About

University Type

Public

University Type

QS Global Rank

1401

QS Global Rank

Average Living Expenses

$18,783

Average Living Expenses

California Polytechnic State University is a public university in San Luis Obispo County. Founded in 1901, the university has a student body of over 22,000 undergraduate and graduate students in its six academic-focused colleges. The university has a 9,178 acres campus making it one of the largest campuses in the nation.  

Cal Poly is a great school for students who want to get a hands-on education in a variety of fields. The university's location on California's Central Coast is also a major draw, with its beautiful beaches, mountains, and wineries.California Polytechnic State University ranked #1201-1400 in QS World Rankings University 2024 and #301-350 in US UNI (universities) 2024 by QS Top Universities.

What is the Acceptance Rate of California Polytechnic State University?

The California Polytechnic State University is very selective with an acceptance rate of 30.4%.

Top Reasons to Study in the California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) is a public university located in San Luis Obispo, California. It is known for its strong STEM programs, its Learn by Doing philosophy, and its beautiful campus.

Here are some of the top reasons:

  • Strong STEM programs: Cal Poly is a leader in STEM education, with top-ranked programs in engineering, computer science, agriculture, and environmental science. The university's Learn by Doing philosophy ensures that students get hands-on experience in their chosen fields, through internships, co-ops, and research opportunities.
  • Learn by Doing philosophy: Cal Poly's Learn by Doing philosophy is a unique approach to education that emphasizes hands-on learning. This means that students get to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world projects and experiences. This approach helps students develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their careers.
  • Beautiful campus: Cal Poly's campus is located in San Luis Obispo, a beautiful city on California's Central Coast. The campus is known for its rolling hills, lush lawns, and stunning views of the ocean.
  • Strong student life: Cal Poly has a vibrant student life, with a wide variety of clubs, organizations, and activities. Students can get involved in everything from intramural sports to student government to Greek life.
  • Excellent location: Cal Poly is located in San Luis Obispo, a city that is known for its laid-back lifestyle, its beautiful beaches, and its proximity to both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Highly ranked: Cal Poly is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the United States. In 2023, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cal Poly #60 among national universities and #1 in the West for public universities.

Courses

Cost of Studying at California Polytechnic State University

Average tuition fee

Moderate

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5000+ Students

Availed education loan

3000+ Cr

Loan amount sanctioned

100% Free

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Living expenses

Average living expenses (Bachelors)

$18,783

Average living expenses (Masters)

$18,783

Average on-campus living expenses

$19,455

Admissions at The California Polytechnic State University

Avg acceptance rate (Bachelors)

30%

Application Fee

$70


How to Apply at California Polytechnic State University

Here are the steps on how to apply to California Polytechnic State University for international students:

  • Choose a major: Cal Poly requires you to choose a major on your application. You can find a list of majors and the requirements for each on the Cal Poly website.
  • Review selection criteria: The Cal Poly website has a list of the requirements for international students. These include your academic record, English proficiency, and letters of recommendation.
  • Gather application materials: You will need to gather the following application materials:
    • Official transcripts from your high school or university
    • Test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English)
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement
    • Financial documentation
  • Apply online: You can apply to Cal Poly online through Cal State Apply. The application deadline is November 30 for fall admission.
  • Pay the application fee: The application fee for international students is $70.

Documents Required to Apply to California Polytechnic State University

Here is the list of documents that students need to submit to the California Polytechnic State University:

Undergraduate student: 

  •  Complete the application and application fee
  • Official high school transcript
  • English proficiency score
  • Portfolio (if required)
  • Financial documents 
  • Passport copy

Graduate student: 

  • Complete the application and application fee
  • Official high school transcript
  • English proficiency score
  • Letters of recommendation (if required)
  • Personal statement (if required)
  • CV or Resume (if required)
  • Financial documents 
  • Passport copy

Exams Accepted By California Polytechnic State University

Below given are the minimum requirements for the exam accepted by the university:

  • TOEFL (iBT): 80
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • GRE: 301 (verbal + quants) + 3 in analytical writing
  • GMAT: 500

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Rankings for The California Polytechnic State University

QS World University Rankings

#1401

QS World University Rankings


More rankings for this university

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Students California Polytechnic State University

49

Yocketers applied

19

Yocketers admitted

670

Yocketers interested


Premium Yocketer profiles

Raman

Raman

Shortlisted

Computer Science

Fall 2023

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Shortlisted

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Spring 2025

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Fall 2025

Kausthav Ray

Kausthav Ray

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International Students

% of international students in the university

25

Total International Students in the university

5571


Alumni at California Polytechnic State University

Some notable alumni of California Polytechnic State University include: 

  • Scott Black, Lieutenant General (United States Army, Retired), 37th Judge Advocate General of the United States Army. He was the first Lieutenant General to hold that position.
  • Pedro Armendáriz, character actor, and award-winning leading man in dozens of films from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.
  • Dave Carnie, writer, artist, and former editor of Big Brother Magazine.
  • Michelle Franzen, television and radio journalist for NBC News and ABC News.
  • Nathan L. Myhrvold, former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft.
  • Cam Inman, San Francisco 49ers reporter for Bay Area News Group.

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Reviews for California Polytechnic State University

Campus life

Number of campuses the university has
4

Campus locations
California

View on Google Earth


Transportation in the city

There are many transportation options available in San Luis Obispo, the city where California Polytechnic State University is located. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Car: The city is well-connected by roads, and it is easy to get around by car. However, parking can be difficult, especially on campus.
  • Bus: SLO Transit provides bus service throughout the city and to neighbouring communities. The bus is a great option for getting around without a car, and students can ride for free with their Cal Poly ID.
  • San Luis ObispoBicycle: San Luis Obispo is a very bike-friendly city, and there are many bike lanes and paths throughout the city. Biking is a great way to get around and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Walking: The city is also very walkable, and many people choose to walk or bike to get around. There are many sidewalks and crosswalks, and the city is relatively flat.
  • Ride-sharing: Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available in San Luis Obispo. This is a great option if you need a ride to or from campus or if you are going out for the night.

Services offered by the university

California Polytechnic State University offers a wide range of services to its students, faculty, and staff. These services include:

  • Career services: Cal Poly's Career Services office helps students to find jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. The office also offers resume writing assistance, interview skills training, and networking opportunities.
  • Financial aid: Cal Poly offers a variety of financial aid programs to help students pay for their education. These programs include federal grants, state grants, scholarships, and loans.
  • Health and wellness: Cal Poly's Health Center provides students with medical, dental, and mental health services. The centre also offers health education programs and resources.
  • Housing: Cal Poly offers a variety of on-campus and off-campus housing options for students. On-campus housing options include residence halls, apartments, and suites. Off-campus housing options include apartments, houses, and rooms for rent.
  • Recreation: Cal Poly has a variety of recreational facilities, including a gym, swimming pool, tennis courts, and a recreation centre. The university also offers a variety of intramural sports and outdoor recreation programs.
  • Student organizations: Cal Poly has over 400 student organizations, clubs, and fraternities/sororities. These organizations offer students the opportunity to get involved in a variety of activities, including academics, athletics, arts, and culture.
  • Transportation: Cal Poly offers a variety of transportation options, including buses, shuttles, and bike rentals. The university also offers a free bus pass to all students.

Student life at California Polytechnic State University

Here are some of the highlights of student life at California Polytechnic State University:

  • The campus is located in San Luis Obispo, a beautiful city with a lot to offer students. There are plenty of beaches, restaurants, and shops within walking distance of campus.
  • The student body is diverse and welcoming. Cal Poly students come from all over the world, and they bring a variety of cultures and perspectives to campus.
  • There are over 400 student organizations at Cal Poly, so there's something for everyone. Students can get involved in everything from sports to Greek life to student government.
  • The campus is home to a variety of recreational facilities, including a gym, pool, and tennis courts. There are also several hiking trails and beaches nearby.
  • Cal Poly is known for its strong alumni network. Alumni are always willing to help current students, and they provide valuable networking opportunities.
  • Housing: Cal Poly offers a variety of housing options, including residence halls, apartments, and houses. About 38% of students live on campus, while 62% live off campus.

On campus accomodation at California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University offers a variety of on-campus housing options for students. These options include:

  • Residence halls: Cal Poly has 10 residence halls, which are located throughout campus. Residence halls offer a variety of room types, including double, triple, and quad rooms.
  • Apartments: Cal Poly also has two apartment complexes, Cerro Vista and Poly Canyon Village. These apartments offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom units.
  • Ag Housing: Cal Poly also has ag housing for students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Ag housing is located in the Sierra Madre and Yosemite residence halls.

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FAQ

1. What is the minimum GPA required to study at California Polytechnic State University? 
California Polytechnic State University GPA requirement  is a 4.0 GPA in order to get admission.

2. What is the California Polytechnic State University's acceptance rate? 
The California Polytechnic State University acceptance rate is 30% and has a competitive admission process. 

3. What is the quality of California Polytechnic State University?
For the 29th year in a row, Cal Poly has been voted the top public university in the West for master's-level education by U.S. News & World Report's yearly Best Colleges guidebook.

4. What does California Polytechnic State University excel at?
The engineering and agriculture disciplines of California Polytechnic State University are its most well-known strengths. Students at California Polytechnic State University's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences learn everything from the anatomy of a cow to avocados.

5. What are the California Polytechnic State University Tuition Fees? 
he California Polytechnic State University tuition fees is around 25,971 USD (20,58,051 INR) Annually.