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How hard is it to change majors?

ObvSlplssObvSlplss Posts: 77Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2012 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Not majors within a college, but majors between colleges. i.e. I selected Business as my major, but since then I have found out that I really want to do Computer Science (Business Program -> Engineering Program.)
Post edited by ObvSlplss on

Replies to: How hard is it to change majors?

  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Posts: 1,198Registered User Senior Member
    As you already know it is fairly easy within your college. However, if you want to change to CS then you have to be far more aggressive and strategic in how you do it as the majors are in two different colleges. First of all, you CAN change -- it is just challenging. I believe that you will have to remain a business major for your first quarter. You will also most likely get block scheduling for that first quarter as well. Which means that as a freshman your classes will be predetermined for you in the major you were accepted to. So, if you are going to change majors do it as early as possible. There is a pathway, but you will have to play catch up and this could affect how quickly you can graduate. Here is how you do it:

    Here is the link for changing majors to CS: Changing Majors into CSC | Engineering Advising Center

    Here are the summarized Minimum Standards for transferring from outside of CENG:

    "Students transferring from outside of the College of Engineering into CSC must have a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average (current, CP Cum, Higher Ed), a 2.5 grade point average in the three specified courses or 12 units, show they can complete major/support coursework as outlined on the flowchart, be eligible for MATH 141, demonstrate they can graduate with no more than 24 excess units above the program requirement, and meet their ICMA agreement. Students will be held to the agreement as written and no exceptions will be made."

    Another alternative is to get a minor in CS: https://www.csc.calpoly.edu/programs/minor-csc/

    My kid is an engineer. I was a business major. There is nothing wrong with that major! But, if your passion is CS, then get ready to change after that first quarter and see an academic counselor as soon as you are settled. But, it is my understanding that you will have to do at least one quarter in business.
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Posts: 142Registered User Junior Member
    Read that page very carefully. Specifically note the 24 unit rule. Once you have more than 24 units in credit you cannot use towards your new major (within Engineering), you cannot switch to that major. The good news: Even in a completely unrelated program, it's hard to rack up that many units in your first year that don't apply to any major, thanks to GEs.

    Now, if you really want to do the switch, start trying to do it NOW. Since your business curriculum is most likely disjoint from CSC, every unit you take in business takes you closer to that rule. I would write to both the Engineering Advising center and your college's advising center asking about this now. I think the most likely answer is going to be "you must wait a quarter before actually switching", but I'm not entirely sure, so it's worth checking out.

    Your next step is going to be to try to get classes. The CSC department has a new class called CPE/CSC 123, which is an oddball pre-intro class. They want all new majors to take it their first quarter at Cal Poly. And, it's not offered any other quarter. Try to get this class for fall. I'm not sure what the rules are for these new-fangled block schedules, but I think it would worthwhile to edit your schedule to get this class. You are probably going to need a permission number from one of the professors to add it, You might try contacting the professor of a specific section directly asking to be enrolled prior to the start of school. You might also try writing to Dr. Vakalis , the CSC department head. If all else fails, just crash the class by showing up the first day and asking the professors for a permission number.

    If you can't get CPE 123, it probably isn't going to be a huge deal, aside from the possible delay or paperwork. So, it's not the end of the world if you don't. But, you might be able to save a significant amount of time by successfully crashing a section of CPE 123. Again, I can't really tell you with absolute certainty what the school bureaucrats will allow. While it's worth some effort to follow the printed rules and prerequisite classes, the right signature will allow you bypass most regulations of this sort.

    Good luck with you change of major.
  • ObvSlplssObvSlplss Posts: 77Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you both for the in-depth information. :) I will contact the advising centers and see what I can do in the first quarter before being eligible to change majors.
  • LdyHersheysLdyHersheys Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    My roommate managed to change from Econ to Comp Sci her freshman year so it is definitely doable. The quicker you change/decide the better.

    For example, I studied Mech Eng my first two quarters but I couldn't switch to Arch because of sequence and that Arch is super impacted. she didn't have much trouble however switching to comp sci because there isn't any seq classes.

    However CSC 101 is a class that gets filled up quickly! So if you get a chance to nab it, get it asap! That is crucial for changing majors
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