San Luis Obispo, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,071 ($8,043)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Student

Athletics: There's always one or two sports per season that people really enjoy. Soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball are some of the more popular varsity sports on campus. It's fun going to games even if we aren't a huge athletic school. The facilities are nice, but not over the top. The best part is students always get in for free.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Athletics are okay for Cal Poly, football is not huge here but our baseball team is currently 6th in the nation right now. Our recreation center is arguably the nicest recreation center on the west coast so if you are an active individual it is a great place to be.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: We're known for our soccer team. They're our pride and joy. All other sports are overlooked, besides our basketball team (we finally made it into March Madness this year)

4 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: I was a student that only went to soccer games - I didn't enjoy football or the rowdy fans that enjoyed tailgaiting but I loved the crowds present for soccer games. Our biggest rivals were Santa Barbara men's team and we broke the record for fan attendance every year at that game.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: The Rec Center at Cal Poly is only a few years old and boasts some of the best facilities of any college. I love working out there several times a week. I have yet to participate in sports but I know that varsity sports are a pretty big deal for many students and that intramurals are very popular as well.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 247th
    Best Intramural Sports
  • 1092nd
    Most Active Varsity Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Cal Poly is a Division I-AA school, but many people probably don't know that. It’s not that Poly students don’t care for athletics. In fact, they care most about playing them rather than watching from the stands. There are two main exceptions to this: the Cal Poly versus UC Davis football game and the Cal Poly versus UC Santa Barbara soccer game. The soccer game in particular has had record attendance and always draws a packed stadium. The rest of the games, though, are by no means sold-out events. Games are fun to attend, and many include performances by the cheer and dance teams as well as the marching band. 

Intramural sports are becoming increasingly popular, and the recreation center offers a wide variety of mini-tournaments to participate in. Sign-ups for these usually fill up within 10 minutes. There are generally a few sports to sign up for, and students can choose their level of competition: Division I, Division II, or Division III (ranging from most to least competitive, respectively).

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
  • NAA
  • NCAA
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-AA
Athletic Conferences
Football: Great West Conference
Basketball: Big West Conference
School Colors
Green and gold
School Nickname
Men Playing Varsity Sports
298 - 3%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
190 - 3%
Students Receiving Athletic Financial Aid
Football: 90
Basketball: 28
Baseball: 33
Cross Country/Track: 44
Other Sports: 134
Graduation Rates of Athletic Financial Aid Recipients
Football: 50%
Basketball: 25%
Baseball: 42%
Cross Country/Track: 53%
Other Sports: 57%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Dancesport
  • Distance club (cross country and track)
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Lacrosse (men's and women's)
  • Roller hockey
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Surf
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo (men's and women's)
  • Waterskiing
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag football
  • Futsal
  • Inner tube water polo
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Alex G. Spanos Stadium
  • Anderson Aquatic Center
  • Cal Poly Sports Complex - Baggett Stadium and Bob Janssen Field
  • Cal Poly Track and Field Complex
  • Mustang Strength Complex
  • Mustang Tennis Complex
  • Robert A. Mott Gymnasium
Most Popular Sports
Baseball, basketball, football, ski and snowboarding, ultimate Frisbee
Most Overlooked Teams
Lacrosse, water polo
School Spirit
Cal Poly has a healthy sense of school spirit. We have no intense rivalries to match the likes of Stanford and Berkeley, but students (especially those in technical majors) are proud of the Cal Poly name. Most have some sort of CP paraphernalia, whether it is a bumper sticker, a T-shirt, or the increasingly popular gym shorts with "CPSU" written conspicuously across the back. However, students aren't afraid to complain, either. If something is wrong, you can bet complaints will be heard until something is done about it. More pride is generally attached to certain majors than colleges. For example, the IT students obviously identify more with their major than the College of Business, which they fall under. In all, Cal Poly students feel secure in the school's identity. Secure enough that they don't need to make a show of "school spirit" by putting down other universities, and secure enough that they don't feel like traitors if they make a complaint now and then. Cal Poly has enough of a reputation that going here is justification enough.
Getting Tickets
Getting tickets to any sporting event should not be a problem. Call (805) 756-4TIX or go online to buy tickets on the Athletics page.
Best Place to Take a Walk
The rose garden by the business building, through Poly Canyon, or up to the P.

Student Polls

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 136 responses

  • 5% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 62% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 32% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 0% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 137 responses

  • 1% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 34% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 31% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 34% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 136 responses

  • 7% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 9% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 55% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 29% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.



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