Cal Poly

Frequently Asked Questions



Am I eligible for Open University?

Open University allows non-matriculated individuals to enroll in state-supported course offerings on a space-available basis after matriculated Cal Poly students have selected their classes. At that point, Open University may offer any remaining space to community members, Cal Poly alumni and dismissed students (with college permission). The instructor must sign your Open University petition indicating permission to enroll in a course. You must meet the prerequisites for the courses and be prepared to show evidence to the instructor.

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What is a matriculated student?

A matriculated student is a student who has, through normal procedures, been admitted formally at a CSU campus (e.g. Cal Poly) to pursue an authorized degree, credential or certificate (for academic credit). Matriculated students may not enroll in Open University.

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How many units of Open University credit applies to a Cal Poly degree?

A maximum of 36 units of Open University credit and other extension credit may be applied towards a Cal Poly bachelor's degree. No more than 12 quarter units of approved Open University credit may be counted if taken prior to submission of a formal study plan for a graduate degree. Units taken through Open University can count towards units taken in residence.

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How do I make a payment?

Charges will appear in your student account on your My Cal Poly portal at the time of enrollment, and it is the student's responsibility to log into the portal to make payment by the due date(s). Please see the Extended Education Fees Procedure for more information on how to make a payment.

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Am I eligible for a fee waiver?

Fees cannot be waived for courses taken through Extended Education, Open University or Special Session.

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How can I get tax credits for educational expenses?

Please consult with your tax advisor. You may also refer to extended.calpoly.edu/faq/policies.html#taxcredit.

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What if I received a "W" or a "WU" as a final grade?

If you complete the withdrawal process after the last day of the third week of the quarter, you will receive a "W" (withdrawal) notation as a final grade. Failure to complete the withdrawal process may result in a "WU" (withdrawal unauthorized) which is equivalent to a failing grade.

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Do I get a Cal Poly ID?

Yes, individuals enrolled through Open University are eligible to obtain a Cal Poly Id (PolyCard). The day after your enrollment is processed you can visit the Poly Card office to obtain a PolyCard. The PolyCard office is located in Building 46, Room 100 and is open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4pm.

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What are the benefits of getting a Cal Poly ID Card (PolyCard)?

You can use your PolyCard for access to the campus library including online library services, the Campus Express Club, printing in campus computer labs, access to the Recreation Center, plus other services offered on campus. Some services are limited for Open University students. See more information on using your Cal Poly ID.

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What is my Empl ID and how do I get it?

Your Empl ID is your student ID number that will be issued to you automatically after you register. You may get your Empl ID from "My Cal Poly Portal".

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What is "My Cal Poly Portal"?

"My Cal Poly Portal" is a web portal that features information and services. Through your Cal Poly Portal you can access:

  • Empl ID
  • Course Information
  • PolyLearn
  • Email
  • Campus Announcements
  • Events
  • Plus other campus activities

"My Cal Poly Portal" can be accessed the day after your registration is processed. Instructions for setting up your Cal Poly portal will be sent after your registration has been processed.

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What if I have a Cal Poly registration hold?

You will need to clear all holds before enrolling through Open University.

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How will I know I'm registered in a class?

Courses in which you have registered will be visible on your portal.

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Do I need a permission number to enroll in a class?

You do not need a permission number to enroll in courses through Open University, but you do need the instructor's and department chair/head's approval and signatures.

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How can I find out if my courses will meet my degree requirements?

You should contact your academic advisor at the institution offering your degree to determine if your courses will meet degree requirements.

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How do I get a Cal Poly email address to communicate with my teachers and other students?

After submitting your registration forms and fees, you will be assigned a Cal Poly email address. Instructions for setting up your Cal Poly portal will be sent after your registration has been processed.

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What if my instructor uses online delivery for course material through PolyLearn?

You can access PolyLearn from your Cal Poly Portal, you will see it noted next to your classes. Instructions for setting up your Cal Poly portal will be sent after your registration has been processed.

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What if I can't find an open class?

If you are having difficulty finding a class, you are encouraged to view the schedule of classes and/or contact academic departments for enrollment availability.

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Can I audit a class?

You may audit a class through Open University by completing the Open University registration process which includes obtaining the instructor's and department chair's signatures and paying the appropriate fees. To request the audit, you will need to complete and have the instructor sign a Grade Option form. Download the Grade Option Change/Audit Request Form (PDF) or pick it up at the Extended Education Office (Science Building 52, Room E34). Please refer to the calendar for deadlines.

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If I am a matriculated Cal Poly student, can I take courses through Open University?

No. Matriculated students are not eligible to enroll through Open University.

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Can I repeat a Cal Poly course for a better grade through Open University?

The Cal Poly repeat rules apply to Open University courses as well. If you are repeating a D or F, you are eligible for the grade forgiveness policy, meaning that both grades will be recorded on the transcript but only the most recent grade will be reflected in the GPA calculations. If you are repeating a course with a grade of C- or above, both grades will be recorded on your transcript and averaged in your GPA calculations.

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What if I am subject to academic disqualification or have been dismissed from Cal Poly?

Open University allows disqualified Cal Poly students to enroll in classes for academic credit and thus gives them a chance to raise their grade point average while taking degree applicable courses, should they choose to re-apply to Cal Poly. Students will need to provide documentation from their dean’s office allowing enrollment through Open University. For more information on conditions leading to academic disqualification or dismissal, see http://www.catalog.calpoly.edu/academicstandardsandpolicies/academicstandards/.

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What if I need to withdraw from a course?

To withdraw from a course you must complete a Petition to Withdraw from a Course form. You may download the Petition to Withdraw Form (PDF) or pick it up at the Cal Poly Extended Education office. The instructor's and department chair/head's signatures are required. Please refer to calendar for deadlines.

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What is the refund policy?

The deadline for a refund is the add/drop deadline. View and print the Petition to Withdraw Form (PDF).

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Can I change my grading option?

You may change your grading option to CR/NC by completing a Grade Option Change/Audit Request Form (PDF) available for download or at the Extended Education Office (Science Building 52, Room E34). Please refer to the calendar for deadlines.

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How do I access my grades?

You can access your grades through "My Cal Poly Portal" beginning the first Tuesday after finals week.

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How do I get an official transcript of my record?

You may request an official transcript of your record through the Academic Records Office (Building 1, Room 222). For more information on requesting an official transcript go to records.calpoly.edu/stu_info/trans_orders.htm.

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Can I receive financial aid?

No. Only students currently enrolled in a Cal Poly degree program may receive state or federal aid.

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Where can I buy my textbooks?

You may purchase your textbooks and other course materials from the Cal Poly University Store.

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Where can I find more information about parking?

Please see the parking website: https://afd.calpoly.edu/parking/.

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Can I use the Cal Poly Health Center?

Only students admitted to a Cal Poly degree program paying the additional Health Center Fees are eligible to use Health Center Services.

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Can I use the Cal Poly Recreation Center?

After submitting your registration forms and fees you can pay a membership fee to the Recreation Center in order to gain access. You will also need a Cal Poly ID (PolyCard) and you must be at least 16 years old. For more information, please visit the Recreation Center membership page.

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© 2015 California Polytechnic State University Open University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: 805-756-2053
openuniversity@calpoly.edu