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Getting Needed Classes

engineerismeengineerisme Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
So I am wondering with the budget cuts is it hard to get the classes you need in the order needed to graduate in 4 years? I will be in electrical/computer engineering.
Post edited by engineerisme on

Replies to: Getting Needed Classes

  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    Many engineering majors are on the 5 year plan from the onset. Not sure about your particular branch of engineering. It can also depend on how many AP or prior community college credits you have. Since students are given a registration rotation number from 1-12 every quarter, it might be harder to get the classes you need one quarter over another. For instance, my daughter who is a sophomore, just got #11 for winter quarter. She was waitlisted on several classes, but only was able to get a few 4 unit classes. And two of them conflicted with one another, so she ended up with two 4 unit classes (pertaining to her major) and took some 1 unit "filler" classes just so she could get 12 units this time. Believe me, she's not the only one. Fortunately, she'll never have such a high rotation number again while she's at Cal Poly. And, I think she's got a very low rotation number for spring. Everyone gets their "low number" rotations at some point. And, students all have three Priority Registrations after their freshman year. She really should have used it this time. They're pretty good about allowing a senior off a waitlist over an underclassmen, even if the senior has a lower number. They need certain classes to graduate. It usually all works in the end. So you may not be able to take everything in order (except for classes that need pre-reqs.) Also, one nice thing about an engineering student, even if they DO take 5 years to graduate, they can go right to work after graduating. But, in my daughter's case, if she takes 4 years to complete her degree, she will still need 2-2.5 more years to get her Master's degree which is required for the field she plans to go into. So, 5 years is better in the long run if you don't plan on grad school.
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135 Senior Member
    My son is a computer engineering major (changed from EE in the middle of his first year). His first two years went well, he was on track to graduate in 4 years. He was able to get into every class he needed in the quarter indicated on the flowchart, and some he took ahead of schedule.

    Here's an example of the CPE flowchart; it changes based on the year you enter Cal Poly:


    This year (his third) was a little trickier because of a sequence of required EE/CPE courses, each of which is a prereq for the next. If he hadn't gotten off the waitlist in the first of the sequence, it's very possible he would have had to wait another 2 or even 3 quarters to get through them, which would have meant an extra quarter or two in SLO. Fortunately he got in via a "permission number", whatever that is, and is still pretty much on track to graduate in 4 years.

    There are waitlists, priority registrations, and special permissions that can help people get into courses that are full. But a student really needs to keep on top of the registration process.

    What I've observed in general is that the better prepared a student is from his or her high school, the less likely he or she will fall behind in the first couple of years. What that means for engineering majors is taking Calc BC and AP Physics in high school. Not just taking these course, but really understanding the concepts. I've also observed for CPE and CS majors that it helps to have an understanding of at least one programming language, either Java or C/C++, before taking those courses in the first year. Many students fail and have to retake these intro courses again, which means the more advanced coursework gets delayed.
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
    My kid had a 12th rotation for his second quarter freshman year. He got everything that he needed except one lab. He does not seem upset about it. He has a "technique" that seemed to work. Rotations are timed and open up online at a specific moment, say 5:00 pm on a Tuesday for example. He was on the computer with the classes he wanted already input and just kept hitting send until the rotation opened up. Then he transmitted the classes he wanted instantly when the rotation was enabled to receive data.
  • universityfreakuniversityfreak Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    My son is a sophomore EE major and is scheduled to graduate on time. He did have some AP units from HS and took a couple of GE classes at a junior college. But so far, he has not had any problems getting the classes he needs. They may not be the professor he wants or the time slot he wants, but the classes have been available.
  • LydiaT22LydiaT22 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    How would this apply to a B.arch student where the initial course is 5 years? I do have some APs under my belt, but would already being in a 5 year degree program make any difference?
  • ralph4ralph4 Registered User Posts: 393 Member
    My son graduated ( just this past in August) with his B.S. in Materials Engineering after 4 years + 1 summer (13 quarters) at Cal Poly . He had AP credit for the first chemistry class and Calc I. He took a full load of 16-18 units each quarter and would have been done in 4 years except for the fact that he had to re-take 3 or 4 support courses because of low grades. This left him with 3 GE's to take in the summer after his 4th year.

    He used his "priorities" for registration strategically and had to "crash" a few classes, but was always able to get the courses he needed though not always with the professor or time of day that he wanted. With careful planning and hard work, engineers CAN graduate in 4 years (perhaps even with one or two failed classes). Good luck ! :)
  • momomommomomom Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    The architecture department makes sure that students graduate on time. There are always plenty of slots for studio, structures, etc. A poorer rotation number just means that you probably won't get the professor of your choice.

    AP classes also help with GEs and math requirement.
  • eduparenteduparent Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member

    Congratulations on your son's graduation. How was the job market for him?
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    * My daughter was able to add another 4 unit class.
  • ralph4ralph4 Registered User Posts: 393 Member
    "ralph4: Congratulations on your son's graduation. How was the job market for him?"

    Not great, but he did get hired as a Materials Engineer by a small company in Santa Barbara and started work a month after graduation. He is happy there and is getting great experience as he is involved in all aspects of a small engineering company. He has even used some of the labs/equipment at Cal Poly for work his company needs done. (Cal Poly charges fees to companies to use some of their high-tech equipment). He also loves being close enough to visit SLO (and many of his friends --5th year students) on the weekends. We are very happy for him.
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135 Senior Member
    That's great about your son, ralph4 :)
  • SanDiego2010SanDiego2010 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Ok, my soon to be 3rd yr student used a priority on May 4th, and got waitlisted for two courses required for Business majors. BUS 387 & IT371. Guess you have to have the first day of priority registration to get these courses. Thought using a priority would get you the classes you needed. Must be just these classes.
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    My daughter used her first priority for this coming fall. She'll be a junior. She was worried because she wasn't on the first day of priority, either. Not sure how far down she was, but she managed to get all her classes, making it 16 units. And, she just found out she was hired to work through ASI for next year in the UU. So, she's happy! And, will be spending a lot of time on campus even though she'll be moving into a house OFF campus for the first time. She's going to take the bus, so it doesn't make sense to try to leave. She can just go and study! :) Or work. Will definitely save gas money and not having to pay for a parking permit.
  • heyitsmeeheyitsmee Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Congrat's to your daughter on her job and getting her classes.
  • Jared53Jared53 Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    As sad as it is it can be very difficult to get needed classes. Registration for next quarter went terribly for me, I had 11th rotation (which is second to last) and ended up with only 6 units. None of them apply towards a GE or my major. I'm wait listed for 24 units and would be greatfulll to get into one of them.

    I love Cal Poly but have to admit that this is a flaw with the money strained CSU system.
This discussion has been closed.