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Course Planning - Major & Minor


Before you begin your academic planning for study abroad, make sure to fully read through our Academic Policies webpage. These important policies must be adhered to during your study abroad program. You should also speak with your academic advisor early on about possible courses you could take abroad and how they might fit with your degree requirements.

Students are encouraged to get study abroad courses pre-approved early on in the study abroad application process. This page will go over how to petition for major, support and minor credit for study abroad. For information on how to petition for GE credit, please visit our GE Planning webpage


Getting study abroad major or support courses reviewed takes just a couple simple steps! 
  • No substitution form needed with the International Center! The course has already been pre-approved for the area(s) listed. 
  • Pre-approved courses are listed on each program’s brochure page, under the “Academics” tab (click the green “Course Pre-Approvals” button).
  • Check with your College Advising Center to see if any paperwork is needed with your department for the course.
If No,
  • Submit a Major/Support Course Substitution Form for the area you want the course to count towards.
  • Instructions on how to complete the form are listed in the next section.

Before starting a Major/Support Course Substitution Form, be sure to consult with your College's advising center for guidance on your college's pre-approval process.

  1. The Major/Support Course Substitution Form (see button below for access) is strictly for major or support course substitutions, not for minor courses (refer to the "Minor Courses" section below).  Fill out the top section of the form with your student information, and then list the study abroad courses you would like to have approved for major or support course substitutions.
  2. Include the course prefix and number associated with the class abroad, indicate whether it is upper or lower division, and include the number of quarter units each class is worth. You may need to convert semester units into quarter units (1 semester = 1.5 quarter) or ECTS credit into quarter units (1 ECTS = .75 quarter).  Do not round the credits up or down.
  3. Attach descriptions of the study abroad courses you have listed on the form.  Substitutions will NOT be considered unless course descriptions are provided.
  4. Ask your academic advising office to review the form and course descriptions and indicate which substitutions are recommended. If you aren't sure who to contact in your Advising Office, you can start with your College's Academic Advising Center. Find out how to contact your Advising Center on the Cal Poly Advising Webpage.
    • ​​NOTE: CLA students go directly to Department Chair for approval signatures.
  5. Your academic advising office will review and move your Substitution Form through the following review process:
  • The Advising Office (except CLA) forwards the form to the appropriate department chair/head for initial review and approval
  • The department chair/head will forward the form to the appropriate Associate Dean for a final department approval
  • After receiving all the necessary approvals, the Associate Dean should forward the form to the Registrar's Office for processing using the email
  • Students will receive an email from '' indicating the decisions reached on their study abroad course substitution requests
  • Please allow up to five weeks for this process
** Students with majors in the College of Science and Mathematics should meet with an academic advisor in CSM Student Services to initiate the Major or Support Course Substitution Form for Study Abroad through Adobe Sign. Visit for information on scheduling an appointment.


Students should consult with their minor department advisor to have study abroad courses pre-approved for their minor. The minor department advisor will work with you to complete the Minor Form for any approved courses.   

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