new student will have a scheduled time when they can begin making changes to their schedule.
  2. Talk to an advisor at the Mustang Success Center
  3. Review information on how the registration system works

Winter and Spring Quarter Block Schedule

Partial block schedule

During the winter and spring quarters of your first year at Cal Poly, you will blocked into 0-16 units based on your current academic progress and critical first-year classes that are required.

The block schedule for winter and spring will only include GE Area A, Area F, and critical first year major/support classes.

Many students will not receive a full block schedule (a full schedule is at least 12 units) and will be required to supplement their schedule to be full time.

Changing your block schedule

Adding to your block schedule

Please refer to your degree flowchart to figure out which additional classes to add to your schedule for winter/spring quarters.

Before choosing your classes for winter and spring quarters, you are encouraged to view your Degree Progress Report to verify which degree requirements you have completed and which ones are still remaining.

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.

Review information on how the registration system works.
Plan on attending a Class Registration Workshop in a residence hall near you!

Approved reasons to make a change to your block schedule

  1. You are not enrolled in enough units
  2. You were placed in a class that you already received credit for

Reasons NOT to make a change to your block schedule

  1. You don't like the time
  2. You don't want to take that many units
  3. You don't want to be in your major

Did not receive a block schedule

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 in which you wish to enroll. You can also reach out to an advisor to help you with this process.

If you have a hold on your account, you will not receive a block schedule. You are responsible for clearing 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:

Medical school or another health profession

Plan to meet with a Pre-Health peer advisor during your first quarter at Cal Poly to plan the appropriate future course prerequisites for your winter and spring quarters. If you want look at what classes you might take in future quarters for certain careers, check out the Pre-Health advising website. More questions can be emailed to:

Topics to Consider with Block Scheduling

Advanced Placement (AP) | International Baccalaureate (IB) Scores


  1. Submit your Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores by July 15 to have the transfer credit considered for your fall block schedule. Scores can still be submitted after July 15 for credit; however, they may not be taken into account in your fall block schedule.
    • Official AP scores must be requested from College Board, using the Cal Poly AP school code of 4038. 
    • IB transcripts may be requested from IB North America by email:, or by phone: (212) 696-4464.
  2. Confirm that your exam scores were received in your Poly Profile
    • Go to your My Cal Poly Portal ( and click the “Academics” tab.
    • Click on Poly Profile under the “General Degree Resources” box
    • Once you have reached your Poly Profile, click on Test Credit Detail on the right.
  3. Learn what you got credit for. Use your Degree Progress Report (DPR) to review how your transfer credit is applied to your course requirements (indicated by the green arrow symbol)

Supportive videos/websites

Community College | Other University Credit 


  1. Submit your college or dual enrollment transcripts by July 15 to have transfer credit considered for fall schedule. Transcripts can be submitted after July 15 for credit; however, they may not be taken into account on your fall block schedule. All college credit needs to be sent from the college where the class was hosted (including dual enrollment credit).
  2. Confirm that your transcripts were received and processed on your Poly Profile.
    1. Go to Cal Poly Portal ( and click the "Academics" tab
    2. Click on Poly Profile under "General Degree Resources" box.
    3. Once you have reached your Poly Profile, click on "Higer Ed Credits Detail" on the right side.
  3. Learn what you got credit for by checking your Degree Progress Report (DPR) to review how your transfer credit is applied to your course requirements (indicated by green arrow symbol"

Supportive videos/documents

Change of major

All students are required to complete one quarter at Cal Poly before their can start the process to change majors. Visit the change of major website to understand how the process works.

There might be some classes you can take that will double count for your current major and the prospective major you would like to complete. Contact the Mustang Success Center to discuss the best plan for course selection.

Early morning or late evening class

Some students prefer taking classes during the middle of the day, but Cal Poly offers classes from 7 am until 10 pm to accommodate approximately 20,000+ students. We recommend that you do not change your schedule because you do not like the time the class is offered. Please note that if you drop a class, there is no guarantee you can get back into that class. We recommend you contact your advisor to discuss your scenario before dropping a class.

Additionally, safety is a high priority at Cal Poly. Resources are available for evening transportation around campus. Please see these resources offered through the Transportation & Parking Services Safety Programs.

Taking time off

If you need to be away for a term for which you have been block scheduled, you will need to drop those courses from your Enrollment tab in your Student Center in order to avoid paying fees or being assigned a grade of "F"/"WU".

Class cancellation

While classes getting cancelled is a rare occurrence, it can happen. If you experience a class cancellation, we encourage you to first check your Cal Poly email for any communication from the original professor or department hosting the class.

Next, look for an alternative section or class in which to enroll. Connect with your academic advising office if you have questions or need assistance.

Understand How Registration Works at Cal Poly

Cal Poly has a variety of important registration tools. Please take the time to review the different registration tools and resources to understand how they can assist you throughout your time at Cal Poly. Mustang Success Center also has Schedule Builder Tutorials to show you how to use this tool. 

How to swap a class?

The SWAP feature can be a great option when appropriate changes need to be made to a schedule. The SWAP feature allows you to choose the class you wish to swap out of (drop) and enter the class number you wish to swap into. It simultaneously drops you from your old class and adds your desired class if there is a spot in the new class. Learn more about how the swap feature works

How to add a class?

To add a class, you will need to use Schedule Builder.

How to drop a class?

When dropping a class, there are some things to consider.

  • Type of course: Understand how this class counts towards your degree. If it is a major or support course, you need to consult your department prior to dropping. 
  • Total number of units enrolled in for the quarter: Students must maintain full-time status to live in on-campus housing (unless can provide documentation for accommodations). Many students need to be full-time status for insurance reasons, financial aid, athletics, club participation, etc.
  • Cost: California residents pay the same amount of money if you take 12 units or 22 units. Out of state residents have additional fees per unit. Please review the different fees and payments information
  • The add/drop deadline is the first 8 days of classes for a term. If you are unsure about your course load, we recommend that you plan to attend all your classes the first week. After attending, if you want to drop a class or make changes, you can do so before the add/drop deadline for the quarter.
  • Course offerings: Some classes are only offered certain quarters out of the year. If you drop such a course, you will not be able to take it until the next time it is offered, which could delay your progress to degree completion. Please consult your department if you have questions about your major classes. You can also consult the Term Typically Offered webpage.

Learn more information about how to drop a class

We encourage you to reach out to the Mustang Success Center to discuss the best options for your fall block schedule prior to dropping any courses.

Resource Where to Find More Information
Admissions Accepted First Year Students
Advising- First Year Students Mustang Success Center
AP/IB & Transfer Credit AP/IB credit & transfer credit website
Dates and Deadlines Office of the Registrar's Student Planning Calendar
Degree Planner Degree Planner website
Fees & Payments Student Accounts website

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