From the School

Founded in 1901, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) is a nationally ranked public university that prides ourselves on the individual success of our students. For the 25th consecutive year, Cal Poly has been named the best public, master’s-level university in the West by U.S. News & World Report.

Our Learn by Doing approach sets us apart from other colleges and universities. As a Cal Poly student, you will have access to the powerful combination of academic expertise and hands-on experience. At Cal Poly, most courses are taught (by professors) in small classrooms—not large lecture halls.

Cal Poly boasts a 19:1 student to faculty ratio. As a result, Cal Poly offers a close community of motivated students and professors who will provide the inspiration and support you’ll need to keep you academically and personally challenged.

Within one year of graduation, 89% of our graduates are employed full time or are in graduate school. No matter what path you choose, we will help make sure that you are ready when you get there. To learn more, visit our Viewbook at https://viewbook.calpoly.edu/

Overall

From The School


The undergraduate application for Fall 2018 is open from October 1–November 30. Beginning this year, all California State Universities (CSU) apply via Cal State Apply (https://calstate.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login).

When applying, we recommend you take the following steps:

  1. Explore our majors and choose a program of study at https://viewbook.calpoly.edu/academics/

    1. Cal Poly requires you to declare a major on your application so that you can begin intensive study in your major on the first day of class. This means you’ll receive two more years of hands-on experience in your major compared to most other college students.

  2. Review our selection criteria for Freshmen or Transfer students at https://viewbook.calpoly.edu/apply/

  3. Submit your application online with your $55 application fee.

  4. Add http://www.calpoly.edu/ to your contact list. Email is our primary form of communication and how we will keep in contact with you throughout the admissions process.


Overview

Applicants
48,162
Acceptance Rate
29%
Average HS GPA
3.92

GPA Breakdown

75%
Over 3.75
17%
3.50 - 3.74
6%
3.25 - 3.49
2%
3.00 - 3.24

Need to boost your grades? We can help.

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SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
560 - 660
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
590 - 700

ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
26 - 31

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted

Deadlines

Early Decision — October 31

Regular — November 30


Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores

Selectivity Rating


Get a personalized plan for a competitive application from an admissions expert.

Learn More

Overall

From The School


Academic Programs


You will find evidence of our Learn by Doing philosophy everywhere on campus — from our course curricula to our student life programs. Our classes emphasize activities and discussions, lab and field work, hands-on projects and collaborative work experiences. We encourage student involvement in the research process from hypothesis through peer review and publication. This opportunity for undergraduate research sets us apart! Students are encouraged to participate in personal and professional development programs such as Study Abroad, volunteer work and internships.

Cal Poly offers 63 bachelor's degree program and 79 minors. Our school year consists of four 11-week terms.

Majors and Degrees Offered


Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences
Agricultural Business and Management, General
Agricultural Communication/Journalism
Agricultural Mechanization, General
Agronomy and Crop Science
Animal Sciences, General
Dairy Science
Food Science
Soil Science and Agronomy, General


Architecture and Related Service
Architecture
City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Landscape Architecture


Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, and Gender Studies, Other


Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Biochemistry
Biology/Biological Sciences, General
Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology


Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services
Business Administration and Management, General
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other


Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs
Journalism


Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services
Graphic Communications, General


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
Computer Science
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst


Education
Agricultural Teacher Education
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching


Engineering
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
Agricultural/Biological Engineering and Bioengineering
Architectural Engineering
Biomedical/Medical Engineering
Civil Engineering, General
Civil Engineering, Other
Computer Engineering, General
Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
Engineering Science
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Manufacturing Engineering
Materials Engineering
Mechanical Engineering


English Language and Literature/Letters
English Language and Literature, General
Rhetoric and Composition


Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General


Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
Dietetics/Dietitian (RD)


History
History, General


Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies


Mathematics and Statistics
Mathematics, General
Statistics, General


Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other


Natural Resources and Conservation
Forestry, General
Natural Resources and Conservation, Other


Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies
Health and Physical Education, General
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies


Philosophy and Religious Studies
Philosophy


Physical Sciences
Chemistry, General
Geology/Earth Science, General
Physics, General


Psychology
Psychology, General


Social Sciences
Economics, General
Political Science and Government, General
Social Sciences, Other
Sociology


Visual and Performing Arts
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
Fine/Studio Arts, General
Music, General

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
19:1
Total Faculty
1,439
with Terminal Degree
838

853
Men
586
Women
49
International

Most frequent class size
20 - 29
Most frequent lab / sub section size
20 - 29

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
48%
Graduate in 5 years
78%
Graduate in 6 years
83%

Majors

  • Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences

  • Agricultural Business and Management, General
  • Agricultural Communication/Journalism
  • Agricultural Mechanization, General
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Animal Sciences, General
  • Dairy Science
  • Food Science
  • Soil Science and Agronomy, General

  • Architecture and Related Service

  • Architecture
  • City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning
  • Landscape Architecture

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • Ethnic, Cultural Minority, and Gender Studies, Other

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Journalism

  • Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services

  • Graphic Communications, General

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst

  • Education

  • Agricultural Teacher Education
  • Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching

  • Engineering

  • Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Agricultural/Biological Engineering and Bioengineering
  • Architectural Engineering
  • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, General
  • Civil Engineering, Other
  • Computer Engineering, General
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General
  • Rhetoric and Composition

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, General

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Dietetics/Dietitian (RD)

  • History

  • History, General

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General
  • Statistics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Forestry, General
  • Natural Resources and Conservation, Other

  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

  • Health and Physical Education, General
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Economics, General
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Social Sciences, Other
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Music, General


Degrees

Bachelor's
Master's
Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Notable Faculty


Prominent Alumni


Burt Rutan
Futuristic Aircraft designer

Bill Swanson
Raytheon Chairman & CEO

Rick Sturckow and Robert "Hoot" Gibson
Astronauts

George Ramos
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter and Columnist

Kathleen Holmgren
Sun Microsystems senior VP

Thomas Sabol
Getty Center Structural Engineer

Monty Roberts
Author of "The Man Who Listens to Horses"

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
48%
Graduate in 5 years
78%
Graduate in 6 years
83%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Overview

From The School


Tuition, Room, Board and Fees


College is likely to be one of the most important purchases you will make and could be your first significant financial obligation. With smart planning at the early stages of your education, you can help position yourself well for decades to come. Cal Poly’s Financial Aid office is here to help you navigate the path.

Estimates for registration fees, books and supplies, housing and other costs of attendance for the 2017-18 academic year can be found below.

CA Resident
Registration Fees*: $9,432
Room and board: $13,134
Books and supplies: $1,884
Other miscellaneous fees: $2,775
Total: $27,225

Out-of-State Resident
Tuition and Registration Fees**: $21,312
Room and board: $13,134
Books and supplies: $1,884
Other miscellaneous fees: $2,775
Total: $39,105

International
Tuition, Fees and Insurance: $23,349
Room and board: $13,134
Books and supplies: $1,884
Other miscellaneous fees: $2,703
Total: $41,070

* Fees are based on full-time enrollment.
**Non-resident tuition is based on 15 units per quarter (fall, winter, and spring) at $264 per unit.
Actual amount will vary depending on quarterly enrollment.
Registration fees are estimated and subject to state budget approval.

Financial Aid


Our Financial Aid office can help you find ways to make your university education affordable. Cal Poly offers different types of financial aid including:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Special Programs
  • Additional Sources

The types and amounts of aid Cal Poly awards depends on your availability of funds, your enrollment status, and your financial need. To learn more visit a https://financialaid.calpoly.edu/


Dates

Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Mar 15

Required Forms

FAFSA

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$3,287

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$3,524

Average Need-Based Loan
$3,995

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
40%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$22,413

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$3,287

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$5,742
Required Fees
$3,690
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,884

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
$5,094
Transportation for Commuters
$1,254

On-Campus Room and Board
$13,115
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Federal TEACH Grant; California Dream Grants
Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Other
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Overall

From The School


Our student body (Fall 2016) is approximately 21,306 with 1,439 combined faculty. The ratio of men to woman students is 52.8% to 47.2% respectively. Cal Poly’s in-state students make up 83.3% of our population, 15.7% are out-of-state students, and 1% are international students.

Cal Poly receives nearly 60,000 applicants each year for an incoming class of approximately 5,200 students.

Cal Poly has more than 300 student organizations and clubs to serve a wide range of interests, including academic, professional, service, cultural, religious, artistic, athletic, Greek Life and more. If there isn't one that matches what you're looking for, our Club Services can help you start a new club.

Getting involved in a student club or organization can enhance your overall experience and help you increase your campus support network, hone your leadership and interpersonal skills, and develop new interests and opportunities.


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
20,426

Demographics

12.59%
Asian
16.08%
Hispanic
56.51%
Caucasian
4.67%
Unknown
1.98%
International

47% female
53% male
96% are full time
4% are part time

Overview

From The School


Location


Our campus is located in San Luis Obispo on California’s beautiful Central Coast, about 230 miles south of San Francisco and 200 miles north of Los Angeles. Cal Poly maintains a strong connection to industry in both the Bay Area and Southern California, allowing for greater opportunities for your future.

San Luis Obispo (SLO) is an ideal home away from home. Known as the “Happiest City in America,” SLO is a classic college town with amazing natural surroundings. There’s plenty of sunshine, and a wide variety of restaurants, shopping, culture and outdoor activities for you to enjoy.

Living on campus gives you a strong connection to the campus community and easy access to academic and health resources, recreational activities, dining, student clubs and organizations, friends and entertainment. Because we believe that this will help lead to your overall success, Cal Poly requires all freshmen to live on campus.

Campus Facilities & Equipment


Balancing your studies with a great social life is key to succeeding at Cal Poly. Each of our six college have dozens of labs that support our Learn by Doing method by offering advanced technological systems that allow students to link theory with application and practice. Our Engineering department alone has 80 labs.

In addition, our state-of-the-art Recreation center, an active athletic program, and a wide variety of on-campus events, means there is always something new to discover and make your own at Cal Poly.

Notable Facilities Include:
Robert E. Kennedy Library: Our five-story, 208,433 sq. ft. on-campus library boasts 45 staff and faculty, 147 student assistants, 20 group study rooms, 337 public computers, 71 laptops and 60 iPads loaned 41,228 times. It has a 1.6M collections budget, 195,000 eBooks, 605,000 eBook downloads, 45,000+ online journals, 799,000 full-text article views, 2.6 million downloads from DigitalCommons@CalPoly.

Christopher Cohan Center Performing Arts Center is located on the Cal Poly campus is comprised of four specific areas, a classroom, two smaller performance spaces, and the breathtaking Sidney Harman Hall. This facility is considered one of the top college-affiliated Performing Arts Centers in the country.

ASI Recreation Center: Explore 165,000 sq.ft.of recreational space that includes three separate exercise areas filled with state-of-the-art weight and cardio equipment. There is also an Olympic-sized 20 lane lap pool and at 3,500 sq.ft. leisure pool.

Julian A. McPhee University Union: the gathering place for the Cal Poly community, the home to university activities, quality services and unique programs. Campus life happens here.

Alex G. Spanos Stadium: With picturesque surroundings including Bishop’s Peak and San Luis Mountain to the west, the heart of the Cal Poly campus, Alex G. Spanos Stadium is arguably the most scenic location in America to watch football and soccer. With Cal Poly’s rich football and soccer heritage, fans are regularly treated to raucous games and matches fueled by the “Pride of the Pacific”, the Mustang Marching Band, which cajoles and entertains fans in the shadow of a bronze Mustang statue known as Unbridled Spirit.


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
35%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

First-Year Students living on campus
99%

Campus Environment
Suburban

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
International Student
Other
Theme Housing

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Director
J Trey Duffy

College Entrance Tests Required
Yes

Interview Required
No

Documentation Requred for LD
Refer to: drc.calpoly.edu

Documentation Requred for ADHD
Refer to: drc.calpoly.edu

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams
Yes

Dictionary allowed in exams
Yes

Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
Yes

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
Yes

Notetakers
Yes

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
No

Reading machine
Yes

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
347
Number of Honor Societies
21

Number of Social Sororities
15
Number of Religious Organizations
20

7% join a fraternity
12% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Mustangs)
10 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Football
Golf
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Wrestling
Women's Sports (Mustangs)
9 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Golf
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball

Student Services

Day Care
Health
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered on-campus

Sustainability

98/99
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
12%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
Yes

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2017.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
68

Average Number of PC's per Lab
25

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
Yes

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
98%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
Dell, Apple

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
Yes

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
Yes

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
James Maraviglia
Associate Vice Provost

Address
Office of Admissions
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0031

Phone
805-756-2311

Email
admissions@calpoly.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Performing Arts Center
Recreation Center
Julian's Coffee Shop
Spanos Stadium
University Union
University Bookstore

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Farmer's Market
Avila Beach
Pismo Beach
Hearst Castle
Montana de Oro

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Mon.-Fri. at 11:00 a.m.
Average Length: 2 hours

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
No

Information Sessions
Available

Times
Mon.-Fri., 1:00 p.m. (after campus tour)

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
N/A

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Varies

Arrangements
Contact department or college prior to visit.

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
City buses run to campus approximately every 20 minutes - free for students, faculty and staff. Buses also make runs to campus from outlying areas. We have taxi companies that are available 24 hours a day. There is also an AMTRAK station at the east end of town that has several daily runs into town. The closest airport is a couple of miles outside the town's center and connects with major cities.

Driving Instructions to Campus
Heading south on U.S. 101, take the Cal Poly/Grand Avenue exit. Turn right at the top of the hill, then left and come up to Grand Avenue. Take a right on Grand Avenue, and four or five blocks up is the entrance to Cal Poly. Stop at the information kiosk on the right-hand side of the street, purchase a parking pass, and the attendant will instruct you where to park. Heading North on U.S. 101, take the Grand Avenue exit and turn left onto Grand Avenue. Four or five blocks up is the entrance to Cal Poly. Stop at the information kiosk on the right-hand side of the street, purchase a parking pass, and the attendant will instruct you where to park.


Articles & Advice