Political Science

At-Risk & Probation Advising

At-risk & probation are two forms of academic standing at Cal Poly Pomona. Ideally, students should be in good standing as they progress to graduation. While at-risk and probation sound like punitive and harsh terms, they simply refer to GPA requirements for graduation.

To receive a degree, Cal Poly Pomona students need to maintain a 2.0 GPA. Given your GPA, you can be placed on four levels of academic standing:

  • Good standing: GPAs are above 2.2
  • At-risk: You have a GPA between 2.0 and 2.2
  • Probation: Your GPA has fallen below 2.0, but remains above the threshold for contract.
  • Probation with Contract: Your GPA has fallen below the following levels:

Class Standing

Units Completed

GPA Threshold


Less than 30

Below 1.5



Below 1.7



Below 1.85


90 and above

Below 1.95


There are also multiple GPAs that students should pay attention to:

  • CPP GPA: Your grade point average for all courses taken at Cal Poly Pomona
  • Major GPA: Your grade point average for all courses for your major
  • Cumulative GPA: Your grade point average for all courses taken at CPP and other colleges or universities you have previously attended

Detailed information about your GPA can be found on your Degree Progress Report:

 To read more about academic standing, click here.

What Happens when At-Risk or on Probation

 Each semester, you will have a hold placed on your registration and have to complete a training on Canvas.

At-risk students: You will have to complete a training module on Canvas called “Getting Back on Track”. Once you complete the training module, your hold will be cleared within 48 hours.

Probation students: You will have to complete a training module on Canvas called “Getting Back on Track” and meet with Maria Anzaldo, the CLASS Retention and Graduation Specialist to clear your hold.  

Probation with Contract students: You will have to complete a training module on Canvas called “Getting Back on Track” and meet with Maria Anzaldo (mlanzaldo@cpp.edu), the CLASS Retention and Graduation Specialist to complete a Probation on Contract Worksheet. Students on Probation with Contract will have to:

  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in each term until they are no longer on Probation with Contract
  • Be ineligible to register in more than 7 units in a summer term or 13 units in a regular term 

To read more about Probation with Contract, click here.

Improving your GPA

Students who are at-risk or on probation often have detailed questions about how they can improve their GPA. The GPA Calculator allows you to input your grades from your unofficial transcript, but also input grades for any future courses you plan to take or forgive. The GPA Calculator is an Excel spreadsheet:

Click here to download the GPA calculator

Grade Forgiveness: Students can repeat and forgive courses for which they received grades of C-, D+, D, D-, F, WU, or IC. You can attempt to repeat a single course for a maximum of three times. Overall, the university will allow you to forgive up to 28 semester units. BroncoDirect will allow you

Passing Grades: As long as you maintain a GPA of 2.0, grades of D- or above are considered passing for most courses at Cal Poly Pomona. The singular exception for this are four GEs, which require a C- or above to pass:

  • GE Area A1: Oral Communication (COM 1100 or COM 2204)
  • GE Area A2: Written Communication (ENG 1101 or ENG 1103)
  • GE Area A3: Critical Thinking (ENG 2105 or PHL 2020)
  • GE Area B4: Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning

Retroactive Withdrawal

If you have had an exceptionally poor semester of grades, you have the opportunity to withdraw from all classes within that term, even after that term has ended. This is called the retroactive withdrawal. Students must apply for retroactive withdrawal within one calendar year.

Click here to apply for Retroactive Withdrawal

Helpful Tips

Pay close attention to registration deadlines

In any given semester, you will want to pay attention to several deadlines related to registration:

  • Registration: Never miss your registration appointments. You should register as soon as your appointment begins. Fall registration typically starts in April. Spring registration typically starts in October.
  • End of Add/Drop: The end of add/drop, typically at the second week of the semester, is your last opportunity to drop courses without it affecting your transcripts.
  • Withdrawal Deadline: You can petition for a withdrawal up until the 20th day of the semester. A ‘W’ will appear on your transcript, but the course will not count toward your GPA. You can learn more about filing withdrawal petitions, by clicking here.
  • Serious and Compelling Withdrawals: For the duration of an entire term, the university allows students to withdraw from a class for “serious and compelling” reasons. A ‘WX’ will appear on your transcript, but the course will not count toward your GPA. These withdrawals require documentation. You can learn more about filing serious and compelling withdrawal petitions, by clicking here.

For a list of academic calendars across terms, click here.

Consider tutoring outside of your classes

The Learning Resource Center offers a number of different opportunities to catch up on coursework. This includes the University Writing Center, which offers one-on-one or small group tutoring on essays. You also may be eligible for the Reading, Advising, and Mentoring Program, which offers programmatic tutoring throughout a term.

Consider taking fewer courses

The university attempts to encourage all students to take 15 units (or 5 courses) each semester. Taking 15 units each semester ensures that you can graduate in four years. However, if you are struggling academically, you may want to consider taking 12 units (or 4 courses) in a semester. Taking 12 units each semester ensures that you can graduate in five years. Students taking a reduced load may want to consider enrolling in winter or summer terms to catch up. Note that full-time status can affect particular types of financial aid, including Pell Grants, Cal Grants, and Education Opportunity Program. To read more about financial aid status, click here.

Take courses at a community college over summer

If you want to catch up on courses, you could consider enrolling at a community college during a summer term. Community college courses will count toward your CPP degree and are significantly more affordable than taking courses at Cal Poly Pomona during summer. Click here to read about how to take courses at a community college and count them toward your degree. Note that only lower-division courses are eligible to be taken at a community college.

Consider stopping out for a semester

Students may take off one fall or spring semester (winter or summer are not counted), with no questions asked. No permission or submission of a form is required, you simply do not register for courses in the semester you stop out. However, it is strongly recommended that you speak to an academic advisor before stopping out. If you wish to take consecutive semesters off (up to four), you are required to file a leave of absence form. Failure to file a formal leave of absence will result in withdrawal from the university. Click here to read more about the academic leave of absence.  

Who is my academic advisor?

As a political science major, you have several advisors to speak to. The idea being that there are several places to go (both face-to-face and virtual).

  • Faculty Advisor: A full-time faculty member has been assigned to you as an advisor. This person is available through email, office hours, and appointments. You are welcome to ask them any questions about course advising. Read more about faculty advising in political science. Click here to find the list of emails and office hours.
  • Bronco Advising Center (BAC): The university has its own advising center, open to all majors across the university. They are also available for virtual advising drop-ins, typically weekdays from Monday to Friday. The Registrar and Office of Financial Aid are also available through the BAC for virtual appointments during regular business hours. Click here to visit the Bronco Advising Center website. 
    • Location: Student Services Building, First Floor (Blue counter)
    • Email: bac@cpp.edu

Click here for join the University Student Services Zooms

  • CLASS Student Success Center: The college has a small group of advisors dedicated to advising students in the college, including political science majors. Our department's main advisor is Derick Prince (dtprince@cpp.edu). He can also be scheduled for virtual appointments, but have limited drop-in virtual hours. Click here to visit the CLASS Student Success Center website. 

Political Science At-Risk Advisor
Dr. Mario Guerrero

Office: Building 94, Room 303
Email: mag@cpp.edu 
Office Phone: 909-869-3885

Dr. Guerrero can only clear at-risk or probation holds for political science majors. 

Click here for Dr. Guerrero's Office Hours

CLASS Retention & Graduation Specialist
Maria Anzaldo

Office: Building 5, Room 225
Email: mlanzaldo@cpp.edu 

Use CPP Connect to make an appointment with Maria

Maria Anzaldo