Frequently Asked Questions
We have created a list of FAQs to help incoming and current transfers get the information they need!
All prospective students, students working on their application, or students who have been admitted but have not accepted must direct their questions or concerns to Admissions.
Transfer Academic FAQs
Where do I go for advising?
- For planning out your quarter and graduation requirements, go to your college advising center.
- For questions regarding specific course material or research opportunities, go to your faculty advisor or department chair.
- Transfer students do not go to the Mustang Success Center (MSC) for advising.
What is the difference between academic advisors and faculty advisors?
College Advisors are experts in your major and will guide you to graduation. The support: course & curriculum planning, forms for course substitution, withdrawals, leaves of absence, etc., interpreting policies and resource connections.
Faculty advisors are professors who work with all students throughout their time at Cal Poly. They can help you choose a concentration, review internship and research opportunities, and support in selecting specific electives.
How can I withdraw from a class, the term, or leave Cal Poly temporarily or permanently?
During your first quarter at Cal Poly, you have to take classes. Students cannot defer from their first fall quarter or take a leave of absence.
During your college career you may have to make a change to classes or even take time away.
When do I pay for tuition?
How and when can I declare my concentration?
Not all majors have concentrations, but some do! Most of your departments will share information with you during your first year on how to decide and declare a concentration. Check out these pages for more:
Where can I learn more about the quarter to semester conversion?
Today, Cal Poly is the last campus within the California State University system still on the quarter calendar. At the request of the Office of the Chancellor, the university was informed in October of 2021 that it would begin the process of converting to a semester calendar, which would be implemented by the start of the 2026-2027 academic year.
Cal Poly has a website dedicated to the quarter to semester conversion where you can learn more and where they will be providing ongoing updates.
How can I get help with transitioning to the quarter system, time management, and going to office hours?
- Make an appointment with Transfer Academic Coaches for support in these areas. Coaches are current transfer students who have gone through the transition that you are going through now.
- Check out some tips on the Transfer Academic Coaching website
Explore the Transfer Center Resource page - pay special attention to the resources on time management, adjusting the to quarter system, and studying!
General Transfer FAQs
How can I replace my campus ID?
Follow the steps on the Get a PolyCard page. There is a $5 replacement fee.
How can I find out about internships and research opportunities?
- Talking with faculty members in your major department is one of the most effective ways to find out about research and internships!
- In addition, connect with Career Services! You can set up a time with your college specific career specialist to review your resume, get interview help, and talk about post-graduation plans or summer internships.
- It is strongly encouraged to attend a Career Fair hosted by Career Services!
How do I get an on-campus job?
Many of the on campus jobs are posted through your Handshake account. Access Handshake through your Cal Poly portal under MustangJOBS.
How do I get involved?
From clubs and organizations, to on campus jobs and research there are lots of ways to get involved on campus! Check out the "getting involved on campus" section of our transfer resource page.
How can I get a parking permit?
How do I use bus system?
The SLO Transit is free with your Cal Poly ID card. Use the SLO Transit mobile app to get updates on bus routes and the bus location in real time.
I need help finding off-campus housing and/or roommates. Where do I start?
- Start your housing search early!
- For incoming transfers, it is encouraged to start looking as soon as you accept admission to Cal Poly.
- For current transfers, students often start looking in January and February!
- Check out the off-campus housing office. Their website has a lot of great information on it including a list of local complexes and property managers.
- Join the Transfer Center Discord to get connected with other incoming and current transfers for opportunities.
As an alumni, how can I stay connected with the transfer community?
There are lots of ways to connect and engage with the transfer community as an alumni! Check out our transfer alumni page!
Incoming Transfer FAQs
When can I meet with an advisor?
The earliest you can meet with an academic advisor is during SLO Days in August. The reason for this is because:
- After your transcripts have been received and courses have been matriculated (matched with the Cal Poly equivalent), you will get an email from email@example.com when this process is complete.
- This allows your academic advisor to have a complete understanding of your coursework to advise you accurately.
Who do I talk to about my to do list?
Your "To Do List" within your portal is managed by Admissions. If you have any questions about your application, your to do list, or your admissions status please reach out to Admissions.
What is the general timeline for what I should do and submit during my summer before transferring?
Timeline and Overview for Registration - This page provides a comprehensive timeline of when/how transfers register for classes before their first term at Cal Poly. Each college has a list of suggested courses that transfers should take during their time at Cal Poly in order to meet their graduation requirements.
What is SLO Days?
Transfer SLO Days are assigned by major and the sessions throughout the day are meant to prepare you for class registration. Students meet with their College advisors to prepare them for class registration the following week. Key speakers include: The Transfer Center, University Advising, the Office of the Registrar, and College Advisors.
What is Week of Welcome (WOW)?
WOW is a dynamic collection of activities, events, and programs to engage new students with campus life, resources, and tons of other Cal Poly Mustangs!
Transfer students have the option of doing the traditional, Small Group Experience with other incoming transfer students or the Independent WOW Experience that provides schedule flexibility. Learn more about both options.
Will I be in a transfer-only group during WOW?
Yes! Transfer students in the “small group experience” will be grouped with other incoming transfer students. You will not be grouped with first-time freshmen.
Transfers who choose the "independent" or "choose your own adventure" track will not be placed within a group.
For more questions about the WOW transfer options contact New Student and Transition Programs.
Are transfers required to live on campus?
No. Transfers can choose to live on campus, spots are limited so make sure to apply as soon as you accept your admissions.
For transfers who choose to live off campus, check out the off-campus housing office. Their website has a lot of great information on it including a list of local complexes and property managers.
Where do transfer students live on campus?
Transfer students live in Cerro Vista or Poly Canyon Village. These are both apartment style complexes so transfers have a kitchen they share with their roommates and are not required to be on a meal plan. Learn more about the timeline for living on campus