FAQ - Academic Grades & Class Process


Where do I find the Curriculum Handbook?

The Cal Poly Curriculum Handbook is available on the Office of the Registrar’s website at:


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What is a senior project?

The senior project is a capstone experience required for all Cal Poly students receiving a baccalaureate degree. It integrates theory and application from across the student's undergraduate educational experiences. The senior project consists of one or more of the following: a design or construction experience, an experiment, a self-guided study or research project, a presentation, a report based on internship, co-op, or service learning experience, and/or a public portfolio display or performance.

All departments will address their process of handling senior projects in their academic program reviews.

The Provost shall instruct the dean of each college, with appropriate faculty consultation, to see that each department has a senior project process.

Additional information is available at: Completion of Senior Project
Academic Senate Resolution AS-683-09 (PDF)
Academic Senate Resolution AS-562-01/IC (PDF)

For more information, contact the Programs and Planning Department at 805-756-2246 or acadprog@calpoly.edu.

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When are students placed on Academic Probation (AP) or Disqualified (DQ)?

The Cal Poly Catalog (Academic Requirements and Policies - Academic Standards) states clearly the conditions under which:

  • Students are placed on academic probation

  • Students are eligible for disqualification

  • Students are disqualified

  • Students are placed on administrative-academic probation

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How do students initiate and complete a Change of Major?

The Cal Poly Catalog (General Requirements - Bachelor's Degree - Change of Major) contains detailed information concerning Change of Major.

Students should also visit “Change Your Major” in the Portal (in the Registration and Enrollment tab, under Enrollment Planning) to determine whether they are eligible to change majors. This section of the Portal also refers them to curriculum displays and flowcharts and directs them to the designated advisor for the major in which they have expressed an interest (typically, this individual will also be the Originator of Individual Change of Major (ICMAs) for that major).

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What is a Class Email Alias and how is it configured?

A class email alias is a single mail address (e.g., phil-230-11-2024@calpoly.edu) to which an instructor can send a message so that all students officially enrolled in the course receive the message. Instructors can manage their email alias lists in the Portal by following the "Email Distribution Lists" link in the "Single-Click Access" Channel.

Currently, the default configuration for class aliases is to allow both enrolled students and the instructor to send messages.  Visit Sympa Faculty User Guide for instructions on how to change this default setting so that only the instructor can send messages.

Sympa guidelines and user guides available at: https://servicedesk.calpoly.edu/node/252

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What is Credit/No Credit Grading and when can students use it?

Clear information concerning Credit/No Credit grading is available from the Credit/No Credit page of the Academic Programs and Planning website. Additionally, the Academic Senate Resolution on Credit/No Credit grading is available from DigitalCommons.

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What is an Incomplete Grade and what are Incomplete Agreements?

The "Incomplete" ("I") grade signifies that a portion of the required coursework has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time due to fully justified reasons and there is still a possibility of the student earning credit. Instructors are required to provide the conditions for removal of the incomplete grade in writing for the student to review and acknowledge.

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What is the significance of the "Grade without Further Work" field in the agreement?

This field is optional and allows you to enter a grade for your student that he/she has earned up until the point where progress in the course ceased due to the circumstances that necessitated the Incomplete Grade Agreement. Enter a grade in this field ONLY IF you would like the student to be awarded a grade other than F should he/she fail to meet the conditions of the Incomplete Grade Agreement within the time allowed. Otherwise, leave this field blank.

Academic Senate resolution on Incomplete "I" Agreements

CSU Executive Order 1037

For more information contact Programs and Planning at 805-756-2246 or acadprog@calpoly.edu

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Are there any policies governing course activity during dead week?

"Dead week" is the informal name given to the last week of any quarter. Currently, there are no specific university policies governing course activity during dead week. However, the campus policy on final exams (see CAP) prohibits instructors from giving final exams during the last week of any quarter.

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When should a class be dropped via CPReg?

Classes can be dropped via CPReg through the eighth day of instruction. A student should drop a class if the instructor requests that he/she do so immediately. If a student is enrolled in the wrong class or section at the end of the term, he/she will receive a failing grade of "F" or "WU.” It is the student's responsibility to verify his/her schedule and drop unwanted courses before the drop deadline via CPReg.

A student MAY be dropped by an instructor for one of the reasons listed below:

  • Failure to attend the first class meeting - If a student is unable to attend the first class meeting, prior arrangements should be made with the instructor. If a student does not contact the instructor, he/she could be line-dropped. The instructor can line-drop students who fail to appear within the first thirty minutes of the first class meeting of a lecture, laboratory, or activity class. A STUDENT SHOULD NOT ASSUME THAT HE/SHE WILL BE LINE-DROPPED FROM A CLASS. IT IS THE STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO DROP ALL UNWANTED CLASSES.

  • Failure to meet course requirements - Some classes have special pre-requisites or restrictions, require department or instructor consent, or are reserved for majors only. See the Cal Poly Catalog for course details.

  • Canceled classes - Students will be automatically removed/dropped from canceled classes and notified via their Cal Poly e-mail address.

For more information on records, contact the Office of the Registrar at 805-756-2531 or records@calpoly.edu

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What resources and procedures are available for Grade Disputes?

Beyond conducting an appeal for a grade through the usual "chain of command" (instructor, chair of department for the course, dean of college for the course, provost), a student may pursue a grade appeal through the Academic Senate Fairness Board (see Fairness Board Description and Procedures.) Grades assigned as a result of academic dishonesty may not be appealed to the Fairness Board.

For more information, contact the Academic Senate Office at 805-756-1259

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When can Final Exams be administered?

Final exams for lecture and seminar courses (other than one-unit courses) must be administered during Finals Week of the relevant quarter. Final exams may not be administered during "Dead Week.”

More information on final exams is available from Academic Programs & Planning - Final Assessments (Exams).

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How many exams can a student be required to take in one day?

Please refer to AS-768-13 Resolution on Final Examination Overload Conflict, approved by the Academic Senate on June 4, 2013.

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For how long do I need to retain old student work?

Academic Senate Resolution AS-800-15 describes a faculty member's obligation to retain items used in the evaluation of students as well as a student's right to review the items.

In general, the length of time faculty must retain student work depends on whether students had an announced opportunity to retrieve the work during the term:

(1) If students had an announced opportunity to review work, instructor need not retain work beyond the end of the quarter.

(2) If students did not have announced opportunity to retrieve their work, as is the case with finals exams, instructors should retain student work for two quarters.

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