Service Desk

Information Technology Services

Accounts & Passwords

Your account includes a username and password which act as your key to many campus services offered by Cal Poly including email, calendar and Wi-Fi access, PolyLearn, and administrative tools. 

Get Started

  • Applicants

    Visit the Applicant First Time Account Activation page for instructions on how to activate your Cal Poly account and get access to the My Cal Poly portal.
  • New Students, Faculty, or Staff

    Call the ITS Service Desk at 805-756-7000 to request a temporary password or visit us at the Natatorium (No. 46), across from Spanos Stadium.

Request an Account

To request an account, please visit the Request An Account page.


Your Cal Poly username is a distinctive identifier that associates your Cal Poly account with a broad range of campus services. Usually, it is created from a combination of your first initial and last name (up to eight characters) and followed by

Your Cal Poly email address is the same as your Cal Poly username. When asked for your Cal Poly username, enter it as all lowercase letters. Examples of valid Cal Poly usernames might be: or

  • How do I obtain a Cal Poly username and password?

    Your Cal Poly username and password are automatically created when you are officially associated with Cal Poly, for example, when you become a student, faculty or staff member.

    New students, faculty and state staff obtain their Cal Poly username by contacting the ITS Service Desk by phone at 805-756-7000 or by visiting us at the Natatorium (No. 46).

    Cal Poly Corporation (CPC) and Associated Students (ASI) personnel should follow procedures for obtaining accounts through their personnel or technical support department.
  • Where do I use my Cal Poly username?

    You will be asked to enter your Cal Poly username when you log in to a broad range of campus services including the My Cal Poly Portal, email, calendar and Wi-Fi access, PolyLearn, and administrative tools.
  • How are Cal Poly usernames assigned?

    Usernames are assigned automatically using an individual's "preferred" name, as listed under the Personal Info tab on the portal. An algorithm determines usernames based on availability. Users cannot personally choose their Cal Poly usernames and cannot have more than one currently active username.

    The algorithm creates a username based on the following:
    • First initial, last name
    • Last name only
    • First initial, middle initial, last name
    • First two letters of first name, last name
    • Or a combination of the above, plus numbers
  • Can I change my Cal Poly username?

    Only in very rare cases, might a user get a new username. Changing a username requires manual intervention and takes substantial time and effort to ensure that it is changed in all applicable campus systems.

    ITS will only change a username for legal reasons:
    • If an individual's legal name is changed.
    • If the assigned username represents a credible danger to the health or safety of the individual.
    • If the username spells out a word considered inappropriate or offensive to the individual or the university.

Any other exceptions must be approved by the ITS Office of the CIO.

Note: The current system will not permit the separation of a username and email address. A Cal Poly email address is created by combining a username with


Forgot password? | Need Password Help?

Password Requirements

Password requirements are designed to help you pick a strong, secure password. A passphrase is typically safer and secure, as well as longer, more complex and easier to remember than a password with minimal guidelines.

For passwords under 16 characters, however, several rules are necessary to ensure your password strength and keep your account secure.

Password passphrase
Minimum length of 8 characters
Maximum length of 15 characters
Minimum length of 16 characters 
Maximum length of 40 characters
Must contain at least one (1) character from three (3) of the following: 
  • Uppercase Alphabetic (A-Z) 
  • Lowercase Alphabetic (a-z) 
  • Numbers (0-9) 
  • Any of the following special characters: ! $ % & , ( ) * + - . / ; : < = > ? [ \ ] ^ _ { | } ~
Can include the following special characters: ! $ % & , ( ) * + - . / ; : < = > ? [ \ ] ^ _ { | } ~ and the "space" character 
Passwords less than twelve (12) characters must not contain any of the following:
  • Any words of 3 or more characters, including non-English words
  • Any groups of 3 or more characters of the same character type
  • Any names, person, places, or things found in a common dictionary
  • Any of your names (first, middle, last) or any current Cal Poly username
  • Any previous Cal Poly Portal passwords used within the last two (2) years
  • Repetitive characters (sequences)

Examples of Acceptable Passwords
Cal Poly Learn by Doing is Great.

Annual Password Expiration

Cal Poly passwords expire annually. If you receive an email notifying you that your Cal Poly password is scheduled to expire, you MUST reset the password BEFORE the expiration date. For detailed instructions for managing your password, visit Password Help.

  • As a security measure, Cal Poly passwords expire annually. To learn more about Information Security on campus, visit
  • Email notifications will be sent to you prior to your Cal Poly password expiration. Included in the email is a link to the Information Security Awareness Training all users are required to complete as part of the annual password change process. This brief online training may be taken at any time before the password expiration date and is good for one year. If not completed ahead of time, users will be automatically directed to the training before they can change their password.
  • If a new password is not set by the expiration date, access to the My Cal Poly portal and all services that use the Cal Poly password will be denied.

Get Help

ITS Service Desk
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.  
Location: Natatorium (No. 46), across from Spanos Stadium 
Phone: 805-756-7000

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