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Student & Graduate Reviews
Shannon Parker - 6/26/2019
Degree: Fitness Trainer
Graduation Year: 1999
"While it has been a while since I completed my undergraduate studies - I still can confidently say that Cal Poly's "Learn By Doing" motto prepared me for my career! My career unfolded in a rather unconventional manner - with one opportunity leading me to the next. I took the opportunities, learned by doing and have had a successful career as an educator and am now looking to move into Educational Administration. I loved the Kinesiology coursework and still draw on my experience in the human performance labs when working with my students today."
Gretchen - 6/24/2019
Degree: Child Development
Graduation Year: 2014
"I completed my bachelor's degree at CP SLO and highly recommend it. Though there are a variety of majors available, the majority seem to be studying Engineering, Architecture or Business. That being said, I think they have an excellent Child Development program and many of my friends from a variety of majors said they thought their education was crucial to their future successes. Personally, I loved the learn by doing motto and think it's helped me put into practice what I learned rather than just knowing a lot of information. In addition, I felt that the professors at the school are more student-focused then at many universities because they don't have the same pressure to publish research. This allows them to spend more time preparing for classes, keeps the class sizes small and means that the professors are able to focus on completing high-quality research rather than just high-quantity. My biggest disappointment with the school was the lack of diversity often evident when walking around campus. Many students find it difficult to switch majors, though it is possible, so I don't suggest attending school there if you aren't sure what you want to study."
AMK - 6/22/2019
Graduation Year: 2015
"Cal Poly's Biology department has great mentorship and teaching. The school chooses professors who want to teach, and do some research, but mainly focus on teaching. As such, the teaching is outstanding, and the research is below average. However, the department is very active in helping students find a project, or create a project."
Kari Tuggle - 6/16/2019
Graduation Year: 1998
"Cal Poly SLO is a learn by doing campus. The skills and knowledge I acquired through applying what I learned in the classroom gave me an advantage when starting my career. The senior project requirement was useful in proving my expertise to employers. Several senior projects have been turned into business ventures after graduation. The school is in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California. The school experience was made even better with hiking in the local mountains, spending time at the nearby beaches, and fishing or camping at nearby lakes. As a single mom attending school, I also appreciated the student childcare center. Parking is an issue as is the cost of housing however, this is typical of a school in a desired geographic location. Teachers are accessible and classes not too large. I made lifelong friends during my time in San Luis Obispo and miss the local food and activities. I would recommend this school to anyone pursuing a degree in animal science, engineering, business, architecture, or the health professions."
Caterin Miralda - 6/10/2019
Degree: Business Administration
Graduation Year: 2016
"Cal Poly, SLO is a beautiful campus located in a beautiful city. I write this review as a first generation latina student, and about my experience there. As a minority, I realized that Cal Poly did not do enough to help out students of color or staff of color; this led many staff and students of color to transfer out to new schools or jobs. This made life as a student of color there a little harder as representation diminished. However, the remaining students of color or marginalized communities were very active and vocal about these issues, pushing for changes from the administration. While it was hard being a student of color, it really taught me how to use my voice to help my community and push for change. It turned me into a leader and taught me the importance of activism. I wouldn't say Cal Poly is the worst, but it is very white, which makes it hard for students of color to feel like they fit in. Nonetheless, I recommend that you visit campus, attend spring orientation and Poly Cultural Weekend so that you can see and decide for yourself. One thing I would say is a major positive is the on campus community. Most of the students either live on campus or within a short distance, so there is always a lot of activity on campus. This makes is so great to be on campus at all times. Also the food bank is an amazing resource for students struggling with food insecurity."
Michael Hiebert - 12/28/2018
Degree: Civil Engineering
Graduation Year: 2009
"I went to school for Civil Engineering at Cal Poly and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The school is gorgeous and only 15 minutes from the beach (you will not go as much as you think you will though). The campus is a little spread out and on lots of hills so you will definitely get your steps in when going to class. Most students live on campus the first year and then life just of campus after that. It's not a necessity that you own a car, but it is really nice to know someone who does. Greek life and sports teams exist but are not a very big deal outside of the Cal Poly vs. UCSB soccer game, but there is a club for just about everything. The engineering school is one of the best bangs for your buck in the country. Cal Poly keeps the California State pricing but offers a bachelors degree that can compete with anyone in the nation. Most of the teachers I had were very knowledgeable and the classes are extremely competitive as Cal Poly only lets in the best of the best. Also pretty much everyone I knew in the engineering school landed a job extremely quickly out of college. I was able to find a job a couple months after college and have been working in for the last five years. Overall really great college and extremely competitive prices for the level of education you receive."
Joesphi - 11/4/2018
Degree: Environmental Engineering
Graduation Year: 2011
"I really hated the administration/corporation that ran the school. Like most other schools, they try to squeeze out money from students instead of making fair costs. Examples include packing in freshmen into the dorms (3 students in a double room dorm), overpricing their generic food, the book store costs are terrible and yet classes force you to buy from them. Most of the academics are run of the mill like other campuses. The pros are a nice location and weather, many laboratories for hands on learning, and quality upper division teachers."
Kevin - 10/21/2018
Degree: CAD/Computer Aided Drafting
Graduation Year: 2014
"Cal Poly was an average college experience for me. The upsides being that it was close to the beach and had good weather. For general electives, the psychology lecture was the most insightful and interesting class. The chemistry and math classes were pretty bad in that the motto changed from learn by doing to Figure it out yourself, poor instruction, large classes, and lots of my friends failed because of trouble getting direct help from teachers or peers. The major specific courses had much better instruction and lab teaching. I would HIGHLY recommend transferring to this school, but completing lowers division coursework elsewhere. It will save you lots of time and money. The freshman/sophomore experience here doesnt not compare to what Ive heard many other UC and state schools have in terms of sporting events, parties, fun city-life, and diversity (very undiversified crowd and culture). Overall my recommendation is to apply to this school only if you plan on engineering AND have a high enough budget to meet its cost. AND it would be most valuable to go only after earning lower division credits to transfer in so you avoid wasting the first two years of tuition and cut your college cost in half."
Mira - 9/5/2018
Graduation Year: 2009
"Great school program! The learn by doing philosophy has set me above many of my peers who attended other universities thanks to the hands on experiences I gained while at University. I am a proud alumni of Cal Poly and would encourage other students to enroll as well. Take full advantage of the many benefits available to you as students including clubs, student research projects, and so much more that give you the advantage when searching for careers. Cal Poly is an amazing university that supports its students and provides an ideal environment for learning."
Sydney Matthews - 7/7/2018
Degree: Architectural Engineering
Graduation Year: 2015
"Cal Poly's "Learn By Doing" philosophy is implemented in every class and every program. It is a great way to learn, because a lot of universities or programs who just lecture or don't have hands on programs make it hard for students to transition into the real world. Cal Poly is very good at preparing you for your future career and letting you know what to expect. The campus community is great and you will definitely graduate with life long friends."