Changing Majors into CSC, SE, or CPE from outside CENG

Changing majors from outside the College of Engineering

Computer Science, Software Engineering and Computer Engineering

General Guidelines:

  • Review Cal Poly’s General Change of Major Policy in full
  • Students must complete at least one quarter at Cal Poly before entering into an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA).
  • Students must have been eligible for their intended major upon entry to Cal Poly (via the admissions process). See process below to determine eligibility for an intended major.
  • Students who enter into a change of major agreement and do not complete the agreement’s requirements, either by failing to complete the terms or by opting out due to a change of plan or interest, will not be eligible to request that same major later in their career at Cal Poly.
  • Students must be able to graduate within 5 years or less (3 years and less for transfer students). A realistic quarter-by-quarter graduation plan may be required to demonstrate whether this is feasible.
  • Former students who left the College of Engineering in poor standing and have been accepted into another college at Cal Poly do not have the option of applying for a change of major back into the College of Engineering.


Step 1: Initial Research Students are expected to research their options and make a well-informed decision before entering into an ICMA. The following is a sample list of research opportunities.


Step 2: Complete Inquiry Form (Summer Instructions)

  • Complete the Summer Eligibility Inquiry Form: 
    • New students can submit an inquiry beginning: July 22, 2019
    • Continuing students can submit an inquiry at any time
  • Factors that departments may consider to determine eligibility:
    • Eligibility for the proposed major at the time of admission.
    • Academic Record (e.g. GPA, coursework etc.).
    • Ability to complete degree requirements in the new major in a timely manner.
  • You will receive an email response from Engineering Student Services within 10 business days regarding next steps. 


Step 3: Reaffirm You Are Choosing the Right Major

  • Engineering Change of Major Workshop: Attend this workshop to learn about all 13 of the College of Engineering majors, possible career paths, suggested research activities and the engineering change of major policy and process. See workshop dates and times. Although not required, this workshop is highly recommended and it is expected that all freshman attend this workshop.
  • Complete the Change of Major Application.
    • The application will require students to reflect on their reasons for wanting a change of major and complete several in-depth activities to explore their intended major further.
    • Completed Change of Major Applications should be submitted before a student’s change of major appointment (see below). Students should be prepared to discuss their responses.


Step 4: Meet with an ESS Change of Major Advisor

    • To make an appointment please contact Engineering Student Services at 805-756-1461 or Building 40 Room 111.
    • This appointment will discuss the target major, the possibility of getting an Individual Change of Major Agreement (ICMA) and which courses will be included on the agreement.
  • If a student is granted an ICMA, it will be one quarter and will require:
      • “B” grade or higher in CPE 101
      • Term GPA of 3.3
      • Cal Poly Cumulative GPA of 3.3
      • At least one math or other relevant major/support course for CSC/SE designated by a Change of major Advisor with C- or better
    • OR for students unable to get their Cal Poly cumulative GPA to a 3.3:
      • “B” grade or higher in CPE 101
      • Term GPA of 3.7
      • Good standing
      • At least one math or other relevant major/support course for CSC/SE designated by a change of major advisor with C- or better
    • Students with AP or transfer credit for CPE 101 will be required to take CPE 202 or the next CSC/CPE course in the series
  • If a student meets the conditions of their ICMA, they are admitted to the new major
    • Students who do not meet the conditions of their ICMA will not be issued another ICMA to that major


**The completion of coursework without prior consultation with an ESS Advisor does not guarantee the student eligibility to switch into the intended major.**