Admissions

Catalog Home

Undergraduate

Office of Admissions
Building (172H), 2nd Floor,  Room 2-20
Phone: 805.756.2311; Fax: 805.756.5400
Tour Information Line: 805.756.5734
Email: admissions@calpoly.edu
https://admissions.calpoly.edu/

Admissions

Cal Poly comprehensively reviews all applications, seeking students who have strong academic records and are active in and outside the classroom.  Admission to Cal Poly is highly competitive. Beyond the basic California State University qualifications, Cal Poly considers other factors for admission deemed important to the campus and does so in an objective format. Review the selection criteria for undergraduate applicants by starting here: https://admissions.calpoly.edu/prospective/criteria.html.

Applicants are notified of a formal decision by April 1.

First-Time Freshman Factors

When a freshman application is reviewed, the following are considered:

  • The applicant’s intended program of study (the major to which application is made)
  • The applicant’s college preparatory courses in secondary school
  • GPA earned in college preparatory courses
  • Standardized test scores
  • The applicant’s extra-curricular activities and work experience
  • Non-cognitive variables deemed important to the campus

For a comprehensive look at Cal Poly’s selection criteria for a freshman applicant, including deadlines, visit https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/freshman/.

Upper-Division Transfer Factors

When an upper-division1 transfer application is reviewed, the following are considered:

  • The applicant’s intended program of study (the major to which application is made)
  • The number of units completed
  • Completion of CSU and Cal Poly program required coursework with a grade of ‘C’ or better
  • General Education (G.E. Breadth) or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) courses
  • Academic performance in college courses (GPA)
  • The applicant’s extracurricular activities and work experience
  • Non-cognitive variables deemed important to the campus

For a comprehensive look at Cal Poly’s selection criteria for a transfer applicant, including deadlines, visit https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/transfer/.

The majors below have additional requirements:

  • Art and Design – qualified freshman and transfer applicants will be requested to submit an electronic portfolio per specific instructions provided to the applicant
  • Music – qualified freshman and transfer applicants will be requested to audition either in person or via specified media
  • Architecture – qualified transfer applicants will be requested to submit a portfolio per specific instructions provided to the applicant

Appeals to Undergraduate Admission Decisions - Freshmen and Transfers

Cal Poly does not set aside spaces for students who appeal admission decisions. Every denied application has been reviewed for maximum consideration. Therefore, for an appeal to have merit it must bring to light new academic information, as well as information pertaining to extenuating circumstances that was not present in the application information that clearly shows the student to be stronger than had been earlier evidenced.  Neither grades received in the current academic year nor mistakes made by the applicant on the application are a basis for an appeal or the reversal of a decision.

Review the Cal Poly Admissions website for complete information and instructions regarding the process to submit an appeal at https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/notselected.html.

Application Procedures

For admission consideration, Cal Poly requires applicants to submit the online application (https://www2.calstate.edu/apply) with the corresponding $70.00 application fee, which is both non-refundable and non-transferable. The application and fee cannot be used to apply to another term.

Applicants should not submit additional information beyond the information submitted on the application unless requested to do so by the Admissions Office. Applicants are advised to submit complete and accurate information on the application for admission. Failure to file complete, accurate, and authentic application documentation may result in denial of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, or expulsion (Section 41301 of Title V, California Code of Regulations).

View detailed online application information at https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants.

Cal Poly Application Filing Periods

Cal Poly accepts undergraduate (freshman or transfer) applications for the Fall term only.

Freshman Applicants apply through the online process. This process requires applicants to submit Cal Poly’s online application with the corresponding fee during the application filing period of October 1 to November 30.

*Please note: Applicants will receive notification of their admission status by April 1. Those selected must accept or decline Cal Poly’s offer of admission by May 1.

Transfer Applicants apply through the online process. This process requires applicants to submit Cal Poly’s online application with the corresponding fee during the application filing period of October 1 to November 30.

*Please note: Applicants will receive notification of their admission status by April 1. Those selected must accept or decline Cal Poly’s offer of admission by May 1.

Offers of admission to Cal Poly are conditional pending satisfactory compliance with the “Terms and Conditions of Admission” found online at https://admissions.calpoly.edu/admitted/terms.

The California Promise Program

The California Promise Program enables a specific number of CSU campuses to establish pledge programs for entering first-time students who are both interested and able to complete baccalaureate degrees in four years. All campuses have established programs for students with Associate Degrees for Transfer from any California Community College to complete their baccalaureate degrees in two years. The program is limited to students who are residents of California.

Students who commit to enter either the four-year or two-year pledge will be given a priority registration appointment for each state-supported enrollment period and will be provided with routine and thorough academic advisement. In order to remain in the program, students must meet with their advisors as prescribed, develop an enrollment plan and complete 30 semester units or the quarter equivalent within each academic year, including summer. Participating campuses may stipulate other requirements as well. Interested students entering the CSU should contact campus offices or visit https://www2.calstate.edu/apply/freshman/getting_into_the_csu/Pages/the-california-promise-program.aspx. .  

The California Promise at Cal Poly

Cal Poly has established a pilot pledge program for students with Associate Degrees for Transfer to complete their baccalaureate degrees in two years. The Bachelor of Arts in English is the only major available at this time. Interested students should contact Cal Poly’s California Promise advisor, Gina Salazar (glsalaza@calpoly.edu), in the Mustang Success Center, or visit Cal Poly’s The California Promise Program webpage.

Former/Returning Students

Former Students Returning in the Same Major

Students who were previously enrolled at Cal Poly and who wish to return to the university must follow the guidelines appropriate to their category.

Former undergraduate students who left Cal Poly in good standing (2.0 or higher GPA), before completing their degree, and who wish to resume their former program (major) at Cal Poly, can essentially be reinstated after submitting a paper CSU undergraduate application and transcripts from any institutions attended after leaving Cal Poly. A returning student is one who has no enrollment record for three consecutive regular terms (fall, winter, spring). If you have missed 2 terms, you may enroll without completing a returning student application. Once you have missed 3 terms, you must complete a returning student application. An application and corresponding fee must be filed or postmarked before the application deadline date listed below for the appropriate term:

Term Deadline
Fall Quarter July 1st
Winter Quarter October 1st
Spring Quarter February 1st

Former students who did not leave the university in good standing (i.e., were academically disqualified), will have their application and transcripts sent to their department college for review before reinstatement can occur. Applicants in this category are advised to contact their major's academic department or advising center to begin dialogue about satisfying any requirements before submitting their application. For more details regarding applying as a returning student please visit the Admissions Website.

Former Students Returning in a New Major

Former Cal Poly students wishing to return to Cal Poly in a different major must file an online application with the corresponding fee by the same application deadline as new applicants. Applicants in this category will compete equally with new applicants for the available transfer openings in their declared major.

Other Information

Consistency with State Regulations

The philosophy of the Cal Poly Admissions Office is consonant with the mission of California Polytechnic State University and is in accordance with Title V, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3, of the California Code of Regulations, and specifically, the California Code of Regulations for the California State University System, Title V, Section 40600.

Graduate Admission Requirements

View online information for graduate admission at https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/graduate/.

Determination of Residence for Tuition Purposes

The Cal Poly Admissions Office determines the residence status of all new and returning students for tuition purposes. View comprehensive online information at https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/mycalpoly/resinfo.html.

Back to top

International Students


Office of Admissions
Building (172H), 2nd Floor,  Room 2-20
Phone: 805.756.2311; Fax: 805.756.5400
Tour Information Line: 805.756.5734
https://admissions.calpoly.edu/
Email: admissions@calpoly.edu 

International Admissions

Cal Poly, as part of the California State University (CSU) system, assesses the academic preparation of international students using factors such as academic performance, verification of English proficiency, and financial resources (to meet federal regulations). For this purpose, international students include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors, or those in other nonimmigrant classifications. The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of international students.

Reference the International Admissions section on the Cal Poly Admissions website for detailed information, at https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/international/.

Application Procedures

 Cal Poly does not have a separate international application. International applicants submit the online application (https://www2.calstate.edu/apply) appropriate to their level of entry with the corresponding $55.00 application fee which is both non-refundable and non-transferable. The Cal Poly Admissions Office will contact each international applicant regarding additional requirements once the application has been received. View application information, deadlines and selection timelines by visiting https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/international/deadlines.html.

For more information about international admission in addition to the application for admission requirements:

International Freshman Applicants – visit https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/international/checklist.html.

International Transfer Applicants – visit https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/international/checklist.html.
Please note: Cal Poly does not accept applications for undergraduate transfer students with less than 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) or applications for second undergraduate degrees.

International Graduate Applicants – visit https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/international/checklist.html.

After all required documents have been received, the Admissions Office will determine eligibility for admission and will notify the applicant of the result. International applicants admitted to Cal Poly will complete a visa questionnaire and receive a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (I-20 form) which is necessary to obtain a student visa to enter the United States or for requesting permission from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for transfer to Cal Poly from another U.S. institution. Other requirements may be imposed by USCIS. Applicants should note the I-20 form is valid for enrollment only at Cal Poly for the term indicated and that it includes an expiration date.

Deadlines

 Undergraduate Deadlines for International Students

Term Application Filing Period File Completion Deadline
Fall only Oct 1- Nov 30 March 1

Graduate Deadlines for International Students

Term Application Filing Period File Completion Deadline
Fall Application deadline is the same as the program deadline or April 1st, whichever date is earlier File completion deadline is the same as the program deadline or May 1st, whichever date is earlier
Winter June 1 - September 1 September 1
Spring August 1 - December 1 December 1

For detailed information about deadlines, visit https://admissions.calpoly.edu/applicants/international/deadlines.html.

International students should also visit the Cal Poly International Center website at http://www.international.calpoly.edu/ for additional international student information and services.