California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California
Cal Poly’s Guiding Philosophy, “Learn by Doing,” pushes students to take responsibility over their individual academic journeys. Thanks to California Polytechnic State University’s rigorous, success-oriented academic environment, the University ensures that students are actively involved in unique educational experiences.
Get to know California Polytechnic State University
SERVICE AND COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING
Service-learning takes students out of the classroom and into the community, challenging them to take their wealth of knowledge and use it to solve the issues that currently face their community. By connecting curriculum with the greater community, they practice turning theory into problem-solving tactics.
Nine faculty were recently selected to further Cal Poly’s service-learning initiative, leading to the creation of nine new service-learning courses that relate directly to STEM.
Some of the standout programs offered by Cal Poly include: Architecture in Rome, Construction Management in Prague, Sustainable tourism in the Dominican Republic, Architecture in Switzerland, and Architectural Engineering in Lithuania.
Students may choose to participate in alternative breaks, which leads them through service and care within an area in need. Alternative breaks are a great way for students to assess their own privileges against those who are less fortunate. This can be an eye-opening experience that introduces students to the true power they have in effecting change.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 2%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 1%
White, non-Hispanic: 54%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 13%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 8%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 5%
The University’s first-year seminar/experience is designed to increase freshmen’s intellectual development, specifically regarding the ability to reason, speak, and write effectively. Cal Poly embraces this challenge, providing activities and communities that support the health of these skills.
Writing-Intensive Courses are exactly how they sound, structured to develop every student’s communication skills in their field of study. The Graduation Writing Requirement must be fulfilled by all Cal Poly students regardless of major. The purpose of such a requirement is to guarantee that students graduate as effective communicators—a commonly overlooked skill that every field requires. Students may opt to take a writing examination to skip the course, but they must pass to receive their diploma.
COLLABORATIVE ASSIGNMENTS AND PROJECTS
It is important that students develop the ability both to work on their own as well as a part of a group. Collaborative assignments involve both individual and group work through which students must hold themselves accountable with individual work while also contributing as a member of a community. This skill is incredibly valuable, as most work environments require a well-rounded work ethic. Collaborating also exposes students to peers with different backgrounds and life experiences.
Learning Communities at Cal Poly engage students through a sequence of synthesized courses that all revolve around a common theme. Participating students work closely with one another while tackling coursework that focuses on one topic from multiple disciplines and perspectives.
CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS
Students at Cal Poly “learn by doing” through any of the 325 clubs and organizations available to them. Student activities are extremely valuable in the way they support leadership skills and form new, life-changing friendships. Country Line Dancing and Food Science are just two examples of the many diverse clubs—needless to say, there truly is a club for any interest.
STUDENT COMMUNITY SERVICE
Student Community Service (SCS) mixes student interests with meaningful community service initiatives. SCS promotes leadership among its participants as they work together to enact social change. There are eight different volunteer programs on campus, each of which has its own specific goals and purposes. For example, one group of students may work to support the environment, while others may work to tackle the systematic origins of homelessness.
Students are highly encouraged to complete an internship before they take on the postgraduate world. Not only do interns gain hands-on experience, but they also learn the ins and out of the field they have chosen to pursue. Often times, industry professionals serve as their mentors, giving them insider information that is sure to be valuable in the future.
A capstone can take make forms, culminating a student’s college career with research, a performance, a paper, or a comprehensive portfolio. Cal Poly students may pursue their capstone in a specific department or in general education.
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 620 | 75th Percentile: 700
25th Percentile: 620 | 75th Percentile: 730
25th Percentile: 26 | 75th Percentile: 32
25th Percentile: 26 | 75th Percentile: 31
25th Percentile: 26 | 75th Percentile: 34
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $5,742
Tuition (out-of-state): $17,622
Room & Board: $14,208