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3 College Freshman

Academics: For the most part Cal Poly Staff really know what their teaching and a lot of the classes are really interesting. Obviously, it's not perfect and some of teachers are just bad, but it isn't hard to navigate the system and find the good ones. The catch with Cal Poly is really just finding classes. Registration is a tedious process and a lot of students don't get the classes they need. Also, because it is on the quarter system you really have to stay on your game. You really have to stay focused.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Academics: Could be more hands on

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: Use Koofers or rate my professor before you add a class.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Academics: I cannot really say what it is like to be an Accounting major as of yet. I have only taken GE classes, so it would be roughly the same for most students. I did enter as a Mechanical Engineering student, however, and that program seem very hands on and connected with their students.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Known for its engineering and science colleges.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Cal Poly works on the quarter system rather than semesters. This means that you are going to learn a lot in only ten weeks! To be considered a full-time student, you must take a minimum of 12 units, which is equivalent to three classes. Definitely only take 12 units when you are first starting out; three classes doesn’t seem like a lot, but it takes some time to adapt.

CPP is very gung-ho about “learning through doing.” If your class doesn’t already have an activity, lab, or studio time attached to it, you will most definitely have a minimum of one group assignment that forces students to work with others and gain experience outside of book learning. Average class sizes at Cal Poly range from 30 to 60 people. Students who want an extra challenge can apply to be a part of the Kelloggs Honor College. Honors classes limit their class size to 20 people and usually contain even more group activities.

Cal Poly offers a wide range of classes at varying times, including online and hybrid classes, which is really helpful for students trying to balance work and other commitments with school. BroncoDirect has helped to make registering much more efficient, and it also allows you to track the progress of your degree online. The teachers at CPP are constantly rotating, so there are always fresh approaches to classes. Overall, Cal Poly has remained strong academically, despite currently weathering the California budget crisis. The only challenge is getting the classes you need or want!

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 35%
  • 20 to 49 students: 57%
  • 50 or more students: 8%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Agriculture
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education and Integrative Studies
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Environmental Design
  • College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • College of Science
  • Collins School of Hospitality Management
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 11%
  • Civil Engineering: 3%
  • Hospitality Management: 3%
  • Psychology: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Cooperative education program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • External degree program
  • Honors program
  • Internships
  • Ocean Studies Institute and Desert Studies Consortium
Online Courses
Online courses are easier to register for because they don't fill up as quickly due to the large number of students that can take it. For example, an average class will accept anywhere between 30 and 60 students, while an online class will accept up to 120 students! However, you have to be careful with online classes. Without physically going to a class, it can often slip your mind, and it's never fun to accidentally miss a quiz or homework assignment!
Best Places to Study
  • Bronco Student Center study lounge
  • Center Court
  • Empty Classrooms
  • Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Check in with your advisor each quarter.
  • Check out student opinions on various instructors at
  • Don't wait until the last minute to buy your books.
  • Get to class a little early-seats fill up fast!
  • Go to a wide variety of social events to help make new friends.
  • Live as close to campus as possible: it cuts down on commute time, and heightens your chances of going to class/social events on a regular basis.
  • Make it a point to make an office visit with each of your instructors each quarter.
  • Make sure to stay on your curriculum plan.
  • Mix up your general education classes with your more difficult core classes.
  • Start off with 12 units before plunging in; the quarter system is fast.
  • Time management-buy a planner.
Did You Know?
  • Cal Poly Pomona offers more than 60 majors and a number of minor and interdisciplinary programs housed in 48 academic departments.
  • The Collins School of Hospitality Management is one of the top-ranking hospitality programs in the nation.
  • Cal Poly Pomona is tied for 8th in the category of Top Public Schools in the West Region.
  • One in every five people that passes the California Architecture Registration Exam to become a licensed architect is a graduate from Cal Poly Pomona.
  • Cal Poly has a motto of "learning by doing." Many of your classes, science or not, will have labs and activities attached to them so that you can get a hands-on learning experience.
  • Two national icons, Charles B. Voorhis, a prominent automotive industry figure, and William K. Kellogg, a cereal magnate, contributed to the University becoming one of the nation's top institutions of higher education.
  • Cal Poly Pomona's hallmark is its learn-by-doing philosophy.
  • The Architecture major is currently so impacted that it is only being offered to California residents.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 17 responses

  • 48% Forest Whitaker - Award-winning actor and director
  • 22% Hilda Solis - secretary of labor
  • 7% John C. Brewer - editor of the New York Times
  • 7% Jonathan Bornstein - soccer player
  • 7% Kim Rhode - Olympic Medalist
  • 4% James Chick - founder of Chick's Sporting Goods
  • 4% Jim Zorn - former NFL player and head coach
  • 0% Robert Balzer - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin publisher
  • 0% Jim Brulte - former California state senator (R)
  • 0% Richard Pombo - U.S. representative
  • 0% Chi Cheng - Olympic Medalist
  • 0% Carol Vaness - opera soprano
  • 0% Dave Mirra - BMX rider

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 88 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 90 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 25 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 24 responses

  • 25% This was my dream school.
  • 50% This was one of my top choices.
  • 25% This was a school I settled for (safety school).


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