California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University


Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive public university located in San Luis Obispo, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's Central Coast. It is a distinctive learning community offering academically focused students a hands-on educational experience that prepares them for today's scientific and technical world.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Summer Experience Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC)

EPIC is a one-week summer program for middle and high school students (7th-12th) to learn about engineering and experience hands-on labs in a university atmosphere. Learn more about Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC)

Summer Bridge & Orientation Summer Institute (SI)

SI is an academic orientation program held for newly admitted freshmen. Through SI, you will have the opportunity to participate in a three-week residential program geared at helping you make a successful transition from high school to college. Summer Institute will provide you with a mini-quarter of academic and social activities to help you succeed in your transition. Learn more about Summer Institute (SI)

First-Year Experience & Transition Week of Welcome (WOW)

WOW is a week-long orientation event for first-year or transfer students. It is a balanced combination of excitement, learning, and new experiences during which you will participate in activities, events and presentations introducing you to the campus and community. WOW provides a thrilling environment for you to meet new people, become familiar with Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo, and prepare to start your college career. Learn more about Week of Welcome (WOW)

Academic Advising & Support Student Academic Services (SAS)

Through SAS, students can utilize academic services, advisors, and activities to help you excel and to enhance your learning skills. We provide academic and personal advising, as well as a wide range of other services to support your personal growth and academic achievement. SAS offers support to students from backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented by income and/or disability to ensure all have an equal opportunity for success and graduation. Learn more about Student Academic Services (SAS)

Academic Advising & Support Connections For Academic Success

The Connections for Academic Success (CAS) program was originally established via a joint venture between the University and Cal Poly's student government, ASI (Associated Students Incorporated). CAS provides support services to students in Cal Poly's Partners Program along with other assigned student groups. The program also supports students who are referred by faculty, staff and other students. We are here to assist students in any way we can as they balance their academic and personal responsibilities. We help students understand the policies and guidelines associated with fulfilling the requirements for a degree from Cal Poly, and assist them in resolving any problems they might encounter. Academic success is important to us so we encourage students to contact us regarding any questions or concerns they may have. Learn more about Connections For Academic Success

Academic Advising & Support Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP)

MEP is an academic support program designed to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented students in engineering, computer science disciplines. We build an academic support community and provides the necessary bridges for students academic and professional success. Learn more about Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP)

Academic Advising & Support Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The primary goals of the EOP are to improve the access, retention and graduation of students who have been historically, economically and/or educationally disadvantaged. EOP assists students by providing comprehensive academic support services. EOP will help ease the transition from your current school to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and provides services in the following areas to help you succeed at this campus: admissions, financial assistance, orientation, academic support, as well as academic and personal advising. Learn more about Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

Student Life & Support MultiCultural Center (MCC)

The MCC cultivates a campus-wide community that represents and celebrates the diversity of Cal Poly's student body. The MCC empowers students to grow beyond their personal barriers, strengthen their understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and develop leadership skills, while fostering a sense of belonging. Through cross-cultural dialogues and examining the issues relevant to diversity and social justice, we hope to nurture a generation of ethical and knowledgeable leaders who contribute to a global society. Learn more about MultiCultural Center (MCC)

Student Diversity

  • 20,049
  • 53/47
  • n/a
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 12%
  • <1%
    Black or African American
  • 15%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 57%
  • 7%
    Two or more races
  • 5%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 2%

Student Success

  • 93%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 79%
    Six-year graduation
  • 67%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 98%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 35%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 1,221
    Full-time faculty
  • 200
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 20:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, Business Administration, Architecture, Biological Sciences, Animal Science

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Pride Center, Gender Equity Center, Multicultural Center, Multicultural Engineering Program, Society of Black Engineers and Scientists, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Thai Vietnamese Student Association, United Sorority and Fraternity Council, Chinese Students Association, Black Student Union, and more!


Cost of Attendance

  • n/a
  • $5,472
    In-state Tuition
  • $3,447
    Required Fees
  • $11,448
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $22,436,382
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $11,630
    Average aid package
  • $21,678
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 13%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 42%
    Students with financial need
  • 96%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 91%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 8%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 46,820
    # of applicants
  • 31%
  • 3.90
    Average HS GPA
  • 28
    ACT Composite
  • 579—714
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 582—746
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 11/30
    Regular application closing date
  • $55
    Application Fee
  • $55
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • n/a
    Early decision plan
  • n/a
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date