California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

College Degree Finder

School Overview

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) � San Luis Obispo is a selective public university in San Luis Obispo, CA. It is recognized for its excellent engineering programs. Cal Poly has another campus located in Pomona, CA. It is a public land-grant university located in San Luis Obispo, on the central coast of California. Commonly referred to as Cal Poly, it emphasizes and technical education rooted in the instruction of applied sciences and technical arts. Currenly, the university does not offers an extensive selection of online degrees, courses or distance education programs.

Cal Poly was established as a vocational high school in 1901. Today it is one of two polytechnic schools in the California State University (CSU) system. The school has a reputation for its “learn by doing” approach to education. Students are encouraged to fuse classroom ideas with real-world experience as an approach to problem solving.

Cal Poly is organized into six academic colleges, providing nearly 200 Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as well as several different teaching credentials. No doctoral programs are offered at Cal Poly.

Cal Poly is a participating member of the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges, as well as the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

General Information

Admission Office

Admissions Office, Cal Poly

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0031

(805) 756-2311

Fax: (805) 756-5400

Contact: James Maraviglia

Admissions Officer
Main Address

1 Grand Avenue

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0005

(805) 756-1111

Total undergrads: 18,516

First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 3,501

Degree-seeking undergrads: 18,400

Graduate enrollment: 955


Suburban setting

Large town (10,000 – 49,999)

Residential campus

Degrees offered:

Admissions Information

Application Fee

College has an application fee: Yes

Regular application fee: $55

Online application fee: $55

Enrollment Rates

Percent applicants admitted: 34%

Percent of students who return for sophomore year: 89%

Tuition & Fees

Estimated Expenses for Academic Year 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
Tuition and fees $4,689 $5,035 $6,498 $6,480 -0.28%
Books and Supplies $1,386 $1,566 $1,638 $1,674 +2.20%
Living Arrangement – On Campus
Room and Board $8,793 $9,369 $9,846 $10,071 +2.29%
Other $3,033 $3,147 $3,267 $3,339 +2.20%
Living Arrangement – Off Campus
Room and Board $8,793 $9,369 $9,846 $10,071 +2.29%
Other $3,033 $3,147 $3,267 $3,339 +2.20%
Total Expenses 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
In-state On Campus $17,901 $19,117 $21,249 $21,564 +1.48%
In-state Off Campus $17,901 $19,117 $21,249 $21,564 +1.48%
In-state with Family $6,075 $6,601 $8,136 $8,154 +0.22%

Financial Aid

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students
Type of Aid Students Percent Amount Average Per Student
All students financial aid 1,502 44%
Grant or scholarship aid 1,116 32% $6,157,655 $5,518
• Federal grants 352 10% $1,713,441 $4,868
• Pell grants 351 10% $1,185,441 $3,377
• Other federal grants 349 10% $528,000 $1,513
Local and state government scholarships or grants 802 23% $2,307,649 $2,877
Institutional scholarships or grants 633 18% $2,136,565 $3,375
Student loan financial aid 868 25% $4,224,285 $4,867
• Federal student loans 857 25% $3,593,371 $4,193
• Other student loans 54 2% $630,914 $11,684

All Degrees and Programs

Program Completions for Most Recent Year BA/BS MA/MS Doctor AA/AS CERT
Total of All Education Programs 4038 420
Agriculture 478 2
Agricultural Business and Management 212 2
Agricultural Mechanization 20
Agronomy and Crop Science 9
Animal Sciences 106
Dairy Science 20
Food Science 16
Horticultural Science 59
ornamental Horticulture 29
Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management 2
Soil Science and Agronomy 5
Architecture and Related Services 270 30
Architecture 183 11
City/urban, Community and Regional Planning 37 19
Landscape Architecture 50
Area, Cultural, Ethnic, Gender, and Group Studies 3
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other 3
Biology, Biological and Biomedical Sciences 225 13
Biochemistry 30
Biology and Biological Sciences 180 13
Ecology 2
Microbiology 13
Business, Management, Administration and Marketing Services 621 86
Accounting 22
Business Administration and Management 582 59
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other 39 5
Communication and Journalism Studies 65
Journalism 65
Communications Technologies/technicians and Support Services 73
Graphic Communications 73
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 62 20
Computer Science 62 20
Education 82 55
Agricultural Teacher Education 40
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 42
General Education 55
Engineering 955 160
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/space Engineering 55 10
Agricultural Engineering 19
Architectural Engineering 60
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 23 12
Civil Engineering 154 28
Computer Engineering 53
Computer Software Engineering 8
Construction Engineering 118
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 127 30
Engineering Science 30
Engineering 54
Environmental/environmental Health Engineering 28
Industrial Engineering 50 3
Manufacturing Engineering 12
Materials Engineering 36
Mechanical Engineering 182 23
English Language and Literature/letters 142 9
English Language and Literature 83 9
Rhetoric and Composition 59
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 10
Foreign Languages and Literatures 10
Health Services/allied Health/health Sciences 104
Dietetics/dietitian 104
History 53 4
History 53 4
Human Services 13
Public Administration 13
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 112
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other 13
Liberal Arts and Sciences/liberal Studies 99
Mathematics and Statistics 55 5
Mathematics 37 5
Statistics 18
Natural Resources and Conservation 72 4
Forestry 40 4
Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other 32
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies 211 10
Health and Physical Education/fitness 123 10
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies 88
Physical Sciences 57 2
Chemistry 17
Geological and Earth Sciences/geosciences, Other 12
Physical Sciences 1
Physics 27
Polymer Chemistry 2
Psychology 124 7
Psychology 124 7
Social Sciences 173
Economics 28
Political Science and Government 70
Social Sciences 75
Visual and Performing Arts 91
Drama and Dramatics/theatre Arts 15
Fine/studio Arts 64
Music 12
Above data represent first majors only.
(-) Indicates that program is not offered at this award level.

Undergraduate Majors

Agriculture & Related Sciences

Agribusiness Operations B
Agricultural Business B
Agricultural science B
Agronomy/Crop Science B
Animal Sciences B
Dairy Science B
Earth science B
Food Science B
Fruit science B
Horticulture Science B
Pest Management B
Soil Science and Agronomy B
Wine and viticulture B

Architecture & Related Programs

Architecture B
City/Community/Regional Planning B
Landscape Architecture B

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies

Comparative ethnic studies B

Arts, Visual & Performing

Art – General B
Art and design B
Commercial/Advertising Art B
Drama/Theater Arts B
Music – General B

Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Biochemistry B
Biology B
Microbiology B

Business, Management, & Marketing

Accounting B
Construction Management B
Finance/Banking B
Industrial technology B
Management Information Systems B
Marketing Management B

Communications & Journalism

Communications/Rhetoric B
Journalism B

Communications Technologies

Graphic Communications B

Computer & Information Sciences

Computer Science B


Agricultural Education B


Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering B
Agricultural Engineering B
Architectural Engineering B
Biomedical Engineering B
Civil Engineering B
Electrical/Communications Engineering B
Engineering – General B
Environmental Engineering B
Industrial Engineering B
Manufacturing Engineering B
Materials Engineering B
Mechanical Engineering B
Software Engineering B

English Language & Literature

English Language & Literature – General B

Family & Consumer Sciences

Child Development B
Foods/Nutrition Studies B

Foreign Language & Literature

Foreign Language & Literature – General B


History – General B

Liberal Arts & Sciences

Liberal Arts & Sciences B


Mathematics – General B
Statistics B

Natural Resources & Conservation

Environmental management & protection B
Forestry – General B

Parks, Recreation & Fitness

Exercise Sciences B
Parks/Leisure Facilities Management B

Philosophy & Religion

Philosophy B

Physical Sciences

Chemistry B
Geology B
Physical Sciences – General B
Physics B


Psychology – General B

Social Sciences

Economics B
Political Science/Government B
Social Sciences – General B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

    A = Associate degree
    B = Bachelor’s degree
    C = Certificate or diploma

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Highlights

School Information

Phone Number: (805) 756-1111
Type of School: 4-year, Public
Apply Online:
Address: 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Setting: Suburb: Small
Campus Housing: Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population: 21,426
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's): 82%
Student-to-faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
Distance Learning Programs: Yes
Distance Learning Students*: 19,727 (92% of total students)
Degree Levels Offered: Bachelor's, Master's

* Students taking at least 1 distance learning course

Tuition & Financial Aid*

In-state Tuition: $9,943
Out-of-state Tuition: $23,833
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 63%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded: $5,867

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Degree Name Cert Assoc Bach Mast Doct
Agriculture, Agriculture Operations and Related Sciences 134
Architecture and Related Services 32
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies 1
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 31
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 25
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 2
Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services 11
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 11
Education 24
Engineering 11510
Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related Fields 112
English Language and Literature/Letters 21
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 1
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 1
Health Professions and Related Programs 11
History 11
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Related Protective Service 2
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 2
Mathematics and Statistics 21
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 21
Natural Resources and Conservation 31
Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies 21
Philosophy and Religious Studies 1
Physical Sciences 32
Psychology 11
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 2
Social Sciences 52
Visual and Performing Arts 4
Grand total 27546

* Based on programs that produced 2019-2020 graduates

Tuition & Financial Aid

See what it costs to enroll at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and how many students are receiving scholarships, grants, or loans as financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition.

Undergraduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $9,943
Out-of-state $23,833
Books and supplies $1,941

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $11,377
Out-of-state $20,881

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2018-2019

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid 2,782 63%
Grant or scholarship aid 2,228 51% $5,867
Student loan aid 1,311 30% $5,873

All Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid 11,136 53% $6,768
Federal student loans 6,105 29% $6,032

Admissions & Enrollment

See the admission requirements for California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. Find out how many students apply and how many are accepted. View a graphical breakdown of the gender, age, and ethnicity of currently enrolled California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo students.

Undergraduate Admissions, Fall 2020

Total Male Female
Number of applicants 54,072 28,008 26,064
Percent admitted 100% 25% 32%
Percent admitted who enrolled 9% 8% 9%

Admissions Considerations

Required Recommended Optional
Secondary school GPA
Secondary school rank
Secondary school record
Completion of college-preparatory program
Formal demonstration of competencies
Admission test scores
Other Test (Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Enrollment, Fall 2020

Total Enrollment 21,426
Undergraduate enrollment 20,503
Graduate enrollment 923

Undergraduate Attendance

Undergraduate Gender

Undergraduate Age

Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Undergraduate Distance Education

Undergraduates taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Graduate Distance Education

Graduate students taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Accreditation

This institution is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission

Specialized institution accreditations:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
    • Dietetics (DIETI) - Dietetic Internship
    • Didactic Program in Dietetics
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Commission on Accreditation
    • Art and Design (ART) - Degree-granting schools and departments and non-degree-granting programs
  • National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation
    • Music (MUS) - Institutions and units within institutions offering degree-granting and/or non-degree-granting programs
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
    • Teacher Education (TED) - Baccalaureate and graduate programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional personnel for elementary and secondary schools

*General information for this school has been gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Education. does not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

If you work for a school and would like to update your data please contact us.

Enjoy this post? Don't forget to share.

Recent Comments