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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.

Specific Information by Major

Students interested in changing their major into or out of the College of Science and Mathematics should do the following:


I. Requesting a Change of Major into the College of Science and Mathematics

  1. Meet with their current adviser to review major options and talk about career paths. Consider, also, consulting with Career Services, other advisers, and faculty and/or department heads/chairs in both current and target majors.
  2. Meet with the department head/chair or designee in the target major to determine the likelihood of success in the new major. For contact information, please see below.
  3. Review the curriculum requirements for the target major.
  4. If the target major is not a good fit for the student, the student will be advised to look at other options.
  5. If the student receives a positive assessment and it is clear that he/she can complete degree requirements in the new major within the unit maximum (unit maximum is 24 units above program requirements), then at the discretion of the target department,  either the student will be allowed to change to the new major immediately, or an ICMA will be developed (see below).

II. Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA)

The change of major will be approved once the student has successfully met all of the requirements of the ICMA.

The ICMA will cover no more than two quarters. The ICMA may include the following components:

  1. Maximum of three specified courses or 12 units in the target major.
  2. Additional courses and/or units to allow the student to meet minimum progress standards and complete degree applicable units in both majors, whenever possible (e.g., GE courses or electives a student could use to meet degree requirements in both current and target majors).
  3. GPA requirements, as determined by the department (e.g., overall/term GPA, GPA in major-specified courses, GPA in past two quarters).
  4. If applicable, specific steps to be met to resume good academic standing status.

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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