Location
San Luis Obispo, CA
Undergrads
17,066
Tuition (in-state)
$19,071 ($8,043)
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews 2492 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: It is good for some people.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: SLO has mountains and beaches.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: It is a long process.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Cal Poly has the best academics.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Cal Poly is an excellent school. It is in a great town, with plenty to do if you're willing to look a little. It really is what you make of it. The people here are great, and it's definitely possible to have an amazing time. There are some things I would certainly improve on, but you can't have it all.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: If you are qualified, it is not difficult to get into or change your major. They do make it a bit of a pain to change majors, though, having you enter a contract, take certain classes, and possibly write a statement of intent. This is understandable, though, as they want to ensure the student truly wants to change into the specified major, and as long as they qualify and do all of the requirements, there shouldn't be an issue. It is more difficult to switch than at other schools, though.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: It is a good program. Biomed engineering is a fairly new major, though, so the specifics are still being worked out, but Poly provides a good education for every program.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Overall, the campus strictness is fair. People complain when they get written up and whatnot, but that will happen anywhere. Overall the RA's are pretty reasonable and the rules are laid out for you.

2 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Campus housing is simply average. The dorms are not too nice, and very cramped (especially when placed in a triple). The social atmosphere the dorms create is a definite plus, though. If you're hoping to be social, the Towers are the best place to live.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: SLO is a very safe city. There is an omnipresent police presence. Sometimes too present.. But it keeps the city safe, which is extremely important in any town, especially a college town with many young adults roaming the streets late at night.

College Sophomore

Scholarships: I have not received financial aid for Cal Poly so far.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: SLO is an awesome town. It is a very small town, but if you enjoy the outdoors, you will really come to appreciate it. There are many beautiful hikes and outdoors activities to do that will make you appreciate the city so much more.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: MUCH better than on-campus dining. It's just not ideal because it costs money!

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: The best part about our athletics is our soccer games. This is when the student body is most spirited. Unfortunately, we do not have much spirit for other sports. Although since we made it to March Madness for basketball and NCAA Regionals for baseball, there was a lot more excitement for sports this year.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Most places are pretty close to campus and very student-oriented. Most people move off campus after their first year, so the city is prepared for that with plenty of off-campus student housing.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: We have strong academics, especially for a state school and at the tuition we pay. The professors are overall engaged and helpful. My biggest complaint is just the registration process, which is an absolute pain.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a BioMedical Engineering major. Poly is one of the best schools to be at for engineering, so I am happy about that. Poly also really stresses learning by doing in their engineering programs, which will be extremely helpful to my studies. My only complaint is how late the major courses are introduced into the major. The bulk of biomed classes are not taken until junior year. It would be preferable to start earlier, so the student can be positive this is what they want to study.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Overall, Cal Poly is an excellent school. The people, atmosphere, and location make it a prime place to be. The professors are pretty accessible, and Poly really tries to implement "Learn By Doing," although unfortunately mostly for engineering and architecture students. My two biggest complaints would be the campus dining, and class registration. The dining is absolutely atrocious and it is a god-send that you only have to deal with it your freshman year. As for class registration, it is horrendous. It can be nearly impossible to get all of the classes you need and it is the most stressful thing to do all year- even worse than finals. I have been waitlisted from a class having first rotation. When I had eighth rotation, I was only able to get one of the five classes I was planning to take (I only needed four, but planned for five knowing that some would be full). Luckily I was able to crash and get into two more classes to get the bare-minimum 12 units, but I think it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. As much as we love Poly, we also don't have unlimited tuition money to stay around for however many years it takes to get all of our classes.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Poly is highly rated for job placement after graduation. It is an excellent school to attend if you are an engineering or architecture major, as we are renowned for those programs. I feel like sometimes other majors, such as liberal arts majors, can get lost in the shuffle of Poly, who heavily focuses on their strengths and promoting the success of engineers and architects. Even if you are here for an alternate major, though, it is still an overall excellent school and will provide you with a solid education and a good preparation for your future, regardless of your major.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The nightlife is blatantly average. There is always a party you can find, but not necessarily a good one. Being a member of greek life significantly affects this aspect of CP, though. There are a lot more party options if you are well-connected in the greek community.

2 College Sophomore

Diversity: This campus is not diverse in any aspect. Most people are middle class or upper-middle class and white. There is *some* diversity, granted, but minorities definitely feel like minorities on campus (not due to marginalization or discrimination, but due to the overwhelming lack of diversity). I think everyone is pretty respectful of others' race, religion, political beliefs, and sexual orientation, but there is just not a strong variation currently available.

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3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Some parts of campus are beautiful and new, while others are very outdated and dreadful to be in during the warm weeks of the year. Some of the campus could use updating, and the Towers are absolutely hideous, but Poly has done a nice job with the newer structures.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek like isn't a vital aspect of the social life on campus, unless you are a freshman guy. Whether you are in greek life or not, you will find your niche. There are more people not in greek life then there are people in it, although it can make socialization a bit easier.

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Everyone is happy, friendly, and good-looking.

5 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: There is a lot of diversity on campus and I have never seen any kind of discrimination of any sort.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Amy Herman
Hometown
Burbank CA
Major
Liberal Studies
Grad Year
2013
View all previous student authors

Cal Poly students generally have nothing bad to say about their time spent in San Luis. A good part of the permanent-resident community attended Cal Poly once upon a time, which is a testament to how much people love San Luis Obispo. Members of the community enjoy discussing time-tested traditions and activities with current students whenever they run into them. There is absolutely a shared love of Cal Poly throughout the community.

The "learn by doing" philosophy truly does permeate all majors and aspects of campus life, and this is one of the things that sets Cal Poly apart most. Students truly do get the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of people to get to produce tangible evidence of their degrees. Students are prepared extremely well for after-college life since there are so many opportunities to develop a skill set and grow. When asked about their favorite aspects of Cal Poly, nearly every student will say that "everything," "the people," and "the weather" are their favorite qualities. You can't go wrong with these three!

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

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