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Block Schedules

First-time freshman are enrolled in classes for fall quarter and will be able to view their schedules on their Student Center on August 9, 2017. Block scheduling was designed to get freshman into classes chosen by their major and makes every effort to consider a student's academic history (placement exams, AP exam credit).

Looking for Winter and Spring information?

Office of the Registrar Information on Block Scheduling


What is a block schedule?

Information on Block Schedule

Important Dates and Deadlines for Block Schedule 2017

  • August 9: Block Schedules are available
  • August 15-17: Necessary changes can be made. Check your student center for your specific appointment time. Please see video below before making any changes (Please note, the dates in the video are incorrect. Dates listed here are the correct dates)
  • August 18-20: students will not be able to make changes to their schedules
  • August 21: 2nd round of registration begins(enroll in more than 16 units if you want)
  • August 26-September 11: Open Enrollment
  • September 25, 2017: Add/Drop Deadline

Step 1: Find your block schedule on August 9, 2017. Log into your Cal Poly portal and click Student Center. Once you are in your Student Center, click on “My Class Schedule.”

Step 2: Know how your classes count towards your degree. Access Curriculum and Flowcharts website.​

Degree Flowchart Menu

Flowchart Menu

Catalog year: First time freshmen starting Fall 2017 are on the 2017-2019 catalog.

Major:Select your major.

Concentration: Select your desired concentration, “Concentration not yet declared,” or “Not applicable to this major.”


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. If you cannot find the specific course on your curriculum sheet, go to and search for the course under, “Courses A-Z.” Once you find the course, you may see that it counts for a General Education area. Circle that General Education area.
  • NOTE: It is okay if you are not enrolled in the classes your first quarter indicates on the flowchart.

Step 3: Understand your Block Schedule

  • At SLO Days, during the lab time, students will be introduced to block scheduling. Please refer to handout you used at this session.

If you have any questions about your block schedule, see FAQs below. Classes offered in fall quarter can be viewed in Plan A Student Schedule (PASS). If you have further questions, you can call the Mustang Success Center or your College Advising Center.

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

If you think you need to make changes, please first watch the video below.

Changing Block Schedule


Approved reasons to make a change to your schedule:

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

Reasons NOT to change your block schedule

  1. You don’t like the time
  2. You don’t want to take that many units (see I am not interested in one of my classes. Can I drop it? listed below in questions)
  3. You don’t want to be in your major

Students have a scheduled appointment to start making changes on August 15, 16, or 17. (Please note, the dates in the video are incorrect. Dates listed here are the correct dates). To find out the date and time you have been assigned, please check your student center (listed on the right side).

If you have further questions, you can call the Mustang Success Center or your College Advising Center.

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit

Does Cal Poly have my Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) scores? How do my AP/IB scores count?

More information on AP/IB credit

  • Scores are available around July 19 within your Poly Profile (unofficial transcript)
  • Scores are due by July 15. If scores are submitted on time, they were taken into consideration while making your block schedule
  • If you submitted scores late, then you will have to keep checking back to see when scores have been inputted

How do my AP/IP scores count?

  1. Login to Cal Poly Portal > Academics tab > General Degree Resources > Poly Profile > Test Credit Details (on right hand side)
  2. Tests will appear—which indicates Cal Poly has received them
  3. If there are not any scores, please see the box “my scores aren’t  showing up, what do I do?”
  4. The score might count for “lower division units”. These are units that count towards free electives if your major has free electives.

To see the AP Matrix and directions, click on accordion below “my scores aren’t showing up, what do I do?”

My scores aren't showing up, what do I do?

If you do not see your scores in Poly Profile, then Cal Poly does not have them. You need to go to College Board and request them to be sent to Cal Poly

In the meantime, look up what you have credit for and see how that applies to your curriculum sheet

  1. Click to see the AP/IB Matrix
  2. Select Matrix based on year you took exam
  3. Look up exam you took and see if you will receive credit
  4. Reference your curriculum sheet to see how/if this applies to your major

Example: I took English Language and Composition in 2016 and received a 3. What does this count for?

AP credit sample

When you look at the curriculum sheet, you can see that 4 units will count as an A1, English 134 at Cal Poly. You also receive 5 elective units that go towards free electives (if your major has free electives) If you need further help please call Mustang Success Center at 805-756-6211

I am enrolled in a class that I think I already have advanced placement credit for, what do I do?

Watch this video to learn about how to look for another class.

If you have any questions about finding another class, please contact the Mustang Success Center or your college advising center.

  • If your advanced placement scores were in before July 15, they were accounted for in your block schedule. Before making changes, you want to be sure there was a mistake.
  • If your scores are in but not reflected in your schedule, they may have been received after your block schedule was created.
  • Please know that AP Credit for your exam in question may not be applicable to your degree. This is why it is important to refer to your curriculum sheet and see how your scores apply to your degree.

I took a class at a community college. Does Cal Poly have this transfer credit? handout

  • Check your Poly Profile to verify if Cal Poly has received your transcript.
  • Keep in mind that not all transfer credit is degree applicable. Extra units can be applied to free electives if your degree has free electives.
  • Information on transcripts for freshmen
  • If you haven’t submitted transcripts to Cal Poly, here are directions;

Changes to Schedule

Can I make changes after August 15-17?

All incoming freshmen will have an appointment sometime over August 15-17, 2017, which is when you can first make changes to your schedule. From August 18-20, students will not be able to make changes to their schedules. The second round of registration begins August 21; students can make changes from that time all the way through the add/drop deadline of September 25, 2017

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?

We understand why students would think and feel this way. We appreciate you thinking about your schedule so intentionally.

Cal Poly has data to show that students who take the course that is given to them based off of their Advanced Placement/Transfer Credit do just as well as students who take the course (that they tested out of) at Cal Poly. Essentially, students are coming to Cal Poly with the necessary knowledge to be successful in the course they are placed in. Of course, MATH courses, just like any course, can be difficult, meaning you might have to work pretty hard for the grade you want in the course you were placed in; but, you would have to do that no matter when you took that course.

It may be helpful for you to look at the course descriptions to see what content is covered in the MATH courses. The descriptions can be found at under the "Courses A-Z" tab. You can then search by MATH and see the topics that are covered in the classes. More detailed course outlines for MATH courses.

If, after these considerations, you are still wary of the MATH course you are placed in, we encourage you to call the Mustang Success Center (805-756-6211) or contact your college advising center to discuss how to go about it and/or how it would affect your degree progress. Students can make changes to their schedule through the first 8 days of instruction. This means you can attend the class the first week and then make a better assessment on taking the course.

I’m looking at my flowchart and I’m not in all of the classes that are listed in my first quarter. Is this okay?

Yes. 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.

For most majors, the flowchart is just one way students can complete their degree, so if you are not in all of the classes, please read this all the way through before feeling alarmed.

The flowchart is a great tool for students to see how they can complete their degree requirements. It takes into consideration 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, it’s important to make sure you are in the necessary prerequisites to progress in your major courses. If you see you are not enrolled for a prerequisite course for a major course that you will be taking next quarter (Winter Quarter), then you will likely want to call the Mustang Success Center or your college advising 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.

The flowchart is also broken down by color. The major courses are in yellow. The support courses are in orange. The general education courses are in green. The free elective units are in blue.

flowchart breakdownFlowchart sample

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

  • Keep in mind that you were admitted to Cal Poly under your current major, you cannot change majors until you have completed one quarter at Cal Poly, and changing your major is not guaranteed. We encourage you to keep your current major’s courses to make sure this major is not what you think it is; it could turn out that you actually do enjoy your major. This will also help you progress in your degree; your future registration date and times will be based off your degree percentage, so keeping on track will help you.
  • If you are wanting to change your major, plan to attend a change of major workshop during week of welcome and/or a workshop during fall quarter. Workshops are put on by Mustang Success Center and Career Services.
  • But what about the major I plan on switching into? Should I take that major’s introduction course? Many majors reserve their introduction course for those who are already in that major. Also keep in mind that changing majors is not a guarantee and if you do ending up switching majors, you will meet with an advisor to talk about which classes you will need to take at the beginning stages.
  • Click to learn more about the change of major process.
  • If you want to talk about this more, feel free to contact Advising.

Early morning and late evening classes are not for me. Can I change this?

We know that some students prefer taking classes during the middle of the day, but the reality of 18,000 students being able to take courses from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is not feasible. We strongly recommend that you do not change your schedule because you do not prefer 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.

I am thinking about attending med school or another health professions graduate program after Cal Poly. What should I consider in my block schedule?

It’s great you are thinking about a health professions graduate school so early on in your academic career; planning your courses correctly is a huge step in this process. If you indicated that you are considering a health professions graduate program in the survey that was sent out by the Admissions Office, your plans have been taken into account when creating your block schedule. If you did not indicate your intentions on this survey or you don’t remember if you did, we still do not recommend changing your schedule. It is very possible to still stay “on track” for health professions graduate school planning by starting the prerequisite courses during your 2nd quarter at Cal Poly. You are blocked into classes that meet requirements for your major and general education to graduate from Cal Poly (graduating is a first step toward entering professional programs!)

Cal Poly has a great resource in the Pre-Health Career Advising office. You should 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 2nd and 3rd quarters. If you want to have look at what classes you might take in future quarters for certain careers, check out the careers section of the Pre-Health Advising website. When you meet with a peer advisor in the fall quarter, they will help you lay out an individual plan of when to complete these courses. If you still have immediate questions or concerns about your fall block schedule, you may email

I am not interested in one of my classes. Can I drop it?

The first step in deciding this is to make sure you know how the class is counting towards your degree. Major? Support? General Education? Free elective?

Cal Poly is a comprehensive polytechnic institution, meaning we are grounded in the arts and sciences. As a Cal Poly student, not only are you going to receive incredible knowledge within your chosen discipline, but you also have the opportunity to take courses that you otherwise would not have had the chance to take. Each course presents you with a challenge of learning how to learn a subject matter that is outside your comfort zone. So, even if a class seems uninteresting, we challenge you to consider keeping that course to see what you can learn about that topic and yourself.

We recommend you stay in all your classes at this time. You can plan to attend all your classes the first week. If after attending, you want to drop a class, you can do so before the add/drop deadline of September 25, 2017.

Consider you may have to eventually take that class if it is a required course in your degree curriculum. If it meets a general education (GE) requirement, you may find something more interesting that still meets the GE Area requirement

When dropping a class, there are some things to consider

  • How many units are you in? 12 units is considered a full-time unit load. 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, etc.
  • Are you able to add another class? Visit these demos to ensure you know the process of adding another class and visit PASS (Plan A Student Schedule, found on the left-hand side of your portal) to identify available classes.
  • Is this class offered during other quarters? 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.

I want to add another class. How do I do that?

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