First Year Student – Block Scheduling Information

What is a Block Schedule?

The Office of the Registrar schedules first year students in degree applicable courses across the entirety of their first year. This initiative ensures all first-year students (freshmen) receive a full-time course schedule in Fall Quarter 2021 and a part-time schedule in Winter Quarter 2022 & Spring Quarter 2022.

Courses that are included in block schedules are classes chosen by the student’s major department. Block schedules for Orfalea College of Business students are comprised of:

  • Major Courses: Classes required for your major.
  • Support Courses: Classes that are meant to support the material that you learn in preparation for your major courses. Classes required for your degree.
  • General Education (GE) Courses: Classes help students reach across disciplines to provide them with a breadth of experiences. Classes required for your degree.

Block Schedule – Unit Amount per Quarter

Fall Quarter 2021 – 13-18 units, consisting of:

  • Major Courses
  • Support Courses
  • GE Courses

Winter Quarter 2022 – 0-9 units, consisting of:

  • Major/Support Course
  • GE Course (Area A)

Spring Quarter 2022 – 0-9 units, consisting of:

  • Major/Support Course
  • GE Course (Area A)

What’s the difference between Fall Quarter and Winter Quarter and Spring Quarter block schedules?

Unlike Fall Quarter block schedules, you will only be blocked into critical major and/or support classes. In other words, your Fall Quarter block schedule will consist of major courses, support courses, and GE courses while your Winter Quarter and Spring Quarter block schedules will consist of a maximum of two classes, which will be major courses/support courses and a GE Course (Area A).

You will see which courses you are enrolled in a few days before the enrollment appointments begin for these quarters (see Calendars and Deadlines for exact dates).

Some reasons why you are block scheduled into a course:

  • The course is highly recommended, and is best if completed during your first year.
  • The courses may be difficult to get during your first year if you are not blocked into it.
  • There is sufficient capacity to enroll you in a designated course.

Some reasons why you may NOT be block scheduled into a course:

  • Your department would like to provide flexibility for you to choose when to take your major and support courses.
  • Seats in some major courses may be reserved for students in that major, to assist with timely degree completion.
  • You may have already fulfilled the course that other students are blocked into.
  • There is not sufficient capacity to enroll you in a designated course.

Courses Incorporated in Block Schedules:

Courses considered for block scheduling differ by major. See below for a list of courses students in their first-year may be blocked into. Note that although efforts will be made to block students in the courses listed below, they are not guaranteed during any given quarter.

Business Administration Economics Industrial Technology & Packaging

BUS 207

BUS 214

STAT 251

STAT 252

ECON 221

ECON 222

BUS 207

BUS 214

ECON 221

ECON 222

MATH 141

STAT 301

STAT 302

ITP 100

ITP 150

ITP 211

ITP 233

BUS 214

ECON 222

ECON 201

STAT 251

MATH 141

MATH 221

CHEM 124

CHEM 127

Block Scheduling – Common Questions:

Can I change my block schedule?

It is not recommended that you drop any classes from your block schedule. Trust the block.

You were blocked into a course because it will set you up for early degree progress within your major.

If you are planning to change your major, if you feel you have already obtained credit for that course, or have another reason for not taking that course, please contact Orfalea Student Services to speak with an advisor before you make any adjustments to your block schedule. Dropping your courses in your block schedule is a risk, because you may not be able to successfully add yourself to other courses.

I have been block scheduled into two courses. What should I do now?

It is recommended that you enroll in 12-18 units each quarter, so you will need to add additional classes to your schedule to meet these unit recommendations. In order to be a full-time student, you will need to be enrolled in at least 12 units.

To stay on track for overall degree progress towards graduation, students average 16 units per quarter. You will register for additional classes during your scheduled first round registration appointment. This date can be found in your Student Center on the same day that Schedule Builder is available. See quarterly schedules for registration appointments.

Will I still be able to get classes if I’m not block scheduled into them?

Yes, many departments in the Orfalea College of Business reserve seats in courses for majors within our college during registration appointments. However, it’s likely that most major and support courses will be full with students already waitlisted, which may result in not being successful in adding specific courses of interest. However, as a first-year student, you will have more GE, major, and support courses to choose from in order to create a full schedule, so it’s recommended you explore all options.

How do I add additional classes? When can I add more classes?

You can find demonstrations on how to register for classes here: View Demonstrations

Get support in BUS 100 on course selection, registration, and advising tools. For additional support, seek advisement from your BUS 100 Instructor during their Fall 2020 office hours.

Seek academic advising from the Mustang Success Center.

My block schedule has classes that are not on my flowchart for the first year. Is that okay?

Yes. Your flowchart is a suggested guide to follow. You do not need to take courses in the exact order outlined on your flowchart. Your department may have chosen to block you into a course earlier than your flowchart because that course can be difficult to get into.

The class(es) I have been blocked into conflict with my personal schedule. What should I do?

All attempts will be made to avoid known Cal Poly athletic schedules.

You will be able to make necessary changes to your schedule during your first round registration appointment as noted in your Student Center. If you are blocked into any major courses, we recommend you talk with an advisor prior to making changes.

Note that if you drop a course, there is no guarantee you would be able to get into another specific course. We recommend using the SWAP feature, “Swap, Not Drop.” If you have a job or other conflicts with your block schedule, Orfalea Student Services can help you develop an alternative schedule

What should I put in my Degree Planner?

Once you complete registration, adjust your Degree Planner to reflect the courses you were blocked into and any additional courses you added to your schedule. Then plan the following two quarters with courses from your flowchart or from your BUS 100 4 Year Plan.

Your Degree Planner should always be updated each quarter to reflect your actual course enrollment for that quarter and your plans for subsequent quarters. Read more about PolyPlanner requirements and deadlines at Degree Planner

NEW Incoming Transfer Students and Readmitted Undergraduate Students August 16 August 23
NEW Graduate Students and Readmitted Postbac Students August 16 August 23
NEW Undergraduate Students August 17 – August 19 August 23
  • See your Student Center for specific day and time of registration appointment.
  • Refer to your PolyProfile on your Cal Poly Portal for your Academic Progress Gauge.

If you have any other questions or concerns about your block schedule or registration, please contact Orfalea Student Services.


Support Resources for First Year Students: