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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
  • Injury, illness, death, or any extenuating circumstances of close relatives (to include but not limited to natural, adopted, and/or in-law children, parents, legal guardians, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren as well as spouses or partners)
  • 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 (non-financial holds), 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 the Office of the Registrar Calendars and Deadlines webpage. 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  the Office of the Registrar Calendars and Deadlines webpage 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 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 Leave of Absence with a written request and approval by campus officials. A student may not request a Leave of Absence their first term (their term of admission). Students may request up to 6 terms off for a leave of Absence (not including summer). There is an exception for U.S. Military.


To be eligible to apply for a leave of absence, students must:

  • be eligible to enroll in the term the leave begins.
  • have attended Cal Poly for at least one quarter for which they earned units or received ‘W’ grades.
  • have dropped or withdrawn from all classes for the term the leave begins.


Students who meet the eligibility requirements:

  • may apply for a leave of absence for up to three quarters, not including summer.
  • may request one additional leave of absence, totaling a maximum of 6 quarters, not including summer. There is an exception for U.S. Military service.
  • must have an initiated and approved leave of absence submitted before the leave begins. A leave of absence will not be granted retroactively.
  • will be in continuous attendance with the purpose of returning to the same curriculum that was in effect when the leave began.
  • must inform the Financial Aid Office, if applicable.
  • will not be 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.

Any student on leave who fails to return and enroll within the time limits specified by the leave agreement will be required to reapply for admission, pay the reapplication fee, and may be held to any new curriculum requirements which may be in effect.

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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

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.

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. Additional information available from the Office of the Registrar, Admin 222.

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Health Screening

Immunization and Screening Requirements

The California State University (CSU) is committed to the protection of health and wellness of all students. To comply with this overarching goal, the CSU requires that students are current for the immunizations listed below. For details, please visit

These requirements will have to be met by the first day of their first quarter; otherwise students will not be allowed to register for their second quarter until proof of full immunization has been provided to the campus.

CSU and Cal Poly students are REQUIRED to obtain the following vaccines and undergo screening/risk assessment for Tuberculosis:

Required Immunizations & Screenings Required Dosage & Screening Information
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Two (2) doses with first dose on or after 1st birthday; OR positive titer (laboratory evidence of immunity to disease)
Varicella (Chickenpox) Two (2) doses with first dose on or after 1st birthday; OR positive titer. History of contracting the disease does not meet compliance.
Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) One (1) dose after age 7
Meningococcal Conjugate (Serogroups A, C, Y, & W‐135) New Row One (1) dose between the age 16 and age 21 or younger.
Meningococcal B (Meningitis B) Students age 16 to 23 after discussion with their healthcare provider.
Hepatitis B (Hep B) Students age 18 and younger ( CA Health & Safety Code, Sec. 120390.5)
Tuberculosis Risk Assessment All incoming students must complete a Tuberculosis risk assessment. Incoming students who are at higher risk* for TB infection, as indicated by answering “yes” to any of the screening questions, should undergo either skin of blood testing for TB infection within 1 year of CSU entry.
*Higher risk include travel to or living in South &Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East; prior positive TB test; or exposure to someone with active TB disease.

CSU and Cal Poly students are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to obtain the following immunizations (please discuss with your provider):

Recommended Immunizations Recommended Groups
Hepatitis A (Hep A) All students regardless of age
Hepatitis B (Hep B) Students age 19 and older
Human papillomavirus (HPV) For women and men through age 26
Influenza (Flu) Annually; all students regardless of age
Meningococcal B (Meningitis B) Students age 16 – 23 after discussion with their healthcare provider.
Meningococcal conjugate (Serogroups A, C, Y, & W‐135) Students between the age of 21 and up to age 23.
Pneumococcal For students with certain medical conditions (e.g., severe asthma, diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease)
Poliovirus (Polio) Regardless of age, if the series was not completed as a child
Immunizations for international travel Based on destination


The California State University system allows for exemptions to immunization requirements based on a medical condition that may be a contraindication to vaccinations. Visit the CDPH website for explanation and requirements needed for medical exemptions: Vaccine Recommendations and Guidelines of the ACIP.

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

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