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Frequently Asked Questions


How does the university know when I want to graduate?
Four quarters before you plan to graduate, you should fill out a Request for a Graduation Evaluation and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. This will initiate the preparation of your evaluation and set your graduation date. You will not be allowed to register for any classes beyond this graduation date without applying to a new program or changing your graduation date.

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How do I find out if a class taken at another school will substitute for a Cal Poly class?
Visit ASSIST.org on the Web. It lists articulation agreements with other schools in California. If you took classes at a school outside of California bring course descriptions and/or syllabi to your faculty advisor or department office to determine appropriate credit.

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Who is my faculty advisor? Where can I find her/him?
Each student in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences is assigned a faculty advisor in their major. Check with your department office to find out who your advisor is and where their office is located. Advisors are assigned randomly because we have no information about your interests or career goals when we assign advisors. If you meet with your advisor and find that your interests are not the same or your personalities do not mesh, go to your department office to see about getting a new advisor. It is important to see your faculty advisor on a regular basis. So find someone that you like and with whom you can work.

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Where do I go to get information on the GRE (Graduate Record Exam)?
The Test Office (Bldg 124, Rm 121) is your best resource for GRE questions.

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Where do I go for a GE substitution form, withdrawal form, etc.
Office of the Registrar.  More information and forms are available here.

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Where can I find out about minors?
Check the most recent catalog for a listing of minors
The Cal Poly Catalog. Also, please check with the department offering the minor for requisite information.

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Where do I go to get information on studying abroad?
Go to the International Education and Programs Office (Bldg 38, Rm 108) or check out their Web page for information on International Programs, London Study Program, National Student Exchange, Study Abroad and more.

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Where do I find out about scholarships?
The Financial Aid office is a good place to start. Often college and department offices have discipline-specific scholarship information.

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Where can I find out the credit I would receive for various Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams?
This information is available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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How does repeating a course, affect my GPA?
Students are permitted to repeat up to 16 units of coursework for purposes of improving their GPA. (D+ and lower grades may be repeated). If the second grade is equal to or higher than the first, it will replace the original grade in the GPA calculation. This happens automatically at the end of the quarter when the class was repeated, except for these reasons:

  • The course was originally taken at another institution
  • The course has changed prefix or number since it was first taken
  • The course was taken through Cal Poly Open University

In any of these cases, the student can file a repeat petition with the Office of Academic Records before the end of the seventh week of the quarter when they are repeating the class.  NOTE: Repeat units can only be used once on any single course.

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How hard is it to change majors? What if I don't know which major I want?
It can be relatively easy or quite difficult to change your major depending on which major you want to get into. Check with the department of your intended major to find out the requirements. If you do not know which major you want, make an appointment with a counselor in Career Services to get some help exploring your options. College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences change of major policies can be reviewed at Change of Major Policies.

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What is the GWR?
Each student must demonstrate a competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation. Once a student becomes a junior (reaches 90 units) he/she imay meet the GWR(Graduation Writing Requirement) in one of three ways:

  • Pass the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE). This is given once a quarter on a Saturday. The cost is $25.
  • Pass an approved 300-level composition course with a grade of C or better and receive certification from the instructor of proficiency in writing.
  • Pass an approved 300-level literature course with a grade of C or better and receive certification from the instructor of proficiency in writing.

Check the web page of the Writing Skills Office for more information.

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How do I fulfill the U.S. Cultural Pluralism Requirement (USCP)?
Refer to the USCP list of courses in the current quarter's Schedule of Classes. Some courses will fulfill both General Education requirements and the USCP requirement. More information about the USCP Requirement and a list of courses that fulfill can be viewed here.

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Which catalog should I follow?
You may elect to follow the catalog in effect at the time that you enter the university or any catalog in effect from the time you arrive until the time you graduate, provided you have been in continuous attendance. Transfer students may use any catalog from the time they entered the higher education system until graduation, as long as they have not broken enrollment.

If you are following an older catalog, work with an advisor to make sure you understand what you are required to take. Some course numbers may have changed or other curricular changes may have occurred between the time the catalog first appeared and the present time.

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How do I find out when courses will be offered?
Tentative course offerings in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences for the current academic year are provided per department and can be reviewed at Tentative Course Offerings.  Additionally, each department in the University prepares a list of tentative course offerings, which are available to students via their respective websites or by visiting their offices.

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What is the minimum passing grade for a major or support course?
A "D-" is the minimum passing grade. However, if you receive a "D" grade in a class that is the prerequisite for other classes, we strongly recommend that you repeat the class before you go on to the next one.

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