Virtual Learning

This website will help students prepare themselves for virtual learning and access critical services and programs they need to succeed.

Fall Quarter Updates

Cal Poly is preparing for multiple scenarios that could occur during fall quarter. Here is what we know now:

  • The fall quarter will begin Sept. 14, with about 13% of our approximately 4,300 sections held in-person. These sections are labs and activities that have been determined as critical to student success and to keeping students on track to degree completion.
  • We will provide a fully virtual option for students who either cannot or choose not to take in-person classes for any reason.
  • We are asking incoming freshmen students who do not wish to take in-person courses, but who may be having difficulty getting a seat in required courses this fall, to reach out to our Mustang Success Center.
  • Continuing students who have registered for in-person courses but would like to be fully virtual for fall should contact the academic department or college advising center for assistance.
  • Incoming transfer students who do not wish to take in-person courses but may be required to enroll in a class that is offered in person should reach out to the academic department and college advising center for assistance.
  • Most in-person classes conclude Nov. 20 and all classes will be held virtually Nov. 23-24, with virtual final exams from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4. Any classes that start the quarter in a virtual format will remain virtual for the entire quarter and will not transition to an in-person format under any circumstances.
  • A very limited number of in-person classes, senior projects, undergraduate research, enterprise projects and activities will be granted in-person status for the period from Nov. 20 through the end of the calendar year, on a case-by-case basis.
  • All admitted and continuing students are encouraged to enroll and continue their progress toward a Cal Poly degree. 
    • In March, Cal Poly, and universities across the country, quickly transitioned courses and academic support to virtual modalities. This pivot provided us with insights and lessons that should allow us to avoid making sudden transitions in the future.
    • We are planning a robust virtual academic experience for students in fall quarter for any courses that need to be offered virtually.
  • More information on the fall quarter can be found in 8/12/2020 Message from President Armstrong on the Approved Fall Plan. 


Summer Quarter Operations

Virtual Classroom Resources

Virtual Computer Labs 

Virtual Computer Labs is a cloud-based application streaming service that enables Cal Poly students, faculty and staff to access specialized academic software previously only available in on-campus labs—using a web browser. Please note that you will need to enroll in and use multi-factor authentication through Duo to access Virtual Computer Labs.


The Mustang Success Center and all the college advising centers are in full operation virtually, offering both drop-in advising and appointments via Zoom.

Visit the Advising website to find which advising center will best fit your needs.

Senior Projects

Students should consult with their senior project advisor. The university is doing everything it can to ensure there are no barriers to graduation caused by the move to virtual learning. If you have any concerns, speak to an advisor as soon as possible.

Academic Support

Cal Poly's Writing and Learning Center is offering virtual tutoring sessions in over 200 courses and subjects this summer. Students can view the schedule, reserve appointments and join sessions through the Writing and Learning Center's online scheduling system.

Anyone with requests for individualized academic support for courses or subjects not currently listed on the tutoring schedule can connect with the center's virtual front desk during standard business hours or email the Writing and Learning Center. Tutoring services are free for all Cal Poly students.

Virtual Learning Tips for Success

As you transition to a virtual learning environment, you may find yourself needing some help getting started and finding a good routine. Here are some tips on setting yourself up for success.

Additionally, the document Recommendations for Students in Virtual Learning Environments contains a set of recommendations and guidelines designed to help you contribute to your classroom community, to treat your classmates and instructors with respect and to support your success in virtual learning environments


On June 15, the Division of Research and Economic Development outlined a process to allow Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students to expand research activities using a phased approach that prioritizes health and safety of the campus and community. The process is attentive to local and state directives and guidelines; is supportive of faculty’s professional development needs and accounts for graduate and undergraduate research needs, experiences and time to graduation.

Read the research expansion plan here.

Campus Resources


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