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First Year Students

2017 First Year Students!​

The advising community wants to welcome you! This site is designed to be a resource to you throughout your time at Cal Poly. We hope this space is a starting point to help provide direction. Please know that academic advisors are here and available to answer any questions and be a resource to your throughout your entire time at Cal Poly.

Review dates and deadlines for winter 2018 quarter

Check your Cal Poly email regularly for communications from Cal Poly.

Academic Policies

A new academic setting brings new policies you need to be aware of throughout your time at Cal Poly. The catalog provides all academic policies and degree requirements. Please review a few of the following policies that are important to be familiar with your first quarter:

  • General Education
    • A grade of C- or better is required in one course in each of the following GE Areas: A1(Expository Writing), A2 (Oral Communication), A3 (Reasoning, Argumentation, Writing), and B1 (Mathematics/Statistics).

  • Expected Academic Progress

  • Grading

Helpful Links for Fall Quarter

Registration and Block Schedule:

All first time freshmen will have their fall 2017 class schedule created for them. Your class schedule will be based off of your major, survey responses, and credit through Advanced Placement exams, IB, or community college credit.

You will get your block schedule in August and more information will be shared with you at Student Life Orientation Days (SLO Days)

Click here to learn more about your Fall 2017 Block Schedule

Click here to learn about year long block scheduling

Here is a brief timeline of how registration will work for winter quarter.

October: PASS goes up and students can see what classes are available for winter quarter.

October/November: Attend a PASS Registration Workshop in the residential halls to learn how to register

November/December: Register for winter classes

All students are given a registration date and time, which is based on how many degree applicable units you have completed. Read more about registration here

Time Management

Understanding the quarter system takes time and can be a challenge to adjust to fast pace. We strongly encourage that you go into each quarter with a plan and stick to it to stay ahead! Review links below to learn more about time management and study skills

Who is my Advisor?

At Cal Poly, there are different types of advisors that you will get to know throughout your time at Cal Poly. To learn about different advising offices and how to access them, please click on "who is my advisor" for your respective college or department.

Mustang Success Center is a general advising office that is here to assist you with any question you might have. If you don't know where to start, start with the Mustang Success Center.

Change of Major Information

All first time freshmen are required to stay in their major for at least one quarter. There will be change of major workshop in Week of Welcome and workshops throughout the school year.

Change of Major procedure

Change of Major Workshops

Advice from Other Students


Cal Poly Lingo and Terms


Helpful Information From Different Offices

New Student & Transition Programs (Orientation)

Orientation at Cal Poly is a two-part series before the beginning of classes that includes Student Life Orientation Days (Dates in July & August) and the Week of Welcome (September). All new students are required to complete both parts of orientation to successfully enroll in classes and transition to Cal Poly.

Housing and Transportation

All admitted first-time freshmen are required to live on campus for their first year to ensure everyone receives the benefit of the campus housing experience.

Campus Involvement

There will be an abundant amount of opportunities to get involved throughout your time at Cal Poly. For your first year, we encourage you to get involved in different areas but keep in mind a realistic balance with your academics.

Check out other clubs affiliated with your major!

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