The quarter system and managing your time
First Fall quarter block schedule
First-time freshman are enrolled in classes for fall quarter and will be able to view their schedules on their Student Center on August 8, 2018. Block scheduling was designed to get freshman into classes chosen by their major.
Winter and Spring quarter block schedule
In winter and spring quarter, it will be common for students to be block enrolled in less than 12 units. You will need to add courses to your schedule. Schedules during these terms focus on major, support and select general education courses. Learn more about how you will navigate your winter and spring class schedules.
How registration works at Cal Poly
Cal Poly has a variety of registration tools to assist you in registering for classes. Learn more about how these registration tools work together to assist you in building your class schedule and graduation planning
Change of Major Information
First time freshmen are required to stay in their major for at least one quarter. There will be change of major workshops throughout the school year to learn more about this process. We encourage you to review the change of major procedure and reach out to advising if you have questions. We also encourage you to read about how the Freshmen Focus Team (below in academic support) can help be a helpful resource to you in the change of major process.
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 policies.
There are different types of advisors that you will get to know throughout your time at Cal Poly. Please click on "who is my advisor" for your respective college or department.
Mustang Success Center is a general advising office to assist you with any questions you might have. If you don't know where to start, start with the Mustang Success Center.
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 more.
Freshman Focus Team
Freshman Focus Team includes three specialized career counselors to help students with their unique career needs, including:
- Exploring their values, interests, personality, and strengths and making informed major/career decisions based on these personal factors
- Discovering a range of career possibilities through hands-on exploration and research
- Creating plans to gain experience through co-curricular involvement, internships, and part time jobs
- Developing professional skills like resume and cover letter writing, networking, professional branding, and interviewing
Writing and Rhetoric Center
The Univesrity Writing and Rhetoric Center offers free consultations on any writing project for any discipline. All students are welcome. Get support for the following:
- Generating and organizing your ideas
- Focus your thoughts and clarifying your purpose
- Developing support for your topic
- Preparing for the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE)
- Reviewing grammar and punctuation
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
Many offices and departments offer free tutoring on campus. Students are encouraged to build these options into their weekly schedule and access throughout the term.
College Librarians and Specialists
Kennedy Library has an expert team of College Librarians and Specialists who provide meaningful, tailored support to students. Contact your College Librarian or Specialist if you are seeking research help or want to learn more about library resources.
Advice from other First Years
A new academic setting brings new policies you need to be aware of throughout your time at Cal Poly. The catalog provides all policies and degree requirements. It is important to know that academic policies you were familiar with at your previous campus will likely be different at Cal Poly. Review some of the following policies that you will be expected to be aware of:
Cal Poly Academic Policies
Involvement, Jobs, and Clubs
Cal Poly provides many opportunities to get involved throughout your time here. Additionally, there are many resources if you are looking for an on-campus job, local part-time job, or internship opportunities.
There will be an abundant amount of opportunities to get involved throughout your time here. For your first year, we encourage you to get involved in different areas but keep a realistic balance with your academics.
- Join a campus club or organization
- Intramural Sports
- Center of Leadership and Service
- Attend Athletics Event
Check out other clubs affiliated with your major!
Mustang JOBS is a great resource that lists over 25,000 positions that are made available annually. You can access this resource on your Cal Poly Portal under the "My Apps" column. To find out more information please visit Career Services website
Get a Research Job
Our students have amazing opportunities to collaborate with faculty for undergraduate research.
- Biology: https://bio.calpoly.edu/content/student-research-opportunities
- Psychology and Child Development: https://psycd.calpoly.edu/undergraduate/research-opportunities
- Chemistry: https://www.calpoly.edu/research.html
- Pre- Health: https://prehealth.calpoly.edu/content/summer-research-opportunities
- Electrical Engineering: http://www.ee.calpoly.edu/news/undergraduate-research-opportunities/
You can Google Cal Poly Research Opportunities for more information about undergraduate research at Cal Poly
Departments, if you have on going research job opportunities, please email advising to put your link here.