Application and Deadlines

Cal Poly only accepts applications for the fall term. Interested applicants must submit the Cal State Apply online application with the $70.00 application fee, electronically by November 30, 2019.

  • Late applications are not accepted.
  • All applicants will be notified via email of the admission decision by April 1.
  • Selected applicants must accept or decline our offer of admission by May 1.

Selection Criteria

Freshman Selection Criteria

Admission to Cal Poly is competitive in all majors. Cal Poly continues to have more qualified applicants than available new student spaces. All students must declare a major when submitting their application. Cal Poly comprehensively reviews all applications as we look for students who have strong academic records and are active in and outside the classroom. Beyond the basic qualifications for the California State University, Cal Poly considers other factors for admission deemed important to the campus and does so in an objective format. In fact, it is impossible to predict a candidate's chances of admission by looking at the academic record alone. All candidates are objectively evaluated by the cognitive and non-cognitive variables under the faculty-mandated Multi-Criteria Admission (MCA) process. When we review your application, we consider:

  • Your intended program of study (the major to which the application is made)
  • Your college-preparatory courses in secondary school
  • GPA earned in college-preparatory courses
  • Standardized test scores
  • Your extra-curricular activities and work experience

Coursework with a Grade of C or Better

CSU required coursework taken during 9th to 11th grades and in progress or planned during 12th grade.














Advanced Math



Language Other than English



Lab Science
(Must include 1 year of a Biological Science and 1 year of a Physical Science)



Social Sciences
(Must include 1 year of US History or US History and Government)



Visual Performing Arts







Electives can be taken in 9-12 grades but must fall within the following subject areas (above): Visual and Performing Arts, History, Social Science, English, Advanced Mathematics, Science and languages other than English.

Middle School Coursework (if applicable)
Cal Poly will give consideration for coursework taken in 7th and 8th grade for Mathematics and Language Other than English only. The coursework must be entered into the application to receive consideration; it will not be assumed. The courses and grades received should be entered under 9thgrade in the High School Coursework section.
In order to receive consideration, the same course cannot be repeated in 9th grade; students must continue on in the course progression. Example: If a student takes Spanish 1 in 8th grade, they must take Spanish 2 in 9th grade to receive consideration for Spanish 1. 

Academic Performance

College prep GPA Calculated by Cal Poly for 9th -11th grade coursework designated on the application (with honors points granted for courses designated as "honors," "college," “advanced placement" or "international baccalaureate" on a high school transcript, for up to eight semesters).

Standardized Test Scores

Only ACT or SAT I scores are used in the selection process. If you are applying for the Fall Quarter, scores from ACT or SAT tests taken after November are not guaranteed to be used in the selection process.

Work Experience/Extra-curricular Activity Participation

This information is taken only from the four questions found on the CalState Apply application.

All information is subject to change without prior notice.

More Information

Visit the Cal Poly freshman admissions page for more information.


Our program offers two undergraduate degrees with a special emphasis on hands-on learning, fieldwork experiences and theoretical learning to prepare them to solve our world's challenges.

Civil EngineeringStudents standing in front of poster

As stated by the American Society of Civil Engineers, "Civil engineers design, build, and maintain the foundation for our modern society." This centuries-old profession provides services to the public and private sectors through safe and efficient solutions. Our civil engineering graduates are taught the necessary skills to plan, design, construct and maintain infrastructure and industrial facilities. The faculty of the Civil Engineering Program at Cal Poly prides itself on preparing its students and understanding the challenges associated with this industry.

Civil engineering is a very broad field, so our department offers six different areas of specialization: Geotechnical, Structural, Water Resources, Construction, Transportation, and General Civil Engineering. During their fourth year, students are allowed to specialize in one of these areas. However, prior to this selection students are required to take classes in each of these specialized areas to become proficient in all aspects of civil engineering. To learn more about these specializations, visit our Senior Thrust Areas page.

For more information about classes and flowcharts, visit our civil engineering curriculum page


Environmental EngineeringStudents and faculty looking at a water sample

The two most threatening issues in our world are water access and air pollution. Environmental engineers work to combat these problems and other natural occurrences. In 1968, Cal Poly offered one of the first undergraduate environmental engineering degree programs in the U.S. The degree program focuses on the interrelation of people, materials, and processes in a complex and changing environment. Our students learn about water sanitation, wastewater treatment, air quality control, renewable energy, pollution prevention, and other systems to improve public health. 

The job demand for environmental engineers is high due to the constant need for safe water, air, and land. Jobs in this field include working for the government, consulting companies, and engineering or architecture firms. Our environmental engineering students are required to take a two-quarter senior design capstone course where they demonstrate their understanding of essential engineering skills as well as their ability to solve practical, real-world design problems. These senior projects put students in the field before they graduate to ensure success in internships and jobs.

For more information about classes and flowcharts, visit our environmental engineering curriculum page


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