Change of Major Criteria and Procedures
ALL majors in the College of Liberal Arts are “impacted,” which means all departments in the college have already turned away large numbers of highly qualified applicants from high schools and other institutions because of space limitations. Consequently, departments have high standards for students requesting to transfer into these majors from other programs in the college and the university. Because of the high demand for our majors, we will not be able to accommodate all requests to transfer; current Cal Poly students may have to transfer to another university in order to pursue a degree program other than the one into which they were admitted upon application to Cal Poly.
Each major department sets its own criteria for internal transfers (current Cal Poly students who wish to change majors) consistent with the university’s policy on change of major. In addition to meeting the individual department standards listed below, all students transferring into the College of Liberal Arts must be in good academic standing at the time of the transfer.
Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA)
Any student wanting to change his/her major must meet with the department chair (or designee) in the target major to discuss a change of major and to set up an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA). This ICMA will serve as a contract, and will be valid for no more than two academic quarters. Students must meet the requirements as set forth by each department and outlined in the ICMA by the end of this period in order to be accepted into the target major.
Additional ICMA Guidelines
- Students must complete at least one quarter at Cal Poly before requesting a change of major.
- One chance to be accepted – Students who enter into an ICMA and do not complete its requirements will not be eligible to request the major again later in their career at Cal Poly. In this event, students are advised to consider the target major as a minor, if appropriate.
- Completion of Change of Major – The change of major will be approved once the student has successfully met all of the requirements of the ICMA.
- The ICMA must be completed in no more than two quarters.
- The ICMA will be terminated if a student is academically disqualified prior to the completion of the agreement.
- For students entering as freshmen or upper division transfers starting in fall 2010, students must be able to finish the requirements for the target major without exceeding 204 total units (208 total units for Art and Design majors) or a length of time enrolled at Cal Poly of four years plus one academic quarter. Students who entered Cal Poly prior to fall 2010 will also need to demonstrate that they can complete the new target degree in a timely manner (preferably in no more than 204 total units or a length of time enrolled at Cal Poly of four years plus one academic quarter).
NOTE: The above policy also applies to students wishing to add a second major.
Minimum Application Requirements
- A multi-criteria admissions score equal to, or above, the average of students admitted to the department as freshmen over the past several years.
- An overall Cal Poly GPA of 2.90 with at least 12 graded units.
- The student may not be on academic probation in the quarter during which the ICMA ends.
- Documentation of interest in and preparation for the major with a 300-500 word statement outlining the reasons for their transfer request.
Individualized Change of Major Agreement Process
- Meet with the Communication Studies department chair to complete an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA).
- Provide a schedule plan demonstrating an ability to complete all outstanding degree requirements as a communication studies major within a maximum of 204 total units (campus “Plus 24” policy).
- Obtain verification from the department chair for the current major confirming notification that a change of major process is underway.
The above policy also applies to students wishing to add communications studies as a second major.
Students who enter into an Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA) with the department and are not accepted into the communication studies major within two quarters will not be eligible to reapply to the major. In this event, students are advised to consider pursuing a communication studies minor.
Department Contact: Bernie Duffy, Department Chair, 805-756-2553 (main dept. office)