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Returning Students

You're considered a returning student if you left Cal Poly before graduating, including students who were academically dismissed.


Your status when you left and how long you've been away will determine your path to re-enrolling.

  • If you are an undergraduate and have not been enrolled for two terms, you are eligible to re-enroll without additional steps. The Office of the Registrar can help guide you through your re-enrollment. 
  • If you've been away for three consecutive terms (fall, winter, spring) or longer, you'll need to follow the procedure on this page that applies to you. Be sure to complete the application by the deadline for the quarter you wish to return.  

Application Deadlines for Returning Students

Returning undergraduate and graduate students can apply for fall, winter or spring quarters. There is no application fee required. 

Term Application Deadline
Fall quarter July 1
Winter quarter October 1
Spring quarter February 1
Summer quarter No applications accepted

Undergraduates Returning to the Same Major

  1. Complete the CSU application for former students. 
  2. Submit official copies of transcripts from any institution attended since leaving Cal Poly. 
  3. If you did not leave Cal Poly in good standing, you are strongly encouraged to contact your department prior to re-applying.

This video can also help walk you through this process. 

Undergraduates Returning with a Different Major

If you wish to return to Cal Poly with a different major, you'll need to follow the same process as a new student and apply during the application period, October 1 to November 30.


Graduate Students Returning in the Same Program

  1. Complete the CSU application for former students. 
  2. If you left more than two years ago, or were not in good standing (minimum GPA of 3.0) when you left, you'll need to get approval from your program in addition to the process above. 

Graduate Student Absences of Two or More Years
Former graduate students who would like to return to their program after an absence of two or more years are encouraged to review the continuous enrollment policy and the seven-year completion policy found in the Graduate Education handbook. Contact the Office of Graduate Education if you suspect you will not be able to complete your degree within seven years of beginning your program.