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Changing Your Major

University Change of Major Policy

Cal Poly provides for the possibility that students may decide to change to a major other than that under which they originally were admitted to the university. The change of major process may not be initiated until a student has completed at least one quarter of instruction at Cal Poly. Each academic department has its own set of criteria students must satisfy prior to being accepted into the major. Until such time as a student has been accepted into a new major, s/he is responsible for continuing to satisfy degree progress requirements for her/his current major.

Any student wishing to change their major who meets the minimum application requirements and for whom a change of major appears feasible may, after consultation with the department chair in the target major, may enter into an Individualized Change of Major Agreement with the department. By university policy, any student who enters into an Individualized Change of Major Agreement with a major will be allowed a maximum of two quarters to satisfy the ICMA requirements, after which the agreement expires. Students who fail to complete ICMA requirements within the two quarter timeframe cannot subsequently re-apply to the major.


General Change of Major Guidelines

  1. Review Cal Poly's General Change of Major in full.
  2. Students must complete at least one quarter at Cal Poly before entering into an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA).
  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

Step 2: Complete the Change of Major Inquiry Form
  • Complete the Change of Major Inquiry Form through your Cal Poly Portal. Instructions are found here:
  • You will receive an email response from the Change of Major Coordinator within 10 business days with details regarding next steps.

Step 3: Meet with the Prospective Department

  • If a student is deemed eligible for the major, students should make an appointment with the department chair or designee. See chart below for contact information.
  •  Please note: **The completion of coursework without prior consultation with the intended major department does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.**
  • Bring a one-page, typewritten statement to the meeting explaining:
    • Why you selected your current major and why you think it might not be the right major for you
    • How you learned about the major you are interested in
    • Why you believe this major is the right choice for you

ICMA Criteria By Major





College of Science and Math Majors and Department Chair or Designee Contact Information:

Department contact                        Telephone Email Office
Chemistry/Biochemistry Dr. Seth Bush 756-2746 180-205A
Biology/Microbiology Dr. Ken Hillers 756-2949 33-274
Kinesiology Dr. Kris Jankovitz 756-2534 43A-375
Liberal Studies Dr. Lola Berber-Jimenez 756-0292 25-125C
Mathematics Dr. Ben Richert 756-1681 25-325
Physics Dr. Robert Echols 756-2447 180-204B


Dr. Allan Rossman 756-2861 25-107C


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