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Change of Major

Continuing students interested in beginning the change of major process during the summer quarter should contact the department of their intended major. 

Incoming freshmen and transfer must finish one academic quarter BEFORE starting the change of major process. 

* The following majors are closed to new change of major inquires:
Nutrition
Software Engineering
Computer Science

Check back Winter 2021 for updates to this list.


Changing your major is a multi-step process.

Eligibility criteria is specialized to each major.

Students are expected to research their options and make a well-informed decision before inquiring to change their major.

    Things You Should Know about Changing Your Major

    1. You must complete at least one quarter at Cal Poly before your eligibility can be determined.
      • When your first quarter is completed, you can submit an Eligibility Inquiry Form to your proposed major department.
    2. The department will evaluate basic criteria to determine your eligibility to enter into an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA).
      • To determine your eligibility to enter into an ICMA, departments may consider:
        • Your admissions criteria (would you have been admitted into that major when you applied to Cal Poly?)
        • Your Cal Poly academic record (GPA, coursework, etc.).
        • Your ability to complete degree requirements in the new major in a timely manner.
    3. If  you are eligible to enter into an ICMA, successful completion of the ICMA will result in change of major.
      • You are allowed one ICMA per major. If you do not successfully meet the requirements of your ICMA, you will not be issued another ICMA for that major.
      • The change of major will be approved once you have successfully met all of the requirements of the ICMA.

    Review Cal Poly’s General Change of Major Policy in full


    Just Getting Started? Attend a Change of Major Workshop 

    Incoming freshmen and transfer must finish one academic quarter BEFORE starting the change of major process. 

    Choose one of the following options:

    University Wide Change of Major Workshops

    All are welcome at this workshop, however the content will be geared towards the first year experience.

    At this workshop, presented by the Mustang Success Center and Career Services, you will learn about Cal Poly's change of major policy and process and will explore ways to further research your options and next steps.

    How to sign up for a workshop:

    Go to your Portal > Academics Tab

    Select the "Attend a Workshop" option.

    CLick here for Fall Quarter Dates

    Engineering Change of Major Workshops

    These workshops are for students interested in changing their major into or within the College of Engineering.

    At the workshop, you will: review the policy and procedure for changing your major to an engineering discipline, create discussion and dialogue about changing your major, and strategize next steps to become more confident in your major decision. Register for an Engineering Change of Major Workshop here: https://eadvise.calpoly.edu/changing-majors

    Change of Major Process

    Step 1: Research Academic and Career Interests

    Proper research allows you to determine if your proposed major is a good fit for your interests, strengths, and academic/career goals. Research options can include (but are not limited to):

    Step 2: Check Major-Specific Criteria

    Review major-specific eligibility criteria to determine the feasibility of changing into your proposed major. Basic eligibility criteria and ICMA requirements are specialized to each department/major and may change as demand changes for each major. Eligibility may depend on:

    • GPA minimum
    • Number of units you have already completed/ability to complete the proposed major in a timely manner
    • Space available within the proposed major

    The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the proposed major does not guarantee your eligibility to switch into the proposed major

    College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences
    College of Architecture and Environmental Design
    College of Engineering
    College of Liberal Arts
    College of Science and Mathematics
    Orfalea College of Business
    * The following majors are closed to new change of major inquires:


    Nutrition
    Software Engineering
    Computer Science

    Check back Winter 2021 for updates to this list.

    Step 3: Complete the Change of Major Eligibility Inquiry Form

    Once you have decided on a proposed major, submit an eligibility inquiry form to find out if you meet basic criteria to enter into an ICMA with that major.

    How to submit an eligibility inquiry form for the first time

    Go to your Portal > Academics Tab> Change of Major

    Select the option to "submit a change of major inquiry form"

    Fill out the prompted questions 

    Each response has a 2000 character limit, including whitespace. Exceeding the character limit will result in the inability to submit your inquiry.

     

    Once you have submitted an inquiry form, you will receive a confirmation email from success@calpoly.edu. The subject line of the confirmation email will read, “Change of Major Inquiry Form Received”.

     

    You will receive a response from the proposed major within 10 academic business days to your Cal Poly email. 

    You can only have 1 active eligibility inquiry form.
    In order to submit a new inquiry form for a different major, see below.

    How to check the status of your eligibility inquiry form

    To view the status of your eligibility inquiry:

    1. Log onto your Cal Poly Portal.
    2. Click on the Academics tab.
    3. Click on the "change of major" link.
    4. You can view the status of your inquiry under the Change of Major Inquiry Form Details portlet.
      The default status of a new inquiry is “Requires Attention.” This status indicates that an inquiry form has been submitted.

     

    You will be notified by your Cal Poly email account of your updated status. You can check updates to your status in your portlet under the comments section. Follow the directions outlined in the comments. Coordinators may also reach out to you with additional information in your Cal Poly email. 

    How to withdraw an eligibility inquiry form 

    To withdraw your inquiry form, log onto your Cal Poly Portal. Click on the Academics tab. Click on the "change of major" link.

    Click the “Withdraw” button under the Change of Major Inquiry Form Details portlet.

    To confirm the withdrawal of your inquiry, click the “Yes, Withdraw” button in the pop-up window.

    Once an inquiry has been withdrawn, the status of that inquiry will be listed as “WITHDRAWN_BY_STUDENT”.

    How to submit a new eligibility inquiry form 

    Click the “Start New Inquiry” button under the Change of Major Inquiry Form Details portlet.

    Step 4: Determine Your Next Steps Based on Eligibility Status

    You will be notified by your Cal Poly email account within 10 academic business days of your updated status and the next steps you will need to take. Follow the directions outlined in the email
    For any changes to your status you will be notified by an auto-email to your Cal Poly account. Always check back in your portlet for detailed information. 
    Please note that weekends, academic holidays, and academic breaks are not counted as academic days. If you do not hear from anyone within 10 academic days, contact success@calpoly.edu.

    Eligibility Statuses and What They Mean

    • Eligible: You meet the basic criteria to proceed to next steps of developing an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA). The Change of Major Coordinator will outline your next steps in their email.
    • Not Eligible: You do not meet the basic criteria to proceed to next steps for developing an ICMA. If you are deemed not eligible, the Change of Major Coordinator will explain the reason for your status. In some cases, you may become eligible in the future. 
      An advisor from the Mustang Success Center will reach out to you to help determine next steps. If you are not eligible to change into your proposed major, please use the resources below to help you determine the best fit for your academic and career goals:
    • Pending Further Action: Your eligibility to develop an ICMA is dependent on additional information. In order to determine your eligibility for your proposed major, you must proceed with next steps as outlined in the email. 
      • For example, you may be asked to submit a portfolio or an additional application outlining your research into your proposed major.

    Step 5: Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA)

    If you are marked as eligible, you may work with a department representative to develop and individualized change of major agreement (ICMA). The ICMA is a contract between you and the department outlining your requirements to change majors.

    The change of major may be approved immediately, completed within one quarter, or completed within a maximum of two quarters. The ICMA may include the following components:

    • Up to 3 courses or 12 units in the proposed major.
    • GPA requirements, as determined by the department
      • Your GPA requirements may include minimum GPA in your ICMA courses, quarter GPA, Cal Poly SLO GPA, or Higher Ed GPA.

    The change of major will be approved once you have successfully met all of the requirements of the individualized change of major agreement (ICMA).

    If you enter into an ICMA and do not complete the requirements for any reason, you will not be eligible to request another ICMA with the same major again.

     

    Change of Major Terminology

    • Proposed Major - major you plan on changing into. You may see this referred to as "target major," "intended major," "desired major," etc. 
    • Change of Major Portlet - the online platform used to access the eligibility inquiry form.
    • Eligibility Inquiry Form - determines if basic eligibility criteria to enter into an ICMA has been met.
    • IMCA (Individualized Change of Major Agreement) – a contract between the student and the department outlining requirements to change majors
    • Change of Major Coordinator - the department representative responsible for updating student inquiry statues and emailing students within 10 academic days for next steps for change of major. 

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