Office of the Dean of Students

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Hillcrest Building 81
Phone: 805.756.0327

The Office of the Dean of Students creates opportunities that increase access, allow for exploration of advocacy and privilege, and promote a welcoming campus climate. We foster individual strengths, self-exploration, community building and collaboration; encourage personal and academic success through self-advocacy, leadership and accountability; and equip the Cal Poly community with tools to become lifelong learners and global citizens.

Programs and services housed within the Office of the Dean of Students support student learning and service through:

  • Helping students manage academic and nonacademic situations;
  • Consulting extensively with faculty and staff on behalf of student concerns;
  • Interpreting and assisting with understanding campus policies and procedures;
  • Providing student centers, clubs and organizations to foster a healthy student life;
  • Cultivating a caring, supportive campus and community environment;
  • Engaging supporters meaningfully to enhance the student’s experience, and;
  • Creating space for the celebration of great achievements and unity, culminating with commencement.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities administers the California State University Standards for Student Conduct. This ensures a fair and impartial administration of the disciplinary process while educating students about their responsibilities and protecting the rights of all members of the university community.

Student Support, Success and Retention

Student Support, Success and Retention is responsible for ensuring students’ success by providing support, advocacy and follow-up services in collaboration with other university departments, individuals and stakeholders. It provides support to academic colleges by working directly with students, faculty and administration to reduce barriers to student success, collaborating with the colleges to establish meaningful campus support services, and by providing direct, early intervention in problem-solving to ensure retention and graduation.


The Commencement Office provides graduates and guests with a memorable and meaningful graduation experience that symbolizes the culmination of their academic achievements. Commencement ceremonies are coordinated in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the university’s Commencement Operations and Policy Committees, which are held twice annually in June and December.

To be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies, students must satisfy at least one of the following:

  • Completed all degree requirements and have not participated in a previous commencement ceremony;
  • Be currently enrolled in classes that will complete all of that student's degree requirements; or,
  • Be registered for classes for the following term that will allow the student to complete all of their degree requirements.

Students completing all degree requirements in the Winter, Spring or Summer terms are automatically eligible to participate in the Spring (June) Commencement. Students completing all degree requirements in the Fall term are eligible for Fall (December) Commencement. Graduate (Masters) students must submit a Request for Graduation Evaluation Form to the Graduate Education Office at least two quarters prior to the anticipated term of degree completion.

Students who wish to participate in a commencement ceremony other than the one for which they are scheduled and in which they are eligible to participate must complete a Commencement Request Form.

Final Degree Conferral

When undergraduate students reach 72% or more of degree completion, as indicated on their Academic Progress Gauge on Poly Profile, the Office of the Registrar will assign an expected graduation term for them that is a full four years after their initial admit term, or one year away, whichever is greater. Transfer students will be given an expected graduation term that is three years after their initial admit term. Students will receive an email from the Evaluations Unit of the Office of the Registrar informing them that their expected grad term has been set. The expected graduation term can be viewed in the Student Center and Poly Profile.

Graduate (Master's) students must submit a Graduate Application for Graduation Form to the Graduate Education Office at least two quarters prior to the anticipated term of degree completion.

The actual date of graduation (degree conferral) is the end of the quarter in which all requirements have been met. This date may differ from the student’s last quarter of enrollment (for example, a student who completes the Graduation Writing Requirement [GWR] or submits Senior Project for final grading after the last term of enrollment).

Graduating students receive one complimentary diploma. Additional diplomas may be ordered through The University Store. The diploma is not ordered until all degree requirements have been completed. The diploma is mailed to the student’s mailing address by the Evaluations Unit in the Office of the Registrar approximately three to four weeks after the degree has been conferred. It is the student’s responsibility to update their mailing address on the My Cal Poly Portal prior to the end of the final quarter of enrollment, to ensure the receipt of their diploma.

Concentrations and minors are not noted on the diploma; they are noted on the transcript. Latin honors are noted on both the diploma and the transcript; the Distinction notation for Master's students is noted on both the diploma and the transcript.

Once a degree has been awarded, subsequent revision or alteration of any transcript entry is permitted only for correction of proven error, as certified by the appropriate academic dean and the Registrar. No changes are made to the academic record 60 days following the degree conferral date.

Center for Leadership

The Center for Leadership fosters socially responsible leadership development through high-impact practices, programs and events that are innovative, inclusive and educational. Its events and services combine theories of leadership with action-based approaches that aim to help students serve their communities and society as a whole. Students are encouraged in their leadership skill development, leadership competency, assumption of leadership and service roles, and the continuation of service to one’s community after graduation.

Center for Military-Connected Students

The Center for Military-Connected Students provides assistance and support to student veterans and military dependents to navigate available Veterans Affairs and community resources.

Center for Service in Action

The Center for Service in Action connects students with meaningful community service opportunities that complement their educational experience, strengthen their understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and develop skills to become ethical and knowledgeable leaders who contribute to a global society. The center cultivates reciprocal service and learning partnerships between the university and community partners. It also serves community-based organizations and governmental institutions seeking university support to address unmet community needs.

Clubs and Organizations

In partnership with Associated Students, Inc., Clubs and Organizations administers student services that provide intellectual growth, effective communication, realistic self-appraisal, enhanced self-esteem, clarified values, career choices and leadership development. Club involvement identifies and promotes healthy behaviors, meaningful interpersonal relationships, independence, collaboration, social responsibility, satisfying and productive lifestyles, and appreciation for diversity, spiritual awareness, and achievement of personal and educational goals.

Club Sports

The Club Sports program provides a form of athletic and educational activity, which is an integral part of collegiate life. It provides a common theme for a diversified student body, faculty, staff, and alumni to operate as partners both inside and outside the community. The program promotes positive values of physical activity, learned skills, team development, and sportsmanship acquired through participation in competitions and organized activities.

Fraternity and Sorority Life

The Fraternity and Sorority Life office fosters the learning and development of students who affiliate with the social fraternities and sororities, and provides opportunities and support for our community to be a relevant and contributing part of fulfilling the mission of both the Office of the Dean of Students and Cal Poly. The office supports Greek members to become ethical leaders and to fulfill the mission of their organizations. It also works to resolve sensitive issues relating to Greek students; recommend training programs for leaders and advisers; assist in prevention and resolution of conflicts between organizations, the campus and community; and serve as the campus representative to national Greek organizations.

Parent and Family Programs

Parent and Family Programs provides support, resources and exciting programming for the proud parents, family members and supporters of Cal Poly students. The program is designed to enhance student success and increase parent engagement. It also offers a robust communication platform, increases awareness of university resources, and helps parents and supporters develop strategies to meet the unique challenges of guiding students throughout the college years.

WITH US Center for Bystander Intervention

With Us is a national, multi-issue bystander intervention research center committed to addressing critical social issues impacting the health, safety and success of college students.