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What is Block Schedule?

Cal Poly's Office of the Registrar enroll first-time freshmen a full-time schedule in Fall Quarter and a partial schedule in the Winter and Spring Quarters.

Academic Advisors help students to make sense of their schedules. As well as, understanding the process of making changes or configuring schedules based on individual circumstances.

To learn about the process behind Block Scheduling, please start by visiting the Office of the Registrar's Block Scheduling site.



Dates and Deadlines for Block Schedule Fall 2023

  • August 9: Fall Quarter Block Schedules finalized in Student Center and Schedule Builder
  • August 15-17: Incoming freshmen registration
    Find student enrollment appointment calendar here.
  • August 21-25 2nd round of registration.
  • August 26 - September 20: Open Enrollment
  • September 21: First Day of Classes
  • September 21-26: Can still add a class without a permission number.
  • September 27-Oct 2: Can only add a class with permission number.
  • October 2: Add/Drop Deadline 

Block Schedule Information

Step 1: Find your block schedule

See the calendar at the the top of the page to find out when your block schedule will be finalized.
Once your block schedule is finalized, log into your Cal Poly portal and click Student Center. Once you are in your Student Center, click on My Class Schedule.

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

The Degree Progress Report (DPR) will show how your units are 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 and 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 you are not enrolled in the classes your first quarter indicates on the flowchart. There are limited seats in some classes and block scheduling chooses classes from your first year on the flowchart.

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.

Step 4: Contact Advising 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

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 with degree applicable classes (major, support, and GE).

I was placed in a higher MATH course than I would like to be in. I think I would feel more comfortable in a lower level MATH course. Can I do this?

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, call 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.

Preparing for medical school or another health profession graduate program after Cal Poly.

If you indicated you are considering a health profession graduate program in the Admissions Office survey, your plans have been taken into account when creating your block schedule. Consider visiting the pre-health advising page.

I'm not enrolled in all of the classes listed in my first quarter of the flowchart. Is this okay?

Yes. 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 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 call the Mustang Success Center to see if this is of concern. Otherwise, you were block enrolled into degree applicable classes and can enroll for these 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 and preferences a student may desire to change their schedule. If you want to discuss the possibility to make changes to your block schedule, please do the following:

  1. Check your student center for your registration time. 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

Winter and Spring Quarter 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 and critical first year major/support classes.

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

Adding and 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

Preparing for medical school or another health profession graduate program after Cal Poly.

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

I want to change my major. Can I change my schedule to reflect this?

All students are required to complete one quarter at Cal Poly before their can start the process to change majors. Visit 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. Contact the Mustang Success Center to discuss the best plan for course selection.

I do not want to take an 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. Please note that if you drop a class, there is no guarantee you can get back into the 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 University Police Department Safety Escort Van Service.

What if I need to take a quarter 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".

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 or Student Center.

How to drop a class?

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

  • Type of course: know 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 you stay in all your classes at this time. 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.
  • Course Offerings: Some classes are only offered certain quarters out of the year. If you drop it, you will not be able to take it until the next time it is offered, which could set you back. Please consult your department if you have questions about your major class.

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.


For more information on Fall Block Scheduling, speak to an academic advisor in the Mustang Success Center.

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