Cal Poly possible major change question

I was accepted into Cal Poly SLO for Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering. (4.0 CSU GPA, ~19 EC hours per week, 8AP 4DE including senior year). If I commit to Cal Poly but find that BRAE may not be the best fit for me and I want to switch to mechanical engineering or computer engineering, how would I go about doing so? I have heard that it may be difficult to change majors at CPSLO. If I do decide to change my major, what should I do in regards to my college courses and anything else?


I have attached the link for change of major. The more competitive the major, the harder it will be to change with no guarantee. General rule is to apply to the more competitive major since it is easier to move down then move up.

One point that SLO will focus on is this:
** To determine your eligibility to enter into an ICMA, departments may consider: Your admissions criteria (would you have been admitted into that major when you applied to Cal Poly?)**

Not trying to discourage you, just giving the facts and it can be done but not guaranteed.


Here are the specifics to get into the CENG. Even though you were accepted into an engineering discipline, it isn’t within the CENG. Thus, the rules are different.

Also, since you’ll eventually need the classes in the destination major, it’s helpful to know what they’ll be.

The math, physics, english and communications requirements are all the same during the first year for AgE and ME. The early courses otherwise don’t overlap. If you choose Cal Poly, let your advisor know ASAP that you might want to change. Have them help you choose the best courses that might transfer, even if they are out of order on the flowchart. Don’t choose Cal Poly though unless you’d be OK in the major you applied for. It’s possible to change, but as @Gumbymom said, not guaranteed.

Thank you @Gumbymom @eyemgh !

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Based on that, should I try to switch to a less competitive major within the CoE such as materials engineering and then try and switch again to ME, or would this make no difference?

It will take more time and may still be fruitless. I’d see what they think you would have gotten into, essentially gauging your chances, before you do anything.

I wouldn’t discount MatE as simply a stepping stone. It’s a cool major. I wouldn’t discount AgE either. There are plenty in the field essentially doing things that MEs do.

What don’t you like about the major you selected? Why did you choose it in the first place?

I do like it, but I’m slightly worried that it may not be as easy to find a job afterwards

It depends on what you want to do. It does sort of pigeonhole you into agriculture, but there are lots of jobs to be had as long as you’re good with that industry.

Long story short, you can’t do anything right now anyway. If you choose CP, just know that it’ll be a process.

What other schools and majors are options?

I applied to UC Davis, which was originally my top choice but I was rejected. These two schools were my top so I did not apply to any others because I also believe that community college is a great option. I am in state so I could for example TAG to Davis if I went to CC. However with my acceptance to Cal Poly I am on the fence of what to do.

CC to UC via TAG is a good option if you are Undecided. Gives you time to explore your interests with more flexibility than SLO may allow.

Best of luck with your decision.

I agree. There is uncertainty in that rout too though, as there’s a performance requirement. If you don’t hit the GPA mark, you’ve lost out.

If you know you’d be OK with AgE, stick with CP. It’s a sure thing and a good program.

Only you know what the right call is. Good luck!

Thank you both again for your help! @eyemgh @Gumbymom

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Get on the Cal Poly BRAE website and look at their past graduates profiles. Lots of good jobs in lots of different areas and not just ag. Also they claim a very high job placement.


A post was split to a new thread: Change of major from Ag Business to Civil Engineering

I got in cal poly for matE and I am also thinking of maybe changing my major to ME or Aero. As u mentioned that they see if you got into the major during the admission process as well, do you know if they just look at the minimum gpa to be accepted for the IMCA?

SLO does not specify how they determine eligibility at time of admission but GPA is a huge consideration. Changing majors within the College of Engineering is easier than across colleges. I would contact a department advisor with your questions since each students situation is different.

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