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Click here to see the policy on minors under the semester system, which will begin at Cal Poly with the 2026-27 academic year.

Definition: A minor is defined as a coherent group of courses which stands alone and provides a student with broad knowledge of and competency in an area outside the student's major.


  • A major and a minor may not be taken in the same degree program (e.g., a student majoring in history may not complete a minor in history, whereas a student majoring in crop science may complete a minor in plant protection).
  • The minor will be completed along with the requirements for the bachelor's degree. Courses in the minor may be used to satisfy major, support, and general education requirements.


  • Students who wish to complete a minor are to contact the department offering the academic minor as early as possible in the program and fill out the appropriate agreement form.
  • A minor consists of 24 to 30 units.  At least half of the units must be from upper-division courses (300- or 400-level). For French, German, and Spanish language minors studying abroad, the residence requirement is reduced from 12 units (1/2 of the 24 required for these minors) to 8 units, 1/3 of the total.
  • Not more than one-third of the courses in a minor can be graded Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), except for courses which have mandatory CR/NC grading.
  • A minimum overall 2.0 GPA is required for completion of the minor.  Prior to 29 March 2017, French, German and Spanish language minors must have a minimum overall 2.75 GPA. 


  • The minor should be declared as soon as the student is reasonably certain that he/she will pursue that minor.  Check with the minor advisor to complete the minor form, which should then be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.  Once it is formally declared and entered into the student's record, progress in the minor can be tracked on the Degree Progress report.
  • The completion of the minor will be noted on the student's transcript but will not be shown on the diploma. In no case will a diploma be awarded for the minor.

Policy on Unit Range and Related Requirements for Minors for the Semester Catalog, to begin 2026-27

A minor will consist of 15-24 semester units. Completion of the minor will require the completion of at least five courses.

At least six units of coursework will develop foundational competencies in the discipline that all students in the minor should achieve, and which must be demonstrated by the course-to-program learning objective mapping in the minor proposal.

At least half of the minor units will be at the upper-division level, comprising at least three courses.

At least half of the units in the minor will be completed in residence at Cal Poly. For the Chinese, French, German, Italian Studies, Japanese, and Spanish minors, the requirement for students studying abroad is that at least one third of the units must be taken at Cal Poly.

No more than one third of the units can be graded Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), except for courses that have mandatory CR/NC grading. Departments may further limit CR/NC grading if desired.

A GPA of 2.0 or better in the minor courses is required to complete the minor.

No other aspects of the current policies on academic minors have been modified. Additionally, this resolution does not pertain to Cross-Disciplinary Studies Minors.


Academic Senate Resolution: AS-951-22 "Resolution on Minors and Semesters" (PDF).  Adopted 8 November 2022.


Last updated: 8/23/23

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