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Academic Probation Support

Many students face academic difficulty at some point in their college careers—you are not alone! Being placed on academic probation status or academic disqualification status can feel overwhelming or upsetting. Academic Advisors are here to support you and assist you in devising strategies to get back on track and become a Cal Poly graduate.

Step 1: Watch the video to learn about the Undergraduate Academic Probation and Disqualification policy (read the complete policy).

Step 2: Identify your current situation and read corresponding information below

Academic Progress Level GPA Limits

Undergraduate students will be placed on academic disqualification status if their Cal Poly cumulative GPA (CPSLO GPA) or their higher education GPA (Higher Ed GPA) falls below the following academic progress level GPA limits based on the corresponding academic progress levels (degree applicable work completed).

Academic progress levels and GPA limits
Academic Progress Levels Academic Progress Level GPA Limits
Academic Progress Level IV (75.1%-100%) 1.950 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
Academic Progress Level III (45.1%-75%) 1.850 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
Academic Progress Level II (20.1%-45%) 1.700 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
Academic Progress Level I (0%-20%) 1.500 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA

New Student Success Clause: To allow for an adjustment period, first-time freshmen and new transfer students will not be placed on academic disqualification status until the end of the first academic year even if their GPA falls below the designated academic progress level GPA limits.

5-year programs: Although the academic progress levels for the 5-year programs at Cal Poly differs from those of the 4-year programs, for the purposes of the academic disqualification policy, students in the 5-year programs are held to the same corresponding GPA levels as described above.


I may be on Academic Probation Status: How will I know?

When can I see my grades?

Grades are due the Tuesday after finals week at 4 pm. Students can access grades via the Student Center; click on the drop down menu; click on “Grades.”

Dates are subject to change if campus is closed for holiday breaks. Check all final dates at the Registrar website.

When will my GPA be calculated?

Official GPAs are typically available the Friday after finals week (Term, Higher Ed and CP Cumulative GPAs). If students repeat courses during the term, these calculations will also happen on this date.

Dates are subject to change if campus is closed for holiday breaks. Check all final dates at the Registrar website.

When will I know if I am on academic probation status?

  • Students will receive email notification from the Office of the Registrar, informing them of their academic status after official grades and GPAs are calculated.
  • The email will be sent to the student’s official Cal Poly email address. The email will contain next steps that the student will need to take and/or who they will be hearing from next regarding their academic status.
  • Students on academic disqualification status will receive information on how to appeal.

What if there is a mistake with a grade?

  • Grade discrepancies need to be addressed with your professor; contact your professor as soon as you notice the discrepancy. Faculty have access to on-line grade changes the Monday after grades are posted and can make changes through the 7th week of the following term. More information about grade changes.
  • The Office of Student Ombuds Services is a safe space for Cal Poly students to seek assistance with resolving any university related concern, conflict, or complaint. The Ombuds staff advocate for fair processes and cooperative resolutions.


I’m on Academic Probation Status. What's next?

Reflection: What contributed to your situation?

Every student is different; the reasons you may find yourself on academic probation status are specific to you. Academic Advisors encourage you to reflect on what led to you being on academic probation status, to formulate a plan for academic success in future quarters, and to utilize resources available to help you reach your goals. You should know that you are not alone in experiencing these challenges. There are many reasons students encounter academic challenges. These challenges can include personal, financial, health, family, time management or study skills.

Course Schedule

Balancing your courses appropriately can contribute to academic success. Academic Advisors can talk with you about:

  • How many units to take each quarter (there's not one right answer!)
  • Selecting a variety of courses each quarter (balance course selection with major, support and general education)
  • Identifying pre-requisites to ensure you enroll in appropriate courses
  • Staying on-track with your major, and creating a realistic plan to graduate on time

Over Commitment

College offers many opportunities and activities that enrich your academic experience. Additionally you may have a job, family responsibilities, and off-campus commitments.

Success doesn't mean sacrificing everything except studying; it’s about creating a realistic schedule based on your highest priorities and sticking to it.

What does 25-35 hours of studying per week actually look like?

  • Here's an example of a weekly student schedule. This student has 16 units of classes, 10 hours of work, clubs/activities, and family commitments, and most importantly 32 study hours (2 hours x 16 units).
  • Notice how the study time is spread throughout the day and week in small sections. This is how your brain learns best! Staying on campus between classes can be extremely helpful and helps you maximize your study time.

Now that you've seen an example, create your own daily, weekly and/or monthly schedule: Time Management Schedules

Personal Circumstance

Sometimes things happen that are outside your control. These circumstances may have affected your academic performance in small or very significant ways. A strong support system can greatly impact your academic success and create an important sense of community.

There are many on and off campus individuals who care about you and who can assist, guide, and motivate you towards achieving your goals. A support system may include family, friends, staff, faculty and academic advisors.

Here are a few resources on campus for students to utilize:


Getting back on track

First Year Student

Students who are on academic probation status for the first time after Fall or Winter quarter of their first year must complete the First Year Success Program (FSP). The goal of FSP is to motivate and encourage students and give them practical strategies to move forward. More information about FSP.

First Year Transfer Student

Students who are on academic probation status for the first time after Fall or Winter quarter of their first year must complete the Transfer Success Program (TSP). The goal of TSP is to provide students the opportunity to connect with peers, staff, and faculty. In addition, students will learn about valuable resources and develop an individualized action plan to support their pursuit of continued success.

2nd Year and Beyond

If you are not a First Year or Transfer student, you will be contacted by your College Advising Center about your next steps. In the meantime, please use the resources on this website and visit the Mustang Success Center if you have immediate questions.

Grade Forgiveness

Cal Poly’s course repeat policy can help you improve your GPA through “grade forgiveness.”

You can repeat a maximum of 16 units at Cal Poly for grade forgiveness for classes in which you have earned a C- or lower. There is no time limit on when you can do this, but Academic Advisors recommend repeating a course as soon as possible while the content is fresh in your mind. You must repeat the same course, and it must be taken at Cal Poly as "graded" for you to be eligible for grade forgiveness; you can choose a different instructor. Once you repeat the course, your original grade is "forgiven."  This does not mean your original grade disappears from your transcript; rather, it means your original grade will not be calculated into your GPA. Grade forgiveness is the single most effective way to boost your GPA!

If you are concerned about how to make room in your schedule to do this, speak with an Academic Advisor. Contact your College Advising Center or the Mustang Success Center.

GPA Calculator

Step 1:

  • Log on to your Cal Poly Portal
  • To access your GPA Calculator, select the Academics tab, then click on the Poly Profile link.

Step 2:

  • Once you have successfully logged into your Poly Profile, scroll down until you see this category of information:

  • GPA Calculator
  • Click on the GPA Calculator link. This will automatically populate your current Cal Poly Cumulative GPA (CPSLO GPA).

Step 3:

  • Enter the courses you are currently registered for into the “Course Title” column, and include class unit amount in "Unit" column. You can select a range of “high” and “low” potential grades to predict the outcome of your GPA.
  • If you are repeating a course, click the “Show Repeats” option to calculate how the Repeat Policy will benefit your GPA.
  • As you input potential grades, the “GPA High” and “GPA Low” will fluctuate. Use these GPA calculations to determine the grades you need to receive at the end of the quarter to return to good academic standing.

Calculate Major GPA

To Calculate Major GPA (unofficial):

To learn how to access the GPA calculator, please reference previous box

  • The classes that count in your Major GPA are those listed beginning in the left top corner on the Curriculum Sheet under the heading “MAJOR COURSES.” Courses listed under Support and GE do not count in the Major GPA. Include Technical Electives, Concentration Courses, and/or Approved Electives as specified in the MAJOR COURSES section.
  • Leave the Current Cumulative GPA table blank.
  • Enter the name, number of units, and your actual grade for each course. Note that the “grade range” will be the same for both the high and low grades; e.g., if you have a B in a class, put in B for both High and Low Range.
  • If you repeated major courses and the grades were averaged, not forgiven, include such courses in your calculations. Enter such courses twice, with the corresponding grades. An unforgiven grade is noted on Poly Profile with an “Exclude Earned” notation.
  • After you enter a unit count and grade for each class, your GPA will be displayed in the “Total High & Low GPA” table; the GPA calculations will be the same. Note: official determination of major GPA is calculated by Evaluations at the time of graduation

Class Schedule

Academic Advisors want to make sure you have a realistic class schedule for next quarter. Meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss your current schedule and resources you can use to maximize your support.

What if I want to make changes to my schedule?

  • Students are able to make changes to their class schedule via the Student Center until the last day of Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment typically ends the Wednesday before the new quarter begins. For specific dates, refer to the Student Planning Calendar.
  • After the last day of Open Enrollment, students can make final class schedule adjustments until the Add/Drop Deadline; students can drop a class on their own, but will need a permission number to add a class. Add/Drop Deadline (8th day of classes. Date can be found on Student Planning Calendar.
    • Last day to add or swap classes via Student Center with a permission number.
    • Last day to drop classes, and change CR/NC grading option via Student Center.
    • Last day to submit class audit petition to the Office of the Registrar (5:00 pm).
    • Last day to log in and adjust your PolyPlan to avoid being placed in the last rotation appointment (PolyPlanner non-compliant) by 5PM

I'm on academic disqualification status, what does this mean?

The Office of the Registrar notifies students who are on academic disqualification status.

Students will not be dismissed due to academic disqualification status at the end of the winter quarter, but will be placed on an academic success contract.

Students who are on academic disqualification status at the end of fall or spring quarter, may appeal for reinstatement. The appeal form will be available at the end of Spring quarter. If reinstated, students will be placed on an academic success contract. Students who do not appeal for reinstatement or whose appeal is not approved will be dismissed from the university and will need to consult with their college regarding readmission process.

For more information, refer to the Undergraduate Academic Probation and Disqualification policy.


Academic Support

Academic Advisors

Academic Advisors can assist you in identifying resources on campus suited to your personal needs, schedule planning, and study skills development. Academic Advisors can help you navigate and understand your degree requirements, curriculum, and Cal Poly's policies. You can meet with an Academic Advisor in your College Advising Center or in the Mustang Success Center.

Office Hours

Cal Poly faculty keep regular office hours each week for students; you are encouraged to meet with your professors early and often. If you cannot meet with your professor during office hours, you can reach out via email or phone to inquire about other options. Office hours can be a great place to ask for clarification on lectures and course materials, review exams, discuss mentoring opportunities, and much more.

Study Skills

Learning how to study is an on-going process. Different strategies may be required for different types of exams or assignments, and everyone has a unique learning style. During office hours, ask your professors how you might focus your efforts to study most effectively for their classes. Cal Poly also offers a Study Strategies Library that you can use to explore various aspects of studying.

Tutoring, Study Sessions, and Supplemental Workshops

Various offices and departments offer free tutoring on campus. Students are encouraged to build these options into their weekly schedule and access throughout the term.

Refer to your College for More Specific Information

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

College of Architecture & Environmental Design

College of Engineering

College of Liberal Arts

College of Science & Mathematics

Orfalea College of Business

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