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CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY - [CAL POLY], SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA

San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaLOCATION
UniversitySCHOOL TYPE
  26053Enrollment

California Polytechnic State University: Rankings, Courses, Admissions, Tuition Fee, Cost of Attendance & Scholarships

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

Founded in 1901 as Vocational High School, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) has, over the decades, grown into a full operational higher school of learning priding itself on the individual success of its students. Driven by the philosophy of Learn by Doing, Cal Poly as it is fondly called posited itself in the league of schools as the centre for skill development and hands-on educational experience by combining the excellency of academic expertise and the creativity of hands-on experience.

California Polytechnic State University Ranking

California Polytechnic State University ranked:

  • Amongst the 801-1000th best universities in the world in the 2019 world university ranking by the Times Higher Education.
  • 193rd best university in the United States in the 2020 US ranking by the Times Higher Education
  • 696th in the 2019 world university,229th in the North America ranking and 200th in the United States ranking by the Ranking Web of Universities.

Aside from the above ranking by the popular universities ranking platform, Cal Poly is ranked second among master's institutions in the United States for the number of domestic students studying abroad in the 2017/2018 academic session by the Institute of International Education.

Highlights

Type of UniversityPublic
Faculty Members1473
Percentage of International students0.9%
Basic Tuition Fee for International Undergraduate Students23,715 USD – 26,022 USD
Basic Tuition Fee for International Graduate Students19,605 USD – 19,905 USD
Official websitecalpoly.edu

Campus Life and Housing Facilities

Located at 1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 on a huge 9,178 acres of land including it among one of the largest land-hold universities in the United States. Cal Poly is committed to creating equitable communities for all residents, staff, and guests of the institution. Thus, on-campus and off-campus housing options are available to choose from.

For on-campus residence, students are not just applying to live in a specific building but in a residential learning community that has academic, wellness, social, identity and inters-specific living-learning programs forming a community. 

Apart from the community package, other benefits are the ease of access to university resources, activities and social gatherings. In view of this, the university makes it mandatory for all freshmen to live on campus.

When applying for on-campus residence, students are given the opportunity to choose their preferred accommodation type in any of the top five residential communities on-campus and they are likely to be placed in their first choice.

To be a member of the residential learning community, the following step must be taken:

  • Acceptance of admission offer
  • Application for housing via the Cal Poly portal. When applying, the student is required to do the following:
    • Agree to the housing contract
    • Make an initial payment of 500 USD for housing and 1,000 USD for dining
    • Select the top residential learning community preferences
    • Add accommodation information
    • Request for roommates
  • Select the preferred housing options (Gender-inclusive housing, dining plan, etc.)
  • Select the preferred room
  • Cancellation (if there is a change of plans or preference)
  • Move-in

For off-campus students, San Luis Obispo is a homely community with a lot of exciting activities in a serene environment. However, looking for an apartment may be a herculean task, therefore, returning students who intend to stay off-campus are advised to contact the off-campus office directly at (805) 756-2794 or visit the school website for housing resources.

Programs at Cal Poly

California Polytechnic State University offers 65 undergraduate programs, 39 graduate programs, 84 minor degrees and 13 credentials across its five colleges namely:

  • College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental science
  • College of Architecture and Environmental Design
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • Orfalea College of Business

Cal Poly programs also provides modern facilities, adequate learning resources, seasoned professionals and a conducive learning community to help students excel in their chosen fields. This is evidenced by the fact that 89% of Cal Poly graduates are fully employed or in grad schools upon graduation. 

Application Process

Detailed information on Cal Poly international admission procedures is outlined below: 

How to Apply: To apply for admission, the following steps must be taken by the prospective student:

  1. Choose a major that best fits your educational goals and review all documents to ensure that all the requirements and supporting documents ready for upload
  2. Submit the application online on or before the deadline with a non-refundable and non-transferable application fee of 70 USD. A response mail will be sent by the school to the applicant in acknowledgement of receipt of application. 
  3. Periodic log in on the portal to view any outstanding requirements and confirm all personal information.
  4. Ensure that all admission file requirements are submitted before the deadline
  5. Keep an open line of communication as the admission officer will communicate the application status or any other update.

Admission Requirements: In addition to the online application, international students are expected to submit the following documents to complete the application process:

  • Official transcripts submitted by the institution in the native language with a certified English translated version attached.
  • International Academic Evaluation of the candidate's credentials
  • SAT or ACT test scores sent electronically from the testing agency or via the application TOEFL or IELTS results of not more than two years for applicants whose first language is not English. 

Cost of Attendance

All Cal Poly fees listed below are estimates and subject to change upon approval by the board of trustees, the chancellor or the president. However, changes will be made in accordance with the requirements of the working families students fee transparency and accountability act.

Fees for undergraduate programs: 

FeesCost (per year)
Registration Fee9,942 USD
Non-Residence Fee11,880 USD
International Fee900 USD
Mandatory Health Insurance1,290 USD
Non-Residence Opportunity fee2,010 USD
Total Tuition26, 022 USD
Books1,599 USD
Supplies342 USD
Room and Meals14,208 USD
Transportation1,317 USD
Personal/Miscellaneous1,518 USD
Total Cost of Attendance45,006 USD

Fees for graduate programs: 

FeesCost (per year)
Registration Fee11,376 USD
Non-Residence Fee6,336 USD
International Fee900 USD
Mandatory Health Insurance1,290 USD
Total TuitionMBA: 2,065 USD; Other: 19,902 USD
Books1,473 USD
Supplies342 USD
Room and Meals14,706 USD
Transportation1,317 USD
Personal/Miscellaneous1,518 USD
Total Cost of Attendance39,258 USD

Note:

  • Fees are based on full-time enrollment
  • Non-resident tuition is based on 15 units per quarter at 264 USD per unit
  • Cost of attendance for an MBA program is just an estimate cued from 2018/2019 data and it is subject to change
  • The actual cost of off-campus residency may vary; thus, students are advised to have roommates in order to lower the cost of accommodation.

Financial Aids and Scholarships

Financial aid opportunities at Cal Poly are available through scholarship and work sponsorship programs. The type of financial aid chosen by a student depends on his/her intention and financial resources.

There are more than 800 Cal Poly scholarships available across different colleges excluding outside scholarships and awards. These on-campus scholarships are awarded based on financial need, community service, scholastic achievement, honour and organizational affiliations, participation in school activities, etc. 

On-campus scholarships may be university-wide (that is; applicable to every qualified student in the university) or college, department or major-wise (that is; applicable to students in a specific college, department or major). 

Recipients of these scholarships are selected every spring for the upcoming session and renewal is based on the terms and conditions binding the award. The two types of scholarships available are annual scholarships and endowed scholarships. 

  • Annual Scholarship: This scholarship is aimed at providing support for students for one academic year and it is renewable every year, by the donor. The award is pegged at a minimum sum of 1,000 USD annually, for 5 years, making a total minimum amount of 5,000 USD.
  • Endowed Scholarship: This is a consistent 25,000 USD financial support to students and allows the institution to hold the fund in perpetuity releasing only a fraction to the recipients annually.

Earn by Doing Sponsorship Program: Financial Aid can be in the form of an Earn by Doing work sponsorship program. This program funds students to work at one of the on-campus facilities like shops, laboratories, workshops, etc. A non-technical work attracts a sponsorship award of 5,000 USD while a technical work attracts a sponsorship of 100,000 USD held in perpetuity.

Work While You Study

As an institution that promotes experience and skill development, Cal Poly is intentional about helping students get job placement on-campus to help meet some financial obligations, develop skills and expertise about a job and network around the workplace. 

Through the MustangJOBS services, an online job listing service powered by handshake, Cal Poly has been able to create over 2500 on-campus, local part-time jobs internship and career positions available for students every year.

Information on working while studying, eligibility, basic rules and requirements and the benefits accrued to on-campus and off-campus work can only be accessed by current students of the institution by direct login into their my.calpoly.edu portal. For further information, prospective students can call the MustangJOBS helpline at (805) 756-5976.

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View All Courses

California Polytechnic State University Overview

Institution TypePublic
Student Population26053
FAFSA Code001143
Application Cost$55
Accreditation ACS WASC
Average Cost of Attendance$21,817 / Year
Student : Faculty Ratio2 : 1

Admission & Dates

Early action Deadlines

November 01

Application Deadline

April 01

Application Results

Regular decision Deadlines

January 15

Application Deadline

April 01

Application Results

Read more about admission seasons and deadlines

Test Scores for International Applicants

ExamsAvg. ScoreMin. ScoreMax. Score% Submitted
Language Proficiency
TOEFL-80- -
IELTS-6.5- -
Undergraduate
SATCheck Detailed Score129012001380 70%
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing640600680-
Mathematics650600700-
ACTCheck Detailed Score292631 68%
English292533-
Mathematics292632-

California Polytechnic State University Acceptance Rate

34.6%

Acceptance Rate

48588

Total Applicants

22168

Total Enrolled

Male
Female

52.5%

Male

47.5%

Female

Undergraduate
Undergraduate Program34.6%
Total Applicants60957
Total Enrolled21098
Graduate
Graduate Programs34.6%
Total Applicants3092
Total Enrolled1070

California Polytechnic State University Enrollment

Enrollment
California Polytechnic State University Enrollment22168
Undergraduate Enrollment21098
Graduate Enrollment1070
Graduation Rate
Average Graduation Rate72.9%

Attendance Cost

$21,817

Attendance Cost

The table shows average yearly cost of attendance for international students. Amount may vary with the course opted, nature of accommodation, and personal spending habits of a candidate. Check Program wise Fees

Tuition Fees
Undergraduate Programs$21,817 / Year
On Campus Accomodation
Books & Supplies$1,884 / Year
On campus, Room & Board$13,134 / Year
On Campus, Other Expenses$2,703 / Year
Off Campus Accomodation
Off campus (not with family), Room & Board$13,134 / Year
Off campus (not with family), Other Expenses$2,703 / Year
Off campus (with family), Room & Board$2,646 / Year
Off campus (with family), Other Expenses$2,703 / Year
Show More

Top Accreditations [Institutional & Program Wise]

Institutional Accreditations
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Program Wise Accreditations
Arts ProgramsNational Association of Schools of Art and Design
Music ProgramsNational Association of Schools of Music
ProgramsAcademy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Faculty

Total FacultyFull TimePart timeGraduate Assistants
16239100346205127
RANKING
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017

  • Times Higher Education logo

    Times Higher Education

    RANKED  #601 - #800

    Engineering (International)

    RANKED  #401 - #500

    Economics (International)

    RANKED  #301 - #400

    Education (International)

    RANKED  #601 - #800

    Technology (International)

    RANKED  #401 - #500

    International Business (International)


    Academy Ranking of World Universities logo

    Academy Ranking of World Universities

    RANKED  #401 - #500

    Education (International)


    Forbes logo

    Forbes

    RANKED  #115

    Overall (National)


    Center for World University Rankings logo

    Center for World University Rankings

    RANKED  #1207

    Overall (International)

    nearest ranking

    University of Southern Missi...
    Ranked #1196
    Score 69.2
    San Jose State University
    Ranked #1208
    Score 69.1
    Nova Southeastern University
    Ranked #1241
    Score 69
    Baruch College
    Ranked #1249
    Score 68.9
    Pepperdine University
    Ranked #1261
    Score 68.9

    College rating

    based on 3 students ratings

    8.1/10

    9/10academic
    7.3/10infrastructure
    8.7/10placements
    8.7/10faculty
    8.7/10extracurricular
    6.3/10accommodation

    Reviews

    B
    Beth strutz, UNITED STATES Public health
    California Polytechnic State University
    Current student , Batch : 2021
    7.8
    STUDENT SATISFACTION RATINGS

    A GREAT SCHOOL, ESPECIALLY FOR "LEARN BY DOING"

    I enjoyed my tour of the college when I visited, plus I loved the vibe of the college town. Everyone I met there was super friendly, and the college heavily uses the Learn By Doing/hands-on learning approach. My class sizes there would be much smaller than at other California schools, but I would still get affordable California resident tuition. I got full-ride scholarships to two other schools, including research grants, but the people and weather here were incredible, so I turned the scholarships down.


    Course Curriculum - 

    I've been very satisfied with what's I've learned in all my classes. Especially in public health, all the subjects are really interesting and give me an awesome understanding of the field.

    8 /10
    academic
    9 /10
    faculty
    7 /10
    infrastructure
    6 /10
    accomodation/food
    9 /10
    placement
    8 /10
    extracurricular
    05, Sep 2019 read more
    E
    Emily, US Industrial engineering
    California Polytechnic State University
    Current student , Batch : 2021
    9
    STUDENT SATISFACTION RATINGS

    ABOUT CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY

    The location and the engineering program. I always wanted to peruse engineering so that was a priority, but I also wanted to be happy. Cal poly is such a happy campus with so much around it between hikes and the beach.


    Course Curriculum - 

    It is great. It is challenging to enough that I feel pushed, but also not too hard. The teachers always have office hours if you need help. There is a good varied amount of different types of classes so we learn a lot.

    10 /10
    academic
    9 /10
    faculty
    8 /10
    infrastructure
    8 /10
    accomodation/food
    9 /10
    placement
    10 /10
    extracurricular
    29, Apr 2019 read more
    A
    Aurora gallardo, USA Political science
    California Polytechnic State University
    Current student , Batch : 2019
    7.5
    STUDENT SATISFACTION RATINGS

    CAL POLY SLO REVIEW

    It provided the most money to me (scholarships, grants, and loans), CAL POLY SLO is also the best Cal State.


    Course Curriculum - 

    For my major, I really enjoyed the classes I was taking. These classes came easily to me and only a few were challenging. But I hated the GE's I had to take because I'm not very good at science and math.

    9 /10
    academic
    8 /10
    faculty
    7 /10
    infrastructure
    5 /10
    accomodation/food
    8 /10
    placement
    8 /10
    extracurricular
    15, Mar 2019 read more
    805-756-1111
    TELEPHONE
    1 Grand AvenueSan Luis Obispo\, CA 93407
    ADDRESS

    NEARBY THIS CAMPUS


    Book Store

    Cal Poly University Store0.62 Km
    Kayon Francis Book Store2.13 Km
    Shenelle Charles Book Store2.13 Km
    Phoenix Books2.58 Km
    Boo Boo Records Inc2.6 Km
    Barnes & Noble2.8 Km
    Dr. Cain's Comics and Games2.89 Km
    Captain Nemo Games & Comics3.08 Km
    A Satellite of Love3.63 Km
    The Parable Group6.62 Km
    Beautiful Feet Books6.68 Km
    Cuesta College Bookstore7.5 Km
    Show More

    Shopping Mall

    University Square1.33 Km
    Foothill Plaza Shopping Center1.6 Km
    Foothill Plaza1.61 Km
    Sunglass Hut2.79 Km
    The Network Shopping Center2.8 Km
    Laurel Lane Shopping Plaza4.81 Km
    Madonna Plaza Shopping Center4.97 Km
    Morphe4.99 Km
    Central Coast Plaza Shopping Center5.16 Km
    Laguna Village Shopping Center5.8 Km
    Marigold Center6.35 Km
    Irish Hills Plaza6.42 Km
    Bear Valley Center6.63 Km
    Show More

    Super Market

    California Fresh Market1.63 Km
    Lincoln Market & Deli2.31 Km
    Smart & Final2.67 Km
    Sprouts Farmers Market5.08 Km
    Grocery Outlet Bargain Market5.76 Km
    99 Cents Only Stores5.78 Km
    Target Grocery6.25 Km
    Trader Joe's6.73 Km
    Food 4 Less6.8 Km
    Show More

    Airport

    San Luis Obispo2.49 Km
    A2 Global Shipping5.56 Km
    Alaska Airlines - San Luis Obispo7.56 Km
    ACI Jet - San Luis Obispo7.63 Km
    McChesney Field7.64 Km
    SBP7.66 Km
    CSL7.67 Km
    SBP Terminal7.68 Km
    KSBP Tower 124.07.73 Km
    Show More

    *All distance are measured radially. Actual distance may vary

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