Academic Probation & Disqualification Policy

Academic Probation Support

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Academic Probation and Disqualification

Many students face academic difficulty at some point in their college careers—you are not alone! There are many people across campus that are here to support you in your academic journey.

Step 1: Academic Probation Policy

Students whose term/quarter, CPSLO, or Higher Ed GPAs fall below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation (AP). Being on academic probation causes many students (and supporters) to feel confused, overwhelmed, and stressed. If that's you, take a deep breath-we're here to help!

Know Your Status

First, it helps to understand your status. The academic probation policy breaks down varying levels of severity into two statuses: Academic Probation Status and Disqualification StatusBe sure to read the difference between these statuses and learn more about which applies to you. 

Note that disqualification status does not automatically equate to dismissal from the university.

Below are the Disqualification Thresholds to be aware of:

Academic progress levels and GPA limits
Academic Progress Level IV (75.1%-100%) 1.950 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
Academic Progress Level III (45.1%-75%) 1.850 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
Academic Progress Level II (20.1%-45%) 1.700 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
Academic Progress Level I (0%-20%) 1.500 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA

Step 2: Requirements for the College of Engineering

Students in the College of Engineering will be required to participate in a tailored intervention as a means of providing support and to promote student success.  All students will receive an email stating exactly what they are required to do and the deadline for completing it.

All students on Academic Probation at the end of Spring Quarter 2024 must complete their intervention by Friday, October 18, 2024.

You may complete your requirement over Summer. Please see drop down below for more details. We are open all Summer long and encourage you to schedule time before the Fall quarter starts.


All Continuing Students May Complete Their Requirement Over Summer

Must complete both steps 1 and 2:

  1. Complete an Academic Standing Reflection Form prior to a meeting with an advisor
  2. Schedule a Required Academic Probation Appointment with an advisor.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you are in EOP, you can meet with your specific EOP advisor to fulfill this requirement.

If you are a CP Scholar, you can meet with any advisor in our office to fulfill this requirement.

Disqualified Students on an Academic Success Contract

Disqualified students were notified of their status on Friday, June 21, 2024.  

If you have been disqualified, to remain active in your program, you will need to appeal for reinstatement. We highly encourage you to appeal.

The College of Engineering will review your appeal and, if approved, you will be placed on an Academic Success Contract You will be required to Schedule an Appointment with Kim Marsalek or Katie Jennings to review your contract and discuss success strategies for your upcoming quarter. 

If you were on an Academic Success Contract during Spring 2024 and did not meet the contract requirements you will be emailed a link on Friday, June 21st to make an appeal by Wednesday, June 26th at 5:00 p.m., which you are recommended to complete.


If you do not appeal or if your appeal is not approved, you will be dismissed from the university and will no longer be an active Cal Poly student.

  • Dismissed students will be dropped from summer and fall quarter classes.
  • Students who have been dismissed may apply for readmission in the future.

Step 3: Reflection on Previous Quarters

It's important to reflect on how your quarter went and how you would like to approach future quarters to meet your academic goals. We recommend reviewing each of these categories to get more information on resources and skills that could help you improve your academic performance.

Time Management

Aerospace Engineering
  • Prioritizing your tasks by sorting them into groups (1's, 2's, 3's) can help with time management. The tasks you categorized as 1's should be completed first. 
  • Decide how much time a task or assignment is going to take and how much energy you need. Schedule in an allotted time to complete the task (e.g. laundry for 2 hours, writing a paper for 1 hour).
  • Regularly planning time to relax and organize your thoughts can help you when you are busy. 
  • Allow extra time for UnForseen Obstacles (UFOs). Leaving time for last minute events or obligations can help ease anxieties and stressors in a busy schedule (e.g. leave an hour open before class to print an assignment or grab coffee). 
  • Utilize free time for floating tasks, or things you can do anywhere at any time (e.g. carry around a book you need to read for class, or note cards to review for an exam). 
  • Check out the Time Management Schedules for useful calendars to use during the quarter.


Biomedical Engineering
  • Make sure to prioritize self-care. This can be something you already do that makes you happy and gives you an outlet for expression and relaxation (e.g. exercising, waking up early, painting, going to the beach, connecting with friends).
  • Set boundaries for yourself. If your job asking you to work every day of the week, but you only want to work two days, set that boundary. You know yourself best. Take time for yourself and your school work. 
  • Remember you are a student first. It can be fun getting involved, but try not to over commit. Find one or two opportunities on campus that you are passionate about and stick to those. 
  • You are human. Things come up and sometimes you have to put yourself before your commitments. Make sure to communicate with others and set boundaries so that you can focus on what is most important: you.

Test Taking

Civil Engineering
  • Write down all the formulas or key points at the beginning of an exam so you do not forget. 
  • Bring water or a snack so you can fuel your body while taking an exam. 
  • Sit in the front of the room so you do not see others come and go. This helps minimize distractions!
  • Get a good night's rest before taking an exam. All-nighters tend to increase lack of focus and understanding. 

Study Skills

Computer Engineering
  • Limit your use of social media when studying for an exam or completing an assignment. Block certain sites, put your phone in "do not disturb" mode, or delete apps that are distracting. 
  • Change up your study spot. Find a different place to study so that your brain doesn't associate one specific place with studying. Instead of going to the library, try a new coffee shop or sit outside. 
  • Rewrite your notes by hand or find someone to "teach" the material to. 
  • Use the 5 Minutes Rule. If you tell yourself to focus on the material for just 5 minutes, studies show that your brain will stay focused and you will keep studying after 5 minutes. 
  • Check out the Academic Skills Center and Writing and Learning Initiatives


Computer Science
  • Staying motivated, especially when things get challenging, can be difficult when we have a lot on our plate. As a student, it is important you stay focused on your long term goal: graduation. To do this, you can set smaller, more attainable goals to help keep you motivated. These are called SMART goals (see Step 4). 
  • Often times we are more likely to complete a task if we have an incentive. You can motivate yourself by creating an incentive that you will receive after the task is complete. (e.g. Going on a trip or buying a new outfit once you finish the quarter.)

Personal Wellbeing

Electrical Engineering

Getting Connected

Environmental Engineering
  • Finding a community on campus can be tough, especially when you are so busy. Luckily, getting connected is super easy!
  • Join a study group, find a club, or introduce yourself to a new classmate every quarter. Each of these strategies can help you quickly build a community here at Cal Poly and make your journey through undergrad a little more fun. 
  • Reach out to different departments to find resources that could be of value to you. 

Physical Wellbeing

General Engineering
  • Just like your personal wellbeing, your physical wellbeing is extremely important. For our bodies to function at their best capacity, we need to be healthy. 
  • Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day, eating a balanced diet, and getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. 
  • Our bodies are made to move, so if you find yourself feeling tired or sluggish, step away from studying and go for a walk. The movement (and fresh air!) will help your body reset. 
  • Similarly, getting regular exercise is beneficial to our overall wellbeing. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day has many health benefits and is very important for the overall function of our bodies.
  • Often times students will skip the gym to hang out with friends or do school work, but you can do both! Ask a friend to go on a hike, or read your notes while you run on the treadmill. Multi-tasking is a great skill to practice!  

Major Fit

Industrial Engineering
  • Sometimes the reason students are struggling in their classes is because their major is not a good fit for them, and that is okay! You are encouraged to explore other options, both inside and outside of engineering.
  • Talk with an Engineering Student Services advisor, connect with a Career Counselor at Career Services, or talk to professors in majors that interest you. 
  • If you are questioning your major, this is a great time for self-reflection. Think about your goals and your interests. Are there certain qualities about your major that you like or dislike? Does your desired career path allow for you to have the personal life you want? These are all important things to be thinking about as you earn your bachelor's degree. 
  • This process can be overwhelming, and might even feel discouraging. Know that you are not alone and if you want to talk to someone, ESS is open to all questions and concerns, just send us an email at 

Step 4: Goal-Setting & Moving Forward

It is important to set small, attainable goals to help move you toward your long term goal. There are also resources that can help with goal-setting and moving forward. 


Architectural Engineering
  • Undergraduate students may repeat  a maximum of 16 units at Cal Poly for purposes of improving GPA.
  • A course taken at Cal Poly or at another university or college may be repeated at Cal Poly with the new grade reported along with the prior grade.
  • If the second grade is equal to or higher than the first, then the grade earned by repeating the course will replace the quality points, quality hours, and earned hours which were previously earned.
  • The original grade is "forgiven" from the GPA computation, but both grades appear on the student's permanent record (transcript). 
  • Effective Summer 2007, any course is eligible for grade forgiveness one time only. Repeated attempts will be averaged in the student's GPA up to 18 units.


BioResource and Agricultural Engineering

Step # 1: Review the University Policy

To understand what your best next step is, please review the Drops, Withdraws, and Leaves policy.

Step # 2: Request the Withdrawal Form

You will first need to request that Engineering Student Services create the withdrawal form for you in Adobe Sign. This step is just a request and does not start the official withdrawal form. Please see Step # 3 for the next step.

Step # 3: Fill out the Withdrawal Form

You will receive an Adobe Sign copy of the form in your Cal Poly email inbox. Please keep a look out for the form so that you can officially fill it out and sign it.

Step # 4: Form Routed for Signatures

Once you sign, the form will automatically be routed through Adobe Sign to the next individuals for signatures. This process can take some time. We recommend for a course withdrawal, that you notify your instructor that a form will be sent to them for a signature. 

Step # 5: Form Completion

Once the form is completed, you will receive a copy and should see the grade change to a "W" in the next several days.


    Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies
    • What is a SMART goal?
      • Specific: Your goal is direct, detailed and meaningful.
      • Measurable: Your goal is quantifiable to track your progress. 
      • Attainable: Your goal is realistic and you have the tools and/or resources to attain it. 
      • Relevant: Your goal is important to you and your interests. 
      • Timely: Your goal has a deadline and you use this timeframe to stay on track.
    • What is an example of a SMART goal? 
      • Specific: I want to read 12 books this year.
      • Measurable: I will read one book a month.
      • Attainable: I will read 1 hour at lunch and 1 hour before bed.
      • Relevant: I enjoy reading and want to do some leisurely. 
      • Timely: If I read one book a month, I will finish in one year. 

    Step 5: Support Resources

    Department & Resources

    Contact Information

    Multicultural Engineering Program

    Our advisors are here to support you! Our program sends out biweekly newsletters to keep you updated on resources and events! Visit our website to learn more!


    Writing & Learning Center

    Tutoring services and writing support are free to use. Make your appointment online!


    Also check out the Engineering Help Hub (canvas course with Zoom link) to meet informally with peers and classmates for support in your courses!

    (808) 756-6032

    Study Strategies Library &

    Academic Skills Center

    Both of these resources are designed to enrich academic development. Includes workshops and resources for academic support.

    (805) 756-1256

    Campus Health & Wellbeing

    Visit Campus Health & Wellbeing's page to stay up to date on current information and connect with Health Services or Counseling Services by calling their line. They also have counselors that can meet with you virtually!

    Health Services:


    Counseling Services:


    Study Sessions & Supplemental Workshops

    Group tutoring sessions provide a collaborative learning environment for STEM courses. Supplemental workshops are led by trained peer facilitators and are designed to help you master course concepts. These will now be offered virtually - check out their website for more information! 

    Study Session:

    Supplemental Workshops:

    Student Academic Services

    Student Academic Services (SAS) is a network of academic services, advisors,and activities designed to assist you in excelling at Cal Poly and in enhancing your learning skills.

    Academic Skills Center:

    Black Academic Excellence Center:

    Cal Poly Scholars:

    Dream Center:

    Educational Opportunity Program:

    Transfer Center:

    TRIO Achievers:






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