Student Success Central

New Student Registration Guide

Cal Poly Pomona New Student Registration Guide

Fall 2024

Last Updated: 6/11/2024

This guide walks you through the basics of registering for classes for the first time. We’ve loaded it with how-tos, additional videos and resources that we encourage you to explore.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, contact the Bronco Advising Center.

Step 1: Some Ground Rules

  • For every term you register, you have what’s called a registration window. It’s a specific day and time that you are able to begin to register for classes in an upcoming term. It is also sometimes called your enrollment appointment, registration appointment, enrollment date or enrollment time. 
  • In your BroncoDirect Student Center, find the Registration Window box on the right-hand side. This box will have your date and time. The date/time may not be visible until closer to your Orientation Day. 
  • For future terms, registration windows are posted about a week in advance of registration. Your registration window will be assigned based on the number of units you have successfully completed. You'll be able to enroll in courses in the timeframe of your registration window. 

  • For your first semester at CPP, you'll register for classes at your Orientation Day. You will meet with staff and faculty to receive academic advising and they will walk you through the registration process.
  • For every term you register, there are several opportunities to enroll in classes. All students have the ability to register during general registration, and the ability to adjust schedules during Add/Drop Period. Eligible students may also register during priority registration. 
  • Each opportunity also has specific unit limits. This is the number of units you are allowed to register for. See below for the unit limits you have – we'll explain more on Add/Drop Period and waitlisting later.  
This table outlines the unit limits for each registration period.

Priority Registration

Up to 16 units (As of Fall 2024 Registration)

General Registration / Orientation Class Registration 

Up to 16 units 

Add/Drop Period 

Up to 18 units 

Waitlist Units

10 units (of overall unit limit) 

  • The amount of units for each class depends on what type of class it is – lab classes can be worth 1 to 2 units, while lecture classes can be 2 to 4 units. We’ll show you in the next step how to figure out how many units a class is worth.  
  • For future terms, you can find the unit enrollment limit on the homepage of the Registration Guide

  • Sometimes CPP will put a hold on your account when we need you to take care of something. Some holds will prevent you from registering, like an Advising Hold or an SF Financial Hold. Other holds, like the Classes Saved hold, just prevent your courses from being dropped for non-payment.  
  • Your Orientation Services and Orientation Advising holds will be cleared as long as you've completed your Pre-Orientation modules and check in for your in-person program.
  • Math/English Category Placement holds do not affect your ability to register for classes.

  • To Do list items are not holds and do not impact your ability to register. 
  • The To Do list is made up of checklist items such as university requests for documentation, including tax returns for your Financial Aid application, high school or college transcripts, official SAT scores, etc.
  • Once the university has received a checklist item, that item will no longer display on your To Do list. It may take some time to clear.

Step 2: Using Schedule Builder

Using Schedule Builder can help you come up with potential schedules. You can also use Scheduler to import your choices to your BroncoDirect Shopping Cart. 

Step 3: Finish Enrolling

After you import your choices to your BroncoDirect Shopping Cart, you'll need to finish enrolling. This video also shows you how to drop or swap courses. 

Step 4: Additional Registration Information

If you need to, you can use the BroncoDirect Class Search to look at all courses and sections being offered for the term. 

You may encounter enrollment error messages while registering. Here are some of the most common errors students see. If you have any questions about these error messages, contact the Bronco Advising Center. 

This table explains what to do if you're getting an error message while trying to register.

Enrollment Error Message 

What to Do 

Hold on student's record, add not processed 

Click on your Holds box in your Student Center to see if there are any holds that might prevent your registration. The Hold details explain how to clear the hold or who to contact. 

Invalid enrollment appointment and open enrollment period has not begun 

Double check your enrollment window day/time in your Enrollment Dates box.  

Requisites not met for class, not enrolled 

Look at the Registrar's Office requisite error chart 

Unit limit exceeded for appointment period 

You're trying to add a course that exceeds the unit limit for your enrollment window 

Time scheduling conflict, student not enrolled in class 

You're trying to add a course that conflicts with another course in your schedule. You can submit a Schedule Conflict Override Petition, but you need approval from both course instructors.  

Student not enrolled, class full 

The class is full. You should enroll in a different section, or ask the class instructor for a permission number. 

Student not eligible to enroll for term 

You're not eligible to enroll. If this is an error, contact the Bronco Advising Center. 

 If a section of a course you want to take is full, you can add yourself to the waitlist. Visit the Registration Guide homepage and find the unit enrollment limits for waitlisting units under Term Information. Waitlisted units count toward your overall enrollment limit. Here are a few things to be aware of about waitlisting:

  • You cannot waitlist a class that has a corequisite 
  • You will not be moved off the waitlist for a class if you are already registered in another section of the same class.  
  • The waitlist is updated hourly through the registration period 
  • When space is available, you will be enrolled in the course and notified by email. 
  • Check your class schedule in your Student Center for your waitlist position.

If you're trying to enroll in a course that is full, requires consent, or requires requisites (pre- or corequisites), you can ask for a class permission number. They are one-use codes and only usable in the term you get them. They are also sometimes called add codes. For assistance, contact the Bronco Advising Center.

Depending on the type of permission number, you get it from the course instructor or the academic department:

This table outlines which office or person to ask for a permission number.

Enrollment Request Message 

Request a Permission Number from: 

Not enrolled, class is full 

The course instructor.  

Requisites not met for class, not enrolled 

Confirm on your Degree Progress Report that you have met the requisites. Then, visit the academic department to request a permission number. 

Permission to enroll in this class is required 

The course instructor. 

Instructor consent required to enroll in class, add not processed 

The course instructor. 

Step 5: After Orientation and Prepping for Your First Day

Your Academic Planner will tell you the modes of instruction for your courses. Check the format your courses are being offered in by referencing the Instruction Modes guide

This table outlines the different drop periods and what they mean.


Type of Drop 

How To Drop 

From the 1st day of registration through the 10th day of the semester 

You can drop classes without getting Ws on your transcript. 

Drop in your BroncoDirect Student Center. 

From the 10th day of the semester (second week) through the 20th day of the semester (fourth week) 

You can drop classes with a grade of W. Undergraduate students are limited to 28 quarter units of recorded course withdrawals or 18 semester units of recorded course withdrawals, i.e., where students receive "W" grades in the classes dropped.  

Drop in your BroncoDirect Student Center 

From the 20th day of the semester (fifth week) through the 12th week of the semester 

If you need to drop classes after the 20th day of the semester because of illness or other problems of a serious nature beyond your control, you may request that those course withdrawals not contribute to the 28 quarter-unit or 18 semester-unit limit of recorded course withdrawals. 

Upon review of documentation, substantiating the reason for class withdrawal is of serious nature beyond your control, your College Dean may approve that such course withdrawals not contribute to the limit.  

Fill out Request for Class Withdrawal petition and attach supporting documentation. 
You should continue to attend classes and submit coursework until you receive a decision.  

After the 12th week of the semester through the last day of finals week  

You can drop all of your courses only for serious and compelling reasons clearly beyond your control.  

You should request to drop your entire schedule. Failure in a class or changes to your schedule are not acceptable reasons for withdrawing. 

You may request that such course withdrawals not contribute to the limit of recorded course withdrawals.  

Fill out Request for Class Withdrawal petition and attach supporting documentation. 

You should continue to attend classes and submit coursework until you receive a decision. 


Find more information about withdrawals on the Office of Student Success, Equity and Innovation website

You are only entitled to a full tuition and fees refund if you cancel your registration or drop all of your courses before the first day of classes. After the first day of class you are entitled to a pro-rated refund determined by the date of your withdrawal. You may be entitled to a lower tuition fee if you dropped enough units to become a part-time student. To calculate this amount, visit the Student Accounting & Cashiering Services website select the term that you need a refund for.

Learn more about Instant Access Complete program on the Bronco Bookstore website. 

A syllabus is a document that outlines the course policies and expectations. It includes your professor's contact information as well as their office hours. Grading policies, assignment due dates, the course schedule, required materials and other items may also be included. You'll receive syllabi ahead of or on the first day of class. 

  • Keep tabs on your Canvas homepage. Your instructor has to turn the courses on, so hang tight if you don't see them yet. Canvas updates itself nightly with any changes in your enrollment. 
  • Many instructors drop students who do not attend their class on the first day of instruction to allow for waitlisted students to add the course. However, do not rely on professors to drop you from classes you no longer wish to take. If you don't attend a class you are enrolled in, you may receive a grade of WU or F.
    • If a religious holiday conflicts with the first day of class, find more information on the Dean of Students website
  • Office hours are the time that professors set aside to help students understand the course material and assignments. Attending office hours will allow you to get a better understanding of the course material and assignments as well as build a relationship with your faculty. Check your syllabi for your professors' office hours.