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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.

    Cal Poly terms used on this page

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

    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.

    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: Check Major Specific ICMA Criteria

    These requirements should be satisfied while on an official ICMA. They do not need to be met prior to submitting the inquiry/eligibility form.

    Biological Sciences

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

    • A grade of C or higher in two of these classes: BIO 160, BIO 161, BIO 162
    • A grade of C or higher in one of these classes: CHEM 124, CHEM 125, CHEM 127, CHEM 128, CHEM 129
    • A GPA of at least 2.4 in each of the last two quarters before changing majors

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

    Biochemistry/Chemistry

    The department of Chemistry/Biochemistry has not set specific criteria for an ICMA, but will work with each student to determine the appropriate courses and grade requirements. Proceed to step 3 or contact CSM Advising for questions.

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

    Kinesiology

    • To apply to change your major to Kinesiology you must have an overall Cal Poly GPA of at least 2.5 or a GPA of 2.5 in last two quarters.
    • Kinesiology is impacted and may limit the number of change of major students.
    • If you have questions about the Kinesiology program, the change of major process, or to determine if the Kinesiology major is the better “fit” as your major, you may schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Kris Jankovitz, Department Chair in Kinesiology (43A-458) during weeks three, four or five of the quarter.
      • Call 805-756-2545 or email kinesiology@calpoly.edu to schedule an appointment
      • If you meet with Dr. Jankovitz, please bring the following Change of Major Application items to your meeting
      • Note: you do NOT have to meet with Dr. Jankovitz to submit an application.
    • Submit your completed application to the Kinesiology Department Office (43A-458) by Friday of the fifth week of the quarter.
      • Students who apply by the deadline will be notified by the end of the sixth week of the quarter if they will or will not be put on an ICMA to change their major. 
      • Students who are not put on an ICMA will be able to apply at a later time.

    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 Studies

    The Liberal Studies department has not set specific criteria for an ICMA, but will work with each student to determine the appropriate courses and grade requirements. Proceed to step 3 or contact CSM Advising for questions.

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

    Marine Sciences

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

    • A grade of C or higher in two of these classes: BIO 160, BIO 161, BIO 162
    • A grade of C or higher in one of these classes: CHEM 124, CHEM 125, CHEM 127, CHEM 128, CHEM 129;
    • A GPA of at least 2.4 in each of the last two quarters before changing majors

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

    Mathematics

    The Mathematics department has not set specific criteria for an ICMA, but will work with each student to determine the appropriate courses and grade requirements. Proceed to step 3 or contact CSM Advising for questions.

    Microbiology

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

    • A grade of C or higher in one of these classes: BIO 160, BIO 161, BIO 162
    • A grade of C or higher in one of these classes: MCRO 221, MCRO 224
    • A grade of C or higher in one of these classes: CHEM 124, CHEM 125, CHEM 127, CHEM 128, CHEM 129
    • A GPA of at least 2.4 in each of the last two quarters before changing majors

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

    Physics

    The Physics department of has not set specific criteria for an ICMA, but will work with each student to determine the appropriate courses and grade requirements. Proceed to step 3 or contact CSM Advising for questions.

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

    Public Health

    • To apply to change your major to Public Health you must have an overall Cal Poly GPA of at least 2.5 or a GPA of 2.5 in last two quarters.
    • Public Health is a new major and the department may limit the number of change of major students.  They may also limit change of majors to those who are freshmen or sophomores.
    • If you have questions about the Public Health program, the change of major process, or to determine if Public Health is the better “fit” as your major, you may schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Kris Jankovitz, Department Chair of Kinesiology and Public Health (43A-458) during weeks three, four or five of the quarter.
      • Call 805-756-2545 or email kinesiology@calpoly.edu to schedule an appointment
      • If you meet with Dr. Jankovitz, please bring the following Change of Major Application items to your meeting
      • Note: you do NOT have to meet with Dr. Jankovitz to submit an application.
    • Submit your completed application to the Kinesiology & Public Health Department Office (43A-458) by Friday of the fifth week of the quarter.
      • Students who apply by the deadline will be notified by the end of the sixth week of the quarter if they will or will not be put on an ICMA to change their major. 
      • Students who are not put on an ICMA will be able to apply at a later time.

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

    Statistics

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

    • Completion of STAT 301-302 (or equivalent) with at least a C in each course
      • Equivalent sequences include STAT 251-252 and STAT 217/218/312-313
    • Completion of MATH 141-142 with at least a C in each course
    • Completion of CPE 101 with at least a C-

    Dr. Rossman will work with each individual student to determine whether the aforementioned course requirements are sufficient, or whether additional course/GPA requirements are appropriate.

    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

     

    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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