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Changing Your Major

Changing your major is a multi-step process and specialized to each major. This website is to be used as a guideline. Students must have conversations with appropriate offices and departments to see if changing their major is possible.

General Change of Major Guidelines

  1. Review Cal Poly's Change of Major policy in full.
  2. Students must complete at least one quarter at Cal Poly before entering into an Individualized Change of Major Agreement.
  3. Students who enter into a change of major agreement and do not complete the agreement's requirements, either by failing to complete the terms or by opting out due to a change of plan or interest, will not be eligible to request that same major later in their career at Cal Poly.
  4. Students must be able to graduate in a timely manner. A realistic quarter-by-quarter graduation plan may be required to demonstrate whether this is feasible.

Cal Poly terms used on this website

  • COM- Change of major
  • ICMA- Individualized change of Major Agreement
  • Intended Major- major you plan on changing into

 

 

Step 1: Research

Students are expected to research their options and make a well-informed decision before entering into an ICMA. Here are some research options

Step 2: Review Major Specific ICMA Criteria

Theses requirements should be satisfied while on an official ICMA. They do not need to be meet prior to submitting the inquiry/eligibility form unless otherwise noted. 

Anthropology-Geography

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • The completion of three courses (ANT or GEOG) with the major GPA of 3.0 (may include STAT 217).
  • A Cal Poly cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better, or a term GPA of 2.7 or better in each of the last two consecutive quarters.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Art and Design

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Submit and pass portfolio during the first quarter of the ICMA and
  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.5 or two consecutive term GPA's of 2.7 with at least 12 units for each quarter of the ICMA
  • Completion of any assigned ART classes with a major GPA of 2.7

Once a student meets the terms of the ICMA, they are admitted to their intended major.

After an ICMA is created with the department chair, the office staff will provide you with detailed instructions on how to submit your portfolio online.

  • You will also be provided with a due date to submit your portfolio digitally. The portfolio due date is usually mid quarter.
  • Your entire portfolio must be submitted by the due date, no exceptions will be allowed. For more portfolio information, see Portfolio Requirements.
  • You will only be allowed to submit one portfolio for one concentration and if denied, you will not be able to submit another portfolio for any other concentration.
  • You will be notified via your Cal Poly email if your portfolio was accepted by the end of the quarter in which you requested to change your major.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Child Development

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • A minimum of 12 graded units, at Cal Poly, in CD and/or required PSY courses for CD majors (excluding CD 102) with a 3.5 GPA. If a student completes more than 12 units, all grades will be included and must meet the 3.5 major GPA
  • Two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.8 with at least 12 units per quarter.
  • No course grade during the two-quarter ICMA period may fall below a C–.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Communication Studies

Factors that may determine eligibility for an ICMA include:

  • A multi-criteria admissions score equal to, or above, the average of students admitted to the department as freshmen over the past several years.

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • The completion of three COMS courses with a major GPA of 3.0
  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.9 or two consecutive term GPA’s of 3.2 with at least 12 units per quarter.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Comparative Ethnic Studies

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.5 or two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.5 with at least 12 units per quarter.
  • Must complete at least two of the following ethnic studies courses: ES 112, ES 114, ES 212, ES 241, ES 242, ES 243, ES 244, ES 320, ES 321, ES 322 and/or ES 323 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

English

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.5 or two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.7 with at least 12 units per quarter.
  • Completion of at least two English literature classes at Cal Poly, with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in ALL English classes taken at Cal Poly. Note: A1 and A3 are prerequisites for any English literature course.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Graphic Communication

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Must have completed at least two of the following earning a “B” or better: MATH 118, STAT 217, CHEM 110/111 or PHYS 104/121.
  • Must have GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Must have at least seven (7) General Education courses remaining.
  • Students with 90 or more units are not eligible to apply.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

History

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Completion of at least three HIST courses at Cal Poly, with a major GPA of 3.2 or higher. (At least one class must be upper-division.)
  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.8 or two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.8 with at least 12 units per quarter.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Interdisciplinary Studies

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Completion of ISLA 201 and either ES 112, ISLA 123, RELS 201, or WGS 201 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

    • For students looking to transfer into Interdisciplinary Studies during Fall 2018 or Winter 2019, there may be flexibility in the standard ICMA criteria. If you are interested, please contact Sabrina Canady in CLA Advising for more information.

  • A 2.0 Cal Poly cumulative GPA or a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the most recent two consecutive quarters at Cal Poly with at least 12 units taken per quarter.

  • Good standing and not be on academic probation at the end of the ICMA.

  • Awareness that Interdisciplinary Studies majors cannot double major and that the degree cannot be used to replicate an existing major.

  • A 2-3 page proposal of at least 400 words explaining their interest in the program and outlining a proposed plan of study. The proposal should identify the central theme or question the student wishes to pursue through an Interdisciplinary Studies degree and indicate the emphasis area and/or specific classes that might fit with their proposed theme or question. The course of study should combine at least two distinct disciplines (indicated by different course prefixes). Students are encouraged to include how their proposed focus will further their occupational or future educational goals. Students are advised to consult with the Interdisciplinary Studies coordinator or affiliated faculty when formulating their proposal. They will have the opportunity to further revise their plan of study in ISLA 201, ISLA 355, and ISLA 440 in order to prepare them to undertake an interdisciplinary research or creative project in ISLA 461: Senior Project.

  • Once a student meets the terms of the ICMA, they are admitted to their intended major.

  • Students who do not meet the conditions of their ICMA will not be issued another ICMA for this major.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Journalism

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Credit for freshman composition, ENGL 134 or the equivalent, with a grade of B- or better.
  • Completion of JOUR 203 Writing for the Media with a grade of B- or better.
  • Completion of one additional journalism course, in consultation with the department chair, with a grade of B- or better.
  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.7 or two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.8 with at least 12 units per quarter.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies

  • Minimum Entrance Requirements to be completed prior to an ICMA:
    • Meet with Sabrina Canady in the CLA Advising Center to develop an academic plan.
    • Completed Calculus 1 (MATH 141), Calculus II (MATH 142), and General Physics (PHYS 141) with a minimum grade of “C” in each class.
    • Must have sophomore standing (45+ units completed).
  • If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

    • Must have completed all ICMA courses and have received a grade of “C” or better in each. These may include engineering courses.

    • Must be in good standing and not be on academic probation at the end of the ICMA.

    • Must have a 2.5 GPA in the current term, CPSLO cumulative, and Higher Ed cumulative.

  • Once a student meets the terms of the ICMA, they are admitted to their intended major.

    • Students who do not meet the conditions of their ICMA will not be issued another ICMA for this major.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Modern Languages and Literatures

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:
  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.5 or two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.5 with at least 12 units per quarter.
  • At least one Spanish courses at the SPAN 103 level or above, with a GPA of 2.75, or the equivalent level of proficiency, as determined by the department.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Music

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Factors the determine eligibility may include:
    • All applicants must have achieved a GPA in General Education (GE) courses of at least 2.5 and a current GPA of at least 2.0. Failure to meet either of these academic minimums renders the applicant ineligible until there is verification that minimum academic standards have been achieved. No students on academic probation will be considered.
    • Applicants must have completed at least two academic music classes at Cal Poly earning grades of “B” or better (for example, MU 101 and MU 120).

       

    • Students must submit the following materials as a set to the Music Department:
      • All applicants must submit the Music Major Internal Transfer Application, also available in the department office, along with academic transcripts (unofficial printout of coursework from Poly Profile on the portal) to the department office. Grades for all college level course work will be reviewed, including work from the most recent quarter completed.
    • Acceptance will be based on performance and successful demonstration of musical and technical proficiency at an audition with the music faculty.
      • Auditions will be held on or around the 5th week of each quarter. Students should contact the department at the beginning of the quarter to schedule an audition time; all materials must be turned in prior to the audition.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Philosophy

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Completion of PHIL 230 and 231, with GPA for those courses of at least 2.5
  • Completion of area A3 with a grade of C or higher.
  • GPA of at least 2.5 in all philosophy classes taken at Cal Poly or elsewhere
  • Cal Poly (CPSLO) GPA of 2.5 or two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.7 with at least 12 units per quarter
  • Generally, students meeting the terms of their ICMA are admitted to their intended major.
    • Those who do not meet the requirements of the ICMA, but whose circumstances are exceptional and require special consideration, should contact the department chair.
    • Certain circumstances, such as lack of resources, may preclude admission of students who otherwise meet the requirements of their ICMA.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Political Science

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • Must have a cumulative Cal Poly GPA of 2.8 or higher or you must have 3.2 or higher in both of the last two consecutive quarters, with a minimum of 12 units each quarter.
  • Must have completed at least two political science courses at Cal Poly with a 3.2 GPA or higher. POLS 112 may not be used as one of the two courses taken
  • Must have completed STAT 217 with a grade of C- or better.
  • Must not be on academic probation at the time the major change is completed.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Psychology

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • A minimum of 12 graded units in PSY courses, at Cal Poly, with a 3.5 major GPA.
  • If a student completes more than 12 units, all grades will be included and must meet the 3.5 major GPA.
  • Two consecutive term GPA’s of 2.8 with at least 12 units per quarter.
  • No course grade during the two-quarter ICMA period may fall below a C–.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Sociology

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

  • The completion of three SOC major courses with the major GPA of 3.0 (may include STAT 217). 
  • A Cal Poly cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, or a term GPA of 3.0 or better in each of the last two consecutive quarters.

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Theatre Arts

If a student is granted an ICMA, it will not exceed two quarters and will require:

    • Be prepared to answer the following questions:

       

      • What is your commitment to the discipline as well as your career aspirations?
      • How do you see yourself being a successful member of the theatre program?
  • Enlist a faculty "sponsor" who will help guide students in the change of major process.
  • Write a two-page essay describing why you wish to change into theatre arts at Cal Poly and your projected professional goals as related to a theatre education. Student essays will be submitted to faculty sponsor and then presented to the faculty. The essay itself will be evaluated by the quality of written expression — including clarity, organization, and precision of thought, grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax as well as evidence of your commitment to the discipline and your potential for success in both major and post-graduation activities.
    • Students must take/have taken TH210 and two additional Cal Poly Theatre Program academic or production courses.

       

    • Students must earn/have earned an average grade of B or higher in TH210 and the additional theatre program academic or production courses.

    • Students must have a cumulative Cal Poly GPA of at least 2.2 and be in good academic standing.
    • Students must be able to demonstrate, in writing, the ability to complete degree requirements within the minimum progress standards (204 units or four years plus one academic quarter).

The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.

Step 3: Complete Change of Major Eligibility/Inquiry Form

NOTE: The Change of Major Portlet will be closed to new inquiries starting June 8, 2018, and will re-open for inquiry form submissions on September 20, 2018.

If You Have Not Submitted an Eligibility/Inquiry Form

Access the change of major portlet

Log onto your Cal Poly Portal. Type “change of major” into the search bar at the top right of your Portal. Click “Go” to search. Select the “Change of Major” link under the Portal Content column located on the right side of the portal page

Change of major process

Access the Change of Major Eligibility/Inquiry Form:

Complete the short questionnaire based on your Change of Major experience so far and select ONE major from the drop-down menu

Based on your responses on the questionnaire, you will be directed to one of the following pages:

  • Resources and Workshops
  • Change of Major Eligibility Inquiry Form

If you are directed to the Resources and Workshops page, we suggest that you explore the resources available to you:

Explore Resources

  • If you try to sign up for a workshop and it says it is full, we suggest that you still show up. We will try out best to accommodate all students that show up for a workshop.
  • If there are not any more workshops available for this term, or you have any follow up questions about change of major, please contact the Mustang Success Center in building 52 or call at 805-756-6211.
  • Additionally, further details on changing your major to a specific major can be found on the advising website within that respective college. We encourage students to look at these requirements and bring their questions to the workshop. The workshop will provide a path for the next steps.

**NOTE: The initial questionnaire is SEPARATE from the Change of Major Inquiry Form**

Submit the Change of Major Eligibility/Inquiry Form

If you are directed to the Change of Major Eligibility Inquiry Form, make sure you have selected ONE major to submit your inquiry to.

Respond to each of the 3 questions on the Change of Major Eligibility Inquiry Form. Each response has a 2000 character limit, including whitespace. Exceeding the character limit will result in the inability to submit your inquiry.

2000 character limit

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”.

If You Have Submitted an Eligibility/Inquiry Form

View/Edit the status of your inquiry

Access the Change of Major Portlet via the Search Bar in your Cal Poly Portal.

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.

Requires Attention

The Change of Major Coordinator will evaluate your eligibility and update your status within 10 academic business days to one of the following:

  • Eligible: Student meets initial change of major requirements to proceed to next steps of developing an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA) as outlined in the email from the Change of Major Coordinator.
  • Not Eligible: Student does not meet initial change of major requirements to proceed to next steps for developing an ICMA. An advisors from the Mustang Success Center will reach out to the student to help determine next steps.
  • Pending Further Action: Student eligibility for an ICMA is dependent on additional information. Student must proceed with next steps as outlined in the email from the Change of Major Coordinator.

You will be notified by email within 10 academic business days of updated status and the next steps you will need to take. Follow the directions outlined in the email.

A student can only have one (1) active inquiry form. In order to submit a new inquiry form for a different major, the student will either need to a.) withdraw their current inquiry form through their portlet or b.) be deemed “not eligible” by the Change of Major Coordinator.

You can withdraw your inquiry at any time during the inquiry process by clicking the “Withdraw” button under the Change of Major Inquiry Form Details portlet.

withdraw button Change of major form

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

Confirm Withdraw

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

To submit a new inquiry, click the “Start New Inquiry” button under the Change of Major Inquiry Form Details portlet.

Start New Inquiry

 

Step 4: Check Cal Poly email for response

Students who have submitted a Change of Major Inquiry Form will receive an email to their Cal Poly email account from the Change of Major Coordinator. Students will be asked to follow the instructions as outlined in the email.

If you do not hear from anyone within 10 academic days, please contact success@calpoly.edu. Please note, weekends and academic holidays are not counted as academic days.

If you are not eligible to switch into your desired major, you have alternative options that you may have not considered yet. As you move forward in the change of major process, there are resources available to help determine the best fit for your academic and career goals.

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