Frequently Asked Questions



When will the semester term start at Cal Poly?

Cal Poly’s first semester will be fall 2026. 

  • This means that most students who come to Cal Poly as first-year students in Fall 2023 and onward will complete their degree requirements when we are on semesters. 
  • It also means that students who came to Cal Poly as first-year students last fall and who are in five-year programs or high-unit majors, such as architecture or engineering programs, may have their last year in semesters.  

Why is Cal Poly moving to a semester calendar?

In fall 2021, the CSU informed Cal Poly that the university is expected to move to semesters by fall 2025 (deadline since extended to fall 2026). The chancellor’s letter outlined three primary reasons why a semester-based calendar will be beneficial to Cal Poly students.

  • First, a semester calendar will better allow Cal Poly to address some important articulation and equity issues.
  • Second, it will enhance student success in several areas, such as summer internship start and end dates and study abroad.
  • Third, the university can achieve greater administrative efficiency both locally at Cal Poly and more widely as part of the CSU system (as Cal Poly is currently the only university among the CSU’s 23 campuses that is on a quarters calendar).   

Read the chancellor’s full letter to President Armstrong on the campus communications page.

Why did Cal Poly receive an extension on its conversion to semesters?

Cal Poly requested an extension due to new curricular developments related to AB 928, which is an assembly bill approved by the legislature in fall 2021. AB 928 is designed to allow for a common general education transfer pathway from community colleges to both California State University and University of California institutions.

A new CSU GE executive order is expected in summer 2024. Because that timeline would not give us time to develop our local GE template and convert our GE curriculum for a fall 2025 semester, we were granted an extension.

Support and Resources

How is the university supporting students during the conversion process?

  • We will support students during the conversion process to semesters, through communication and advising plans, summer offerings, and other programming. 
  • Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, faculty, and the entire campus community are all working to ensure that students who transition from quarters to semesters have the support they need to be successful. 
  • Academic advising will be available throughout this process. 
  • Faculty are dedicated to ensuring that our signature Learn by Doing curriculum and co-curriculum is preserved and enhanced. 

What tools are available to help students prepare for semester conversion?

  • The Degree Progress Report is in the My Cal Poly Portal and lists the courses that a student has completed and still needs to complete. 
  • The University Catalog contains important information on course requirements, course descriptions, prerequisites, General Education, and important university policies and procedures. 
  • Curriculum sheets and flowcharts for your major are important online tools to help students stay on track toward graduation. They can be found at the Office of the Registrar Flowcharts webpage.   

What can incoming students do now to help them prepare for semester conversion?

  • Consult curriculum sheets and flowcharts to plot your required courses from now to graduation. 
  • Review your Degree Progress Report in your My Cal Poly Portal. This report helps to identify requirements already completed and what still needs to be scheduled in future terms. 
  • Pay attention to advice from advisors and other professionals to ensure that you are on track for graduation. 
  • Take advantage of opportunities for internships, research, and mentoring. 

What can student supporters do during the conversion process?

  • Please encourage your students to pay attention to notifications from advisors to ensure they are on track to graduate. 
  • Please encourage your students to consider taking summer courses so that they can be closer to meeting their graduation requirements.   

How can students, student supporters and community members stay updated on the conversion process?

Check and bookmark the semester conversion website. This site will be continuously updated to provide resources for faculty, staff, and students.

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