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Students are required to enroll in courses through their Student Center. The courses selected should meet the requirements specified for each student's major course of study.

Credit for coursework completed is given only when the student is properly registered. A student is not properly registered until fee requirements have been met and enrollment in classes has been confirmed in their Student Center. Students are strongly advised to print copies of their schedule for their records. Individuals are not permitted to attend courses unless they are officially registered as regular students, as approved extension students, or as enrolled auditors (see Audit).

Information concerning registration for classes is available at Information concerning payment of fees is available at

Enrollment Policy

State funding is allocated to the University based on student enrollment each term. Any attendance/participation in classes where the student is not officially enrolled during the term of participation (and where appropriate registration fees have not been paid) is against campus policy. This includes enrollment in Internship courses and acceptance of a position through the Cooperative Education program. All registration should be completed by the end of the Add Period, the 8th day of instruction for each term.

Official term enrollment requires the awarding of grades for classes attempted.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend class regularly to keep the quality and quantity of their work high. Absence from classes is regarded as serious. An excused absence can be allowed only by the instructor in charge of the class upon consideration of the evidence justifying the absence presented by the student. An excused absence merely gives the individual who missed the class an opportunity to make up the work and in no way excuses the student from the work required.

"Excusable" Reasons for Missing Class

It is strongly urged that instructors accept the following “excusable” reasons for allowing students to make up missed work:

  • Illness with a doctor’s statement
  • Serious illness or death of close relatives
  • Active participation in university events (an instructor may require a statement from the adviser involved certifying that the student was actively participating in a recognized university event)
  • Field trips
  • Religious holidays
  • Selective service and military reasons
  • NCAA athletic competitions
  • Instructionally Related Activities (IRA)/competitions
  • Jury duty or any other legally required court appearances
  • Job or internship interviews

Any student seeking to make up missed work pursuant to the above listed "excusable" reasons must inform the instructor of their intent in a timely manner.

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Holding of Records

Student records may be placed on a "Hold" status because of financial or other obligations to the University. The Hold authorizes the University to deny registration, prevent the release of transcripts, and to withhold other services normally provided to the student. A student's records are held until the obligation is cleared to the satisfaction of the office or department placing the Hold.

Enrollment Status

Full-time undergraduate students are those enrolled in 12 or more units of coursework in any regular quarter. Half-time undergraduate students are those enrolled in 6 to 11 units, and part-time undergraduate students are those enrolled for 5 or less units. Verification of enrolled units is based on enrollment status at the time of the verification request. Full-time status for graduate students is defined in the "Graduate Studies" section of this catalog.

Maximum Unit Load

The maximum load for all students is 22 quarter units including audited courses. Exceptions may be made with the advance approval of the student's major department head or graduate advisor. Increase in maximum unit load is not available to students on academic probation. Maximum load requirements may be waived only on presentation of evidence of ability to carry successfully such a group of courses. A petition to carry an excess load is available from the Office of the Registrar.


All changes to individual class registration or enrollments are the responsibility of the student. The add/drop period continues through initial registration cycles until the end of the 8th day of instruction of each term. During this period, the student has the opportunity to add or drop classes. See specific dates for completing these transactions at Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to these published timelines and for their enrollments.


Closed classes: If a class is full, students may use a permission number, issued by the instructor, during the first 8 days of instruction. See for details.

Time conflict: Students may not enroll in two classes that meet at the same time.

Eligibility: Students must meet prerequisite and Schedule of Classes footnote requirements and be in attendance at the first class meeting to remain enrolled in the class.

Late registration: Students registering late have until the end of the add/drop period to pay late registration fees and to register for classes through their Student Center with a permission number issued by the instructor of the class.


Students have until the end of the 8th day of instruction to drop classes through their Student Center. No enrollment history appears on the academic record. At the end of the regular add/drop period the instructor must assume that any student who has not dropped voluntarily remains officially enrolled in the class. For information on withdrawing after the end of the regular add/drop period see Withdrawals from Courses.

First class meeting: An instructor may drop a student from a  class if the student is not present at the end of the first class meeting.

Footnote requirement: An instructor may drop a student from a class if the footnote requirements, as stated in PASS (online Schedule of Classes), are not met.

Prerequisite missing: An instructor may drop a student from a class if the prerequisite requirements, as stated in the catalog course description, have not been completed.

Canceled classes: If a class is canceled, students are automatically dropped and have no reporting responsibilities.

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Leaves of Absence

Students are permitted to take a Planned Educational Leave or a Medical Leave with a written request and approval by campus officials. A student may not request a leave of absence their first quarter.

Eligibility for All Leaves

  1. A student on Educational or Medical Leave is considered to be in continuous attendance with the purpose of returning to the same curriculum that was in effect when the leave began.
  2. A student on Educational or Medical Leave is not required to apply for readmission or pay an application fee provided that the student returns to the same major and within the time period agreed upon when the application was approved.
  3. No more than two leaves are available to each student (totaling a maximum of 8 terms).
  4. A student on leave may return and enroll for any term prior to the term when the leave is scheduled to end. NO leave is extended beyond the two-year limitation for any reason.
  5. Any student on leave who fails to return and enroll within the time limits specified by the leave agreement is required to reapply for admission, pay the reapplication fee, and may be held to any new curriculum requirements which may be in effect.

Educational Leaves:

  1. A Planned Educational Leave must be for a purpose that contributes to the student's educational objective and is approved by the student's major department head or chair.
  2. To be considered for an Educational Leave, the student must be eligible to enroll for the term in which the leave begins and not be on academic probation.
  3. The application for Educational Leave must be initiated and approved before the leave begins and is not granted retroactively.
  4. Application forms and information concerning Leaves of Absence may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

Medical Leaves:

  1. A Medical Leave provides time for the student to receive treatment or to recover from a disabling injury or other medical condition and is approved by a medical doctor.
  2. The Medical Leave begins the term following the student's last term in attendance and may be granted retroactively based on the student's personal situation.
  3. A written letter together with medical documentation is required. Information concerning Leaves of Absence may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

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Returning Students

Matriculated students who have not enrolled in classes at Cal Poly for three consecutive quarters (excluding summer term) or have not been on an approved leave of absence will be discontinued and will be required to file an application for readmission. The application fee must accompany the application for readmission.  See the Admission section for application deadlines for returning students.

Winter, Spring, Summer Fall
Spring, Summer, Fall Winter
Fall, Winter Spring

Intrasystem and Intersystem Enrollment Programs

Fully matriculated students enrolled at any CSU campus have access to courses at other CSU campuses on a space available basis unless those campuses/programs are impacted. This access is offered without students being required to be admitted formally to the host campus and sometimes without paying additional fees. Students should consult their home campus academic advisors to determine how such courses may apply to their specific degree programs before enrolling at the host campus.

There are two programs for enrollment within the CSU and one for enrollment between CSU and the University of California or California community colleges. Additional information about these programs is available from the Office of the Registrar, Admin. 222.

CSU Concurrent Enrollment – matriculated students in good standing may enroll on a space available basis at both their home CSU campus and a host CSU campus during the same term. Credit earned at the host campus is reported to the home campus to be included on the student’s transcript at the home campus. This counts as residential credit towards the degree but is shown as transfer credit.

CSU Fully Online Courses – matriculated students in good standing may request enrollment in one course per term, offered by a CSU host campus on a quarter system. Enrollment requests will be granted based on available space, as well as completion of any stated prerequisites. Credit earned at the host campus is electronically reported to the student’s home campus to be included on the student’s transcript at the home campus.

CSU Visitor Enrollment – matriculated students in good standing enrolled at one CSU campus may enroll at another CSU campus for one term. Credit earned at the host campus is reported at the student's request to the home campus to be included on the student’s transcript at the home campus as transfer credit.

Intersystem Cross Enrollment – matriculated CSU, UC, or community college students may enroll on a space available basis for one course per term at another CSU, UC, or community college and request that a transcript of record be sent to the home campus and recorded as transfer credit.

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Health Screening

Please Note: Effective academic year 2020/21, the immunization requirements will change for all incoming students. Please click here for more details.

All entering CSU students (except those graduating from a California public high school) are required to present proof of immunization against MMR and Hepatitis B to the CSU campus they are attending before the beginning of their first term of enrollment.  If proof cannot be presented at that time, please refer to the Alternatives section below.  It is also recommended that students complete the medical questionnaires located on the Health and Counseling Portal which can be accessed by logging into your Cal Poly Portal and selecting the “Health and Counseling Portal” icon.


  • Measles and Rubella: Students must submit proof of immunization against measles and rubella within one year of the time of first enrollment. The MMR immunization series consists of two shots, separated by at least 28 days. Students will not be allowed to register for a second year until they have fulfilled this requirement.
  • Hepatitis B: Students who are 18 years of age or younger at the start of their first term at a CSU campus must provide proof of full immunity against Hepatitis B prior to their second quarter. Full immunization against Hepatitis B consists of three timed doses of vaccine over a minimum 4- to 6-month period. Students will not be allowed to register for a second quarter until they have presented proof to Health Services that they have received at least one shot, and must complete the series prior to the second year of enrollment.
  • Meningococcal Disease. All incoming freshmen who will be residing in on-campus housing will be required to complete the Meningococcal Disease Response Form indicating that they have received information about meningococcal disease and the availability of the vaccine to prevent contracting the disease and indicating whether the student has chosen to receive the vaccination. This form is part of the University Housing application and will be sent to you by early fall.

Compliance with the requirements can be met in the following ways:

1. Submit Documentation

A copy of any one of the following will satisfy immunization requirements:

  • School Immunization Record
  • County Health Department Immunization Record (well-baby booklet)
  • International Health & Immunization Record (used by military & foreign travelers)
  • Family physician's record
  • Verified record of blood test showing immunity


Download the Hepatitis B and Measles/Rubella Immunization Form and mail or fax to:

Health Services
California Polytechnic State University
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0210
or send via FAX: (805) 756-5298

2. Be immunized

For those who do not have documentation, immunizations can be obtained at:

  • A private health care provider
  • A local clinic or County Public Health Department
  • The Cal Poly Campus Health and Wellbeing (health center) once an individual is an enrolled student

3. Have a blood test

A rubella/rubeola titer and/or Hepatitis B surface antibody test will determine if an individual is immune either by past immunization or by having had the diseases.

4. Request a waiver or exemption

  • Medical: If medical circumstances contraindicate immunization, an individual may be granted an exemption.
  • Religious: State law permits exemption from immunization for those who object to immunization on religious or personal grounds. Please note: revised EO 803 (academic year 2020/21) allows for medical exemptions only
  • Distance Learning: Students enrolled in a “Distance Learning” program only.
  • Waivers for exemption are available at the Cal Poly Student Health Center.

In the event of an outbreak of these diseases, students who signed a waiver may be temporarily excluded from class, residence halls or campus.

For more information, visit or call Health Services at 805.756.1211.

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