Continuous Enrollment


Effective Fall Quarter 2009, graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment from the time of first enrollment in a graduate program until completion of the degree. Continuous enrollment is defined as being enrolled during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters each year. However, a student may be required to enroll in the Summer quarter if Summer is the quarter of degree completion.

Students can maintain continuous enrollment either by being enrolled as a regular student; obtaining approval for an education or medical leave prior to the quarter when such a leave would begin; or by registering in a special course designated for this purpose, during quarters in which they are not regularly enrolled. The special course, GS 597, is listed in the University catalog and is taken through Cal Poly Extended Education. GS 597 is a one-unit course, at a cost of $289 per unit, offered credit/no credit; credits in GS 597 do not count toward meeting degree requirements.

Students who fail to fulfill this continuous enrollment requirement will be not be permitted to graduate, even if all degree requirements have been completed, until payment has been made for all quarters of non-enrollment. This requirement is not retroactive to terms prior to Fall 2009.

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In addition, all graduate students must be enrolled in the quarter in which they graduate. For example, if you are planning on completing all degree requirements and graduating in the Summer quarter, you are responsible for maintaining active enrollment in the Summer quarter.

Registration Deadlines

Deadline Cost
Winter 2018 March 15, 2018 $289/unit
Spring 2018 June 7, 2018 $289/unit
Summer 2017 August 28, 2017 $289/unit
Fall 2017 November 30, 2017 $289/unit

Note: The standard university late fee of $25 may apply if registering for a term after its respective deadline.


The continuous enrollment requirement for graduate students applies to all graduate programs unless a program exemption has been approved. Students on approved university leaves of absence, as defined in the University catalog (Medical Leave; Planned Educational Leave) are not required to enroll during the leave period. In order for Planned Educational Leave to qualify for exemption from the continuous enrollment requirement, the leave must involve a formal education activity approved by the Dean of Graduate Education.

Registering in GS S597

  • Complete Continuous Enrollment Guidelines and Registration (PDF) from Cal Poly Extended Education, Science Building 52, Room E34. Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm.
  • Return form to Extended Education, Science Building 52, Room E34, by fax to (805) 756-5933 or via email to
    NOTE: Extended Education will evaluate the number of units required for you to be current in your program and verify this amount with you if our assessment differs from your own.
  • All holds must be removed before enrollment is processed. Also, enrollment cannot be processed for terms beyond expected graduation term.
  • Once enrollment is processed for the agreed amount of units, an email confirmation will be sent.
  • Charges will appear in your student account at the time of enrollment and will be due in 3 days. It is your responsibility to log-in to your student portal and pay fees.
  • Read the procedure on how to pay your course fees.
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