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Class Registration for First Year Students

Cal Poly's Office of the Registrar enrolls first-time freshmen a full-time schedule in Fall Quarter and a partial schedule in the Winter and Spring Quarters (0-18 units). 

Academic Advisors can help students to make sense of their schedules and the process of making appropriate changes or configuring schedules based on their individual circumstances.

Get prepared

Registration Step 1 Video

With registration on the horizon, now is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the process. Let’s begin Step 1: use your Student Center to locate your official block schedule, check your enrollment appointments, and whether you have any holds/warnings/to do list items on your account.

Explore below for detailed information:

Registration Step 1: Get ready for registration with Student Center

What is a block schedule and where can I find mine?

  • Cal Poly’s Office of the Registrar enroll first-time freshmen a full-time schedule in Fall Quarter and a partial schedule (0-18 units) in the Winter and Spring Quarters. Academic Advisors in the Mustang Success Center help students to make sense of their schedules. As well as, understanding the process of making changes or configuring schedules based on individual circumstances.
  • The Office of the Registrar takes into consideration academic department’s requests, student academic records (AP/IB/Other transfer credits), as well as student survey responses when creating block schedules for first-time freshmen.
  • To view your block schedule, log on to your Cal Poly portal. Click on “student center” and select the appropriate term.

What is an enrollment appointment?

  • Every student at Cal Poly is assigned a designated enrollment appointment for rounds 1 and 2 during registration. Your enrollment appointment does NOT mean that you need to meet with anyone at your designated date and time. It simply informs you of the day/time you can begin enrolling into classes or make schedule adjustments.
  • Enrollment appointments are based on actual student academic progress.
  • Round 1 allows students to enroll in up to 18 units and round 2 allows students to enroll in up to 22 units. Students can waitlist up to 16 units in addition to their enrolled units during either round 1 or round 2 of registration.
  • To view your designated enrollment appointment, log on to your Cal Poly portal. Click on “student center.” Enrollment appointments will appear on the right side of the screen.

What are holds/warnings/to do list items?

  • Students may be prevented from registering if they have holds on their account. Students can view their holds by logging on to their Cal Poly portal, click on “student center,” and holds/warnings/to do list items will appear on the right side of the screen.
  • If a hold is there, click on “details” to see what action is needed to be taken in order to have the hold removed or to do list item completed. Please keep an eye on this section during registration rotations because holds may appear at any time.


What classes to enroll in?

Registration Step 2 Video

Now that you know WHEN you can register, let's review WHAT you can register for

You need to utilize a few tools to identify what classes are eligible to add to your schedule. Your Curriculum Sheet (EVERYTHING required for your degree), Flowchart (suggestion of when to take classes, but is intended to be FLEXIBLE), and your Degree Progress Report (what you have credit for and what you still need).

Explore below for detailed information:

Registration Step 2: What class can I add to my block schedule?

Start with reviewing your curriculum sheet

  • Find your curriculum sheet in your portal under the Academics tab or at
  • Your curriculum sheet is organized into various sections that will tell you what your degree requirements are. You will find the specific courses you need to take
    • Major, Support, and Concentration areas (as applicable)
    • General Education requirements
    • Free Electives (if applicable), for which you will have various course options to select from.
    • Every section is required for degree completion
    • Don’t forget to read the footnotes at the bottom of your curriculum sheet to ensure you are taking the recommended courses for a specific concentration or future career goals.

Use your Degree Progress Report to identify what you have credit for

  • You can access your Degree Progress Report (DPR) under the “General Degree Resources” area of the Academics tab of your Cal Poly Portal.
  • Your Degree Progress Report (DPR) is a “live” version of your curriculum sheet, and it includes various icons that will tell you the status of a degree requirement (Completed, In Progress, Required).
  • Use your Degree Progress Report (DPR) in partnership with your curriculum sheet to identify what you have completed. Then use your flowchart to figure out what you CAN enroll in for the upcoming quarter.

Utilize your flowchart

  • Find your flowchart in your portal under the academics tab or at
  • A flowchart is a recommended timeline of when to take various courses required for your degree. As it is only a recommended timeline, it is completely normal to take courses outside of the recommended order as long as you meet a prerequisite for a course.
  • You can find course prerequisites by reading the small writing in green at the bottom of the box.
  • When a course requirement is stretched out throughout a couple of quarters, you only need to take it once within the recommended timeline.

Why does my Flowchart just have boxes for GE (4)

  • A flowchart only designates the course options you can take for GE Areas A1, A2, A3, or double fulfilling courses (noted by grayed out boxes on the curriculum sheet).
  • For any box that has a “GE (4)” on it, you will need to refer to your curriculum sheet to confirm whether you need to complete it, then look for a course under that GE Area when going through the registration process.


Enroll in classes

Registration Step 3 Video

There are two tools you can use for this step of registration. Some people use one exclusively, but most use both in conjunction with each other.

Student Center allows you to search for classes, add/enroll in classes, swap classes (exchange one class for another), edit classes (change a lab or grading style), drop classes, and view your waitlist position.

Schedule Builder allows you to search for classes, see all sections and open seat capacity, arrange a variety of classes into possible schedules, and add/enroll in classes.

Explore below for detailed information:

Registration Step 3: Time to search, plan, and enroll in classes!

Using Student Center

Access your “Student Center” by logging into the Cal Poly Portal and clicking the "Student Center" tab on the left.

Then click “Enroll” located on the Student Center home screen. This will bring you to the registration hub in Student Center.

This front page will show you your shopping cart (which are classes you are trying to enroll in but have NOT enrolled in yet) and your enrollment history (which are classes you are enrolled in, waitlisted in, and dropped).

At the top you will find action tabs, class search, and My Class Schedule

Office of the Registrar has quick videos of how to use the features below for Student Center

Action Tabs:

  • Add - use this option to add classes to your shopping cart
  • Drop – use this option to remove classes from your schedule
  • Swap – use this option to trade one course for another
  • Edit – use this option to adjust options like class grading or lab sections

Class Search:

When you are ready to search for classes within Student Center, click “Search for Classes” from the Enroll tab menu. This is a great tool to look for specific courses offered, specific GE courses offered, and even toggle to see open classes only!

  • Here you can search for course offered and adjust filters. Class search allows you to put classes directly into your shopping cart for registration.
    • search for a specific class use the "Subject" drop down and then "Course Number is Exactly" box
    • To search for a GE class use the "Course Attribute" (GE area) and "Course Attribute Value" (GE Sub area) drop down
    • Click "Show Open Classes Only" if you only want to see currently open classes
  • This will add the class to your shopping cart.
    • On the details page you can click "waitlist if class is full" to waitlist the class.
  • Validate: Once courses are in your shopping cart, you can “validate” your registration. The validate button checks that you have the pre-requisites for the courses in your schedule. This button will create a mock registration confirmation page so that you can see what would happen if you registered at the moment.
  • NOW TO ENROLL: Courses are now in your shopping cart, but you have not yet enrolled in them.To register for classes students need to select the courses in the shopping cart and click "proceed to step 2 of 3" and then click "Finish Enrolling"
  • View "My Class Schedule" this page allows you to see a list view and calendar view of your current schedule. Using "List View" you are able to see your full schedule outlined, waitlist positions, and all information about your course.
    Using the "Weekly Calendar View" you can see this schedule laid out over the course of a work. When and where you have class, and toggle for instructors and other information.

Using Schedule Builder

Access your “Schedule Builder” by logging into the Cal Poly Portal and clicking the "Student Center" tab on the left.

Then click “Schedule Builder” located on the Student Center home screen.

Mustang Success Center has Schedule Builder Tutorials on their YouTube channel

The front page of Schedule Builder

  • Term: The term selected is at the top of this page. It can be changed if multiple terms are active, so move to the term you are actively working on.
  • If there are courses in your Block Schedule, or courses planned in your Degree Planner, these courses will automatically import and show in your Student Center.
    • *Status* is the indicator of your enrollment. You can verify enrollment on this page, or in your Student Center. The status has multiple indicator icons:
      • Green Body/Checkmark- enrolled. You are registered and enrolled for this course.
      • Purple Calendar- these courses are imported from Degree Planner you are NOT enrolled in these<
      • Dark Green Cart- shopping cart. This course is in your shopping cart.

Searching for Classes and Sections

  • To add new classes to Schedule Builder, click “Expand Filters” on the right side of the screen. You can now see all of the filters (funneling) available to you. If you know the course you are looking for, you can put that directly in. If you don’t, you can sift through sections using the toggles/filters. Here is what they mean:
    • Availability – set your availability. You can set personal times that you are unavailable and label.
    • Global Filter-> Session- This is used for summer, and allows you to select which session to search
    • Global Filter-> Class Status- choose whether to see only open, or open and closed courses
    • Global Filter-> Instruction Mode- choose which instruction methods you searching for
    • Section Filter -> Requirement—choose the GE area or graduation requirement to apply. Only choose 1 at a time
    • Section Filter -> GE Area- use this to identify which GE area by catalog you are searching for
    • Section Filter -> Course- You are now viewing (or input) which Course Subject to select from
    • Section Filter -> Catalog- This is the catalog number for course matching the subject
    • Add Course: After filtering or locating the course, “Add” the course to your options below. You will then be able to view which specific sections are available.
  • Once you have put the course(s) in your Schedule Builder, look to the right to locate “Select Sections.” You can use this option to view the sections of this course offered. Clicking or expanding the section will then give all of the course notes and information needed for the course (seat availability, instructor, prerequisites, etc). Try un-clicking sections you know you don't want or are full.

Build Schedule

  • After utilizing the search functions to find courses and sections, locate “Build Schedule” at the bottom of the page. This will allow you to begin viewing possible schedules, compare schedules to one another, and even save your favorites. Interactively, schedules can be viewed in list or calendar views, and expanded to further learn about the courses.


  • After selecting the schedule desired, you may enroll using Student Center. The validate function is still available, as is the ability to “waitlist” and change your grading method to C/NC (make sure to seek advising before changing this).
    • Ultimately, select the courses that you wish to enroll in, and push through the enrollment prompts to get registered!


update degree planner

Registration Step 4 Video

The final step in registration is to login to your Degree Planner between the day you register for classes and the 8th academic day of the upcoming quarter.

Registration Step 4: Degree Planner

Where can I find Degree Planner?

Log on to your Portal and click on Student Center

Once in Student Center, click on the Degree Planner link on the left-hand side of the page. That’s it!

What exactly do I need to do to be compliant?

2021-2022 Academic Year Degree Planner requirements have been suspended. Feel free to utilize this tool for yourself!

To meet the compliance requirement, you must log in to your Degree Planner at least once between the time you register for next quarter and the 8th academic day of the upcoming quarter.

It is very important that you take this action. If you do not log in to your Degree Planner prior to 5:00pm (PST) on the 8th academic day of each quarter, you will be placed into the last day of enrollment appointments for next quarter (or what is referred to as Degree Planner Non-Complaint registration).


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