Orientation Policies

Line of students and staff registering for Orientation

2020 Orientation Registration Policies 

UPDATE - policies below apply to new students attending Cal Poly for the 2020-21 academic year. 


SLO Days & WOW Exemptions

Mustang Express


Refunds & Cancellations

Orientation Request Form

Supporter Registration


It is the policy of the university that all newly admitted students register for and attend SLO Days and the Week of Welcome (WOW) orientation. Participation and registration in orientation is mandatory for all new students attending Cal Poly. A student’s failure to complete their orientation requirement may result in their admissions being rescinded by the university.

Students attending Cal Poly in Fall 2020 cannot cancel their orientation registration.

All sessions have limited capacity. Space is not guaranteed until registration and fee have been received. There is no wait list for closed/locked sessions.

Newly admitted students - both first-time freshmen and transfer students - must participate in and register for the mandatory orientations. Transfer students participate in a single-day SLO Days session. The session they will attend will be based on the college of their major. Overnight accommodations are not included with transfer student orientation registration. 

SLO Days/Week of Welcome (WOW) Overall Exemptions

It is the policy of the university that all students register for and attend orientation (SLO Days and the Week of Welcome). In rare, extenuating circumstances, a student may be granted an exemption from attending all or part of orientation. Circumstances may include a medical need, family circumstances, inability to travel to San Luis Obispo at time of session, etc... We kindly ask that you submit your request to be exempted from the orientation event(s) as soon as possible. Documentation may be required as part of the request. 

Freshman Students: All first-time freshmen students are required to stay on campus in the provided accommodations during the overnight portion of their SLO Days session. Students may request an exemption from the overnight component for the following reasons only. 

  1. Live within or stay with family that lives in San Luis Obispo County
  2. Medical need or other extenuating circumstances

Orientation registration fees will remain the same regardless of whether or not the student is granted an exception to be exempted from the overnight segment of SLO Days. Overnight accommodations are not provided for registered supporters. For parents and supporters looking to stay on campus in Poly Canyon Village for an additional fee, visit Conference and Events Planning here. One night of accommodations for students only are provided for the night during their session.  

Transfer Students: Overnight accommodations are not included with the registration for both students and guests. 

Mustang Express Participants

All students registered for the Mustang Express program and session must participate in all of the following:

  • Ride the Mustang Express both to and from their original pick-up location
  • Stay both nights in the provided on-campus accommodations 
  • Attend all portions of SLO Days

Mustang Express is for newly admitted first-time freshmen students only, and we are unable to provide transportation for supporters. For more information on Mustang Express, click here.

Supporter Registration

We encourage our parents and supporters to attend SLO Days and learn about the Cal Poly experience. Register up to two (2) supporters per student under your student's orientation registration tab in their Cal Poly Portal.

Registered supporters may purchase additional meal tickets for siblings or other guests to attend lunch and/or dinner during the SLO Days Supporter track. Supporters are recommended to register well in advance of their student's SLO Days session. However, there is no deadline or late fee for registering a supporter, and it may be done on site at the time of the session. Note: Supporter registration does not include overnight accommodations.  For parents and supporters looking to stay on campus in Poly Canyon Village for an additional fee, visit Conference and Events Planning here.

Refund & Cancellation Policy

Please note, as we have recently changed our policies due to COVID-19, we will no longer withhold a processing fee for each student that has withdrawn their application from Cal Poly. The student must contact the Admissions office prior to requesting a refund. No refund will be processed until we have received verification from Admissions of the recent status change, or if the student had been rescinded from the university. 

To request a full refund or overnight exemption, click here to access the Orientation Request Form.


Published February 28, 2020 - Updated May 22, 2020

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