Skip to main content


Student Research

Cal Poly doesn’t limit research opportunities to graduate students. Our undergraduates are also able to participate in applied research alongside faculty mentors, putting their head and hands to work solving the world’s problems.

Applied research

Focusing on applied research allows us to find solutions to specific problems, whether it be developing new space technologies, finding ways to provide greater access to healthcare or creating more efficient ways to grow the world's food. Our Learn by Doing philosophy encourages our students to get involved in the research process and the opportunity to find their passions. And California's Central Coast gives us plenty of opportunities to solve unique challenges and make a real difference.

Student and professor in solar fields

Industry Collaboration

Cal Poly collaborates with private companies in order to allow our students and faculty the opportunity to work on real-world industry projects and exchange knowledge and expertise. These partnerships range from simple in-class projects to more complex, long-term arrangements. 

Our Corporate Engagement and Innovation unit assists and supports our researchers in for-profit research and development, as well as manages our Technology Park and industry collaborations. 

Students working on cubesat

Cutting-Edge Facilities

From university-wide institutes to centers within our six academic colleges, our community collaborates in real-world facilities exploring problems and discovering solutions.

Cal Poly Pier from above

Institutes, Centers & Labs

Twenty-five institutes, centers and labs across the university are available for student, faculty, and industry use including a 3,000-foot pier, collaborative business spaces and more. 

Student in a lab coat works with test tubes in a biomedical engineering lab

Frost Research Center

The William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation, is an undergraduate research complex including a four-story, 2.32-acre complex with configurable classrooms, hands-on learning programs and innovative laboratory space.

Student measures coast redwood tree at Swanton Ranch

Swanton Pacific Ranch

The 3,200-acre Swanton Pacific Ranch is home to many short- and long-term research projects in sustainable agriculture, forestry, watershed management and rangeland studies.

office of

student Research

The newly formed Office of Student Research aims to increase participation in research programs to a diverse student population. Founding director Jane Lehr will focus on increasing the transparency of access to research opportunities, support the professional development of both student researchers and research mentors, and increase the submission and success of proposals that include our student researchers. 

Visit the Office of Student Research

professors and students talk outside