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First Year at Cal Poly

Newly Admitted Transfer Students

Refer to Newly admitted transfer page for more information.

New Freshmen

To facilitate your transition into the University, Cal Poly 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 effort “block scheduling.”

 

Fall Quarter


In early August, you will receive your fall quarter schedule. This will be a full-time schedule with a variety of classes. You will be able to access your schedule through the Student Center in Cal Poly Portal.

When we choose your classes for your fall term block schedule, we make every effort to consider your academic history (e.g., AP exam credit) and your preferences from the Cal Poly Admission survey responses.

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).

Sometime in mid-August, open enrollment period will take place. Open enrollment is when a student can add/drop/swap classes to/from their schedule. Please avoid making changes to your fall block schedule without consulting an advisor. We make very intentional efforts in placing you into these classes. 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.

NOTE: Any college transfer work that newly admitted freshmen might bring by July 15 will be taken into consideration for block schedules. Any work that is received after July 15 might 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.

 

For more information on fall block scheduling, Mustang Success Center Block Scheduling support page.

 

Winter and Spring Quarters


We will also enroll you in some classes during your 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:

  1. Unlike fall block schedules, we will only place you 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 A1)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Student Planning Calendar. Typically, students might have holds on their accounts for the following reasons:

For more information on winter and spring block scheduling, visit your college advising center:

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

College of Engineering

College of Liberal Arts

Orfalea College of Business

 

 

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