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About Cal Poly

Learn by doing. ready day one.

Educating both the head and the hand has been at the heart of everything we do since 1901. Today, we are the world’s leader in Learn by Doing education. We did it first, we do it best and it’s what makes our students better prepared from day one to make a lasting impact in their careers and their communities.

Centered In / Central to California

California leads the nation in the number of Fortune 1000 companies that call the state home and is a world leader in a wide range of industries: food and wine, space, entrepreneurship, climate, the built environment, and tech and humanity. With our wealth of connections to many of these companies, and our location in San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Cal Poly and our students are at the center of it all.

More DiversE Better For It

We are committed to reflecting the diversity of our state, ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of our students and creating an ever more inclusive campus, where equity is the norm and every student benefits from the same opportunities for community, personal growth and professional success. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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

Highly Ranked Highly Recruited

Rankings reveal what recruiters already know: Cal Poly students and graduates are among the very finest in higher ed. In 2023, U.S. News & World Report named us both the most innovative school in the west and the top public school in the west. They’ve also named us the west’s best public, master’s-level university for 31 consecutive years.

Rankings and Awards

Women in architecture

faculty mentors

Our faculty provide the foundation for Learn by Doing, creating real-world opportunities for students to take their learning outside the classroom. They see first-hand the difference hands-on experiences have in advancing a student’s understanding of a subject and of themselves. They partner with students, working side-by-side in the pursuit of the knowledge, skills and excellence that bring out the best in one another.

Undergraduate Information

Graduate Information

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

Community Spirit

Traditions are important. They unite us across generations, strengthening bonds and creating memories that last a lifetime. Cal Poly students and alumni enjoy and are enriched by both time-honored traditions and those brought to us by each new class of Mustangs. 

Our Traditions

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