Changing Majors into GENE from outside CENG

Change of major is not a guarantee and current requirements are subject to change at anytime.

General 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 in fall quarter 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 for 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

  • After submitting the Change of Major Application*, make an appointment with the Change of Major Advisor in the Engineering Advising Center*.
    • To make an appointment please contact the Engineering Student Services at 805-756-1461 or Building 40 Room 115.
    • 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 not exceed two quarters and will require:
    • A 2.5 GPA in three specified courses; all passed with a C- or better
    • A 2.5 Cal Poly GPA at the end of the ICMA
    • Students be in good standing at the end of both ICMA quarters
  • 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 

* You can complete your application and meet with an advisor to discuss a possible ICMA during fall quarter. While we cannot create your ICMA until winter quarter, you do not need to wait until winter to submit your application and meet with an advisor.

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