First time students will either be changing majors or developing an Individual Course of Study during their first year on campus. Both these processes require a focused effort on the part of the student to complete.

If you want to change your major out of GENE, please follow the university processes outlined here. (https://advising.calpoly.edu/change-major)

If you are developing an Individualized Course of Study (ICS) for GENE majors, it is important to have a current ICS form on file with GENE (Bldg. 13 Room 263) and at Engineering Student Services. This is because your academic progress is measured by successful completion of the courses you’ve listed on your ICS form, and your academic progress in turn affects your registration priority. You will also want to make sure your courses are approved before taking them.

The ICS form should be filled out electronically using a fill-in PDF form.

Developing an ICS is a complicated process. There are several things you will need to manage as you select courses. First, you will need to meet the prerequisites for any course you’ve listed by the time you enroll in that course. If you wish to enroll in a course without having completed all of its prerequisites, you must receive permission from the course instructor to do so, but don’t count on being able to do this unless you speak to the instructor. Unfortunately, the GENE Director and Engineering Advising are not able to give you permission to enroll in a course.

You will need to have a total of 40 units of technical electives and 33 must be upper division (300 or 400 level courses). Generally, all courses within engineering can be counted as a technical elective, but if you want to take a course outside the college, you will have to articulate a reason that these courses will help you pursue your academic and career objectives.

If you are requesting to substitute other course(s) for a GENE course, the number of units of the course(s) that are requested as a substitute must equal or exceed the number of units of the GENE required course being substituted. In addition, the content of the course(s) that are requested as a substitute must be equivalent to the content of the GENE required course being substituted. You should consult the GENE Director if you are not sure whether the content of course(s) proposed for substitution is equivalent to the GENE required course.

If more than one course is being used to substitute for a GENE required course, please clearly indicate this by entering these courses on adjacent rows and using a bracket symbol { to group these courses together and point to the GENE required course for which they substitute. Courses may be “split”: for example, suppose you are requesting course X (2 units) + course Y (3 units) to substitute for a GENE required course with 4 units. Assuming that the content of course X + course Y is equivalent to the content of the GENE required course, you could substitute 2 units from course X + 2 units from course Y to substitute for the 4 units of the GENE required course. The extra 1 unit from course Y may be applied to your technical elective unit count.

Note that double counting of units is not permitted: any units used to substitute for a GENE required course may not also be counted towards technical electives.

The GENE Director serves as the faculty advisor for all GENE majors and must approve your ICS form. We will work together to make sure the ICS satisfies the requirements of the degree and allows you to achieve your academic and career goals. Below is a checklist that will help you make sure the ICS form satisfies the requirements:

    • Form has student’s name, EMPL ID number, proposed graduation term, catalog, and concentration
    • All course numbers are correct
    • The number of units for each course is correct
    • The number of technical elective units is met (40 units)
    • The distribution of technical elective units between upper and lower division courses meets requirements (33 upper division)
    • Technical electives support your academic and career goals
    • The number of units associated with substitute course(s) in the ICS form above must at least equal the number of units of the required GENE course for which you are requesting substitution.
    • The content associated with substitute course(s) in the ICS form above is closely related to the content of the required GENE course for which you are requesting substitution.

Completed ICS forms (pdf) should be submitted to the GENE office electronically.