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About Cal Poly

Learn by doing. ready day one.

We know people learn best when they do the work themselves. For more than a century, we’ve taught our students to work together using their heads and their hands to find solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. It’s why our alumni are prepared to hit the ground running and empowered to make a better future for California, our nation and our world.

Centered In / Central to California

Cal Poly is located in San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our location gives students access to opportunities for hands-on research in agriculture, winemaking and distinctive coastal ecosystems as well as close proximity to tech, industry and the culture hubs in Southern California and the Bay Area. Given California’s status as a world leader in many areas and industries, our students have an opportunity to do work that makes an impact around the globe.

Committed to Diversity

We recognize and celebrate the value of the different viewpoints, knowledge, cultures and skills that diverse communities bring to the educational experience. Cal Poly is committed to becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and feel a sense of respect, belonging and personal safety. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Group of students on the lawn in front of the library.

Highly Ranked

Cal Poly consistently receives high rankings from major publications. For the past 27 years, we have been named the best public, master's-level university in the West by U.S. News & World Report. Forbes also continues to name us the top public masters-level university in California and one of the Top 25 public and private universities in the West. 

Rankings and Awards

Women in architecture

faculty mentors

The Learn by Doing process would be nothing without expert faculty to guide students through the experience. Most of our classes are taught by full-time, regular faculty, many of whom have direct professional experience in the areas they teach. Classes are generally small, and most students have opportunities to do meaningful hands-on work with their professors, partnering with them in the pursuit of knowledge.

Undergraduate Information

Graduate Information

Mechanical engineering professor John Chen working with students during a lecture.

Mustang Traditions

With over a century behind us, our community has built traditions and established rituals that strengthen our student experience, bond people together and create the type of memories that last a lifetime. 

Our Traditions

Week of Welcome grouping sessions where students meet their WOW groups.