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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Overview

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo is a public institution situated in San Luis Obispo, California. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is located in a safe and convenient suburb.

What Is California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Known For?

5,185 Undergraduate Awards
$35,372 Avg Cost After Aid
35% Acceptance Rate
  • Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have an easier time paying back their loans. The school's student loan default rate is only 1%, compared to the national rate of 10.1%.
  • The highest award offered at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is the master's degree.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, 68% of the faculty were full-time.
  • After graduation, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo bachelor's degree recipients go on to jobs where they make $66,900 a year. That's about 64% more than their peers at other schools.

Best Schools

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Rankings

We have ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as #115 out of 2,320 colleges and universities in the country in our 2021 Best Colleges list. This lands it a coveted spot in the top 5% of all colleges and universities in the country. Out of the 220 colleges in California, it is ranked at #14.

These rankings may look different from those published by other outlets, because we use an outcomes-based approach rather than a subjective one. We get our data from a number of places, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard. For more information, check out our rankings and methodology page.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has also been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#73 Best Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#87 Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#112 Best Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#1 Best Graphic Communications Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Communications Technologies & Support Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Taxation Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Construction Management Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#4 Best Drama & Theater Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#4 Best Agricultural Economics & Business Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Best Fine & Studio Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Best Music Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#22 Best Business Administration & Management Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#38 Best Business, Management & Marketing Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#4 Best Colleges for Agriculture & Agriculture Operations College Factual
#8 Best Colleges for Fine & Studio Arts College Factual
#20 Best Colleges for Business Administration & Management College Factual
#25 Best Colleges for Engineering College Factual
#35 Best Business Schools Business Degree Central
#58 Best Colleges for Business, Management & Marketing College Factual

Where Is California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo?

Location of California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

Contact details for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: 805-756-1111
Website: calpoly.edu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaPolytechnic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/calpoly

How Do I Get Into Cal Poly San Luis Obispo?

You can apply to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo online at: www2.calstate.edu/apply

Admission Requirements for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Submission Required?
High School GPA required
High School Rank neither required nor recommended
High School Transcript required
College Prep Program required
Recommendations neither required nor recommended
SAT or ACT Scores required
TOEFL neither required nor recommended

How Hard Is It To Get Into Cal Poly San Luis Obispo?

35% Acceptance Rate
55% Of Accepted Are Women
70% Submit SAT Scores
The acceptance rate of California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo is 35%. While it may not be as selective as some schools, it does screen its applicants very carefully. Do what you can to stand out among others in the pool of applicants!

Approximately 45% of accepted students are men and 55% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 30%, and the acceptance rate for women is 40%.

Average Test Scores

About 70% of students accepted to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 600 and 680. Math scores were between 600 and 700.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo  ( 600 to 680 )
200
800

SAT Math Scores for California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo  ( 600 to 700 )
200
800
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo received ACT scores from 68% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT English scores ranged between 25 and 33. Math scores were between 26 and 32. Composite scores were between 26 and 31.

ACT English Scores for California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo  ( 25 to 33 )
1
36
ACT Math Scores for California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo  ( 26 to 32 )
1
36
ACT Composite Scores for California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo  ( 26 to 31 )
1
36

Can I Afford California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo?

$35,372 Net Price
32% Take Out Loans
0.9% Loan Default Rate
The overall average net price of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is $35,372. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

Almost 66% of college students who graduated with the class of 2018 took out student loans, but that percentage varies from school to school. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, approximately 32% of students took out student loans averaging $5,721 a year. That adds up to $22,884 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is 0.9%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Undergraduate Student Diversity

19,685 Full-Time Undergraduates
49% Women
40% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 20,503 undergraduate students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, with 19,685 being full-time and 818 being part-time.

 Full-Time vs. Part-Time Undergraduate Students at  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

There are also 923 graduate students at the school.

Gender Diversity

Of the 19,685 full-time undergraduates at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 51% are male and 49% are female.

Undergraduate Student Gender Diversity at  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo students is as follows.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Undergraduate Students
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2,697
Black or African American 165
Hispanic or Latino 3,455
White 10,534
International Students 463
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,371

Geographic Diversity

California students aren't the only ones who study at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. At this time, 40 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Over 70 countries are represented at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The most popular countries sending students to the school are China, India, and South Korea.

Online Learning at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

48 Took All Classes Online
1,685 Took At Least One Class Online
90.5% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
In 2017-2018, 1,685 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has changed over the last few years.

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This school is the 176th most popular in California for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2017-2018.

Online Growth Rankings of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo was 90.5%. This is the #362 largest growth rate of all schools that are only partially online. This refers to all students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Engineering 3%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ranks compared to all other partially online schools that offer a specific major. Note that the majors may or may not be offered online at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Engineering-Related Fields #6
Engineering Technologies #11

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Bachelor’s Graduate Certificate Master’s TOTAL
Business Administration & Management 762 0 45 807
Mechanical Engineering 264 0 23 287
General Biology 241 0 17 258
Computer Science 169 0 27 196
Animal Science 180 0 7 187
Civil Engineering 149 0 38 187
Agricultural Economics & Business 181 0 1 182
Electrical Engineering 135 0 31 166
Computer Engineering 141 0 0 141
Biomedical Engineering 107 0 31 138
General Psychology 124 0 13 137
General Architecture 135 0 1 136
Liberal Arts General Studies 128 0 0 128
Health & Physical Education 127 0 0 127
Political Science & Government 119 0 0 119
Construction Management 112 0 0 112
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 96 0 16 112
Industrial Engineering 95 0 7 102
Graphic Communications 100 0 0 100
Journalism 89 0 0 89
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 89 0 0 89
Economics 65 0 22 87
Natural Resource Management 84 0 0 84
Nutrition Science 80 0 3 83
General English Literature 70 0 5 75
Mathematics 66 0 9 75
Architectural Engineering 66 0 7 73
Agricultural Production 71 0 0 71
History 59 0 10 69
Plant Sciences 63 0 0 63
Sociology 57 0 0 57
Teacher Education Grade Specific 56 0 0 56
Communication & Media Studies 52 0 0 52
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 51 0 0 51
Urban & Regional Planning 36 0 14 50
Geological & Earth Sciences 49 0 0 49
Fine & Studio Arts 49 0 0 49
Industrial Production Technology 48 0 0 48
Environmental Engineering 48 0 0 48
Materials Engineering 45 0 0 45
Food Science Technology 43 0 0 43
General Agriculture 27 0 16 43
Other Social Sciences 40 0 0 40
Microbiological Sciences & Immunology 38 0 0 38
Agricultural Engineering 38 0 0 38
Landscape Architecture 35 0 0 35
Chemistry 30 0 5 35
Agricultural Mechanization 34 0 0 34
Teacher Education Subject Specific 0 0 33 33
Statistics 33 0 0 33
Physics 32 0 0 32
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 0 0 31 31
Forestry 29 0 2 31
Agricultural Public Services 30 0 0 30
Philosophy 29 0 0 29
General Education 0 0 24 24
Accounting 0 0 21 21
General Engineering 0 0 19 19
Ethnic Studies 19 0 0 19
Marine Science 15 0 0 15
Taxation 0 0 14 14
Special Education 0 0 14 14
Engineering Science 14 0 0 14
Drama & Theater Arts 14 0 0 14
Student Counseling 0 0 13 13
Manufacturing Engineering 11 0 0 11
Fire Protection 0 0 9 9
Public Policy 0 0 9 9
Music 8 0 0 8
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 4 0 0 4
Other Engineering 0 3 0 3
Soil Sciences 2 0 0 2
Engineering-Related Fields 0 0 2 2
Horticulture 1 0 0 1
Human Development & Family Studies 1 0 0 1
Construction Engineering 0 0 0 0
Writing Studies 0 0 0 0
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 0 0 0 0
Natural Resources Conservation 0 0 0 0
General Social Sciences 0 0 0 0
Public Administration 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 5,185 3 539 5,727

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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