What is the California State University System?
The CSU is the country's largest four-year university system with 23 campuses located throughout the state of California. The campuses offer excellent educational opportunities at affordable costs. Please see Explore the System for more information.
Where do I obtain information about admissions?
Please visit CSUMentor, a comprehensive guide to the California State University's 23 campuses. Also visit the Students section of our website and the Student Academic Support section for more information.
Where can I get information about admission status?
The status for admission into particular programs may be found in the Application Status Report. The best way to find out the most current information, however, is to contact the admissions office at a specific campus.
Must I submit an essay with my admissions application?
An essay is not a requirement for admission to the California State University system. However, it may be an option at campuses that are defined as impacted or in majors that are impacted. Consult the campus admission office to which you are applying to verify whether your major is impacted and to find out whether or not an essay is required. Campuses may be located on our campus map.
I want to apply for admission to different CSU campuses. Can I submit a single application to cover multiple campuses?
You must submit an individual application for each campus for which you wish to apply. Current application fee is $55 per application. Dates for submission of applications are listed on CSU's monthly application status report.
Where can I find calendar information about a campus such as term beginning and ending dates, registration dates, and when final examinations are scheduled?
Please contact individual campuses for additional information.
Can I apply for admission via the Internet?
Prospective students should visit the CSUMentor website at CSUMentor. It provides a user-friendly process for selecting a CSU campus, planning to meet CSU entrance and academic requirements, applying for admissions and financial aid, understanding financial aid eligibility and opportunities, establishing an electronic communications link between the student and CSU campuses.
Are programs available for distance learning?
CSU campuses support a variety of technology-delivered courses and programs. Some technology delivered programs require campus attendance or are subject to campus residency provisions. Other technology-delivered programs may be completed in a remote setting. Registrants are encouraged to check with their academic advisor or campus Extended/Continuing Education Office for details. Also see CalstateTEACH.
Where can I find information about faculty work schedules?
Please contact the Human Resources department or by telephone at (562) 951-4400.
How can I locate a particular student, staff, or faculty member of the CSU?
While this website does not have a systemwide directory available, each campus has a personnel locator available that can assist you. Please see the Campus Locators page.
Can I use the CSU Logo for a project I'm working on?
The CSU has a strict policy regarding the use of its logos and trademarks. The policy of the CSU Board of Trustees of the CSU is that the seal, logos and images used on the CSU website may not be used by persons and organizations other than the CSU. If you have any questions contact Marketing Communications for the Chancellor's Office at (562) 951-4670 or by e-mail
The only official marks of the CSU are the CSU Seal (black or blue on a white background or white on a dark blue background) and the words "The California State University." Use of any other representations such as the block letters "CSU" with the horizontal bar across the top of the letters is not permitted.
I'm not certain if I've reached the correct California higher education system. Can you help me?
We are the California State University (CSU), a public state university system with an emphasis on teaching and teacher and workforce preparation. All of our campuses, except for the California State University Maritime Academy, have the "State University" identification their name, such as San Diego State University and California State University Sacramento.
The University of California (UC) is also a public state university system with an emphasis on research. All UC campuses can be identified through the "University of California" identification in their name, such as the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private university.
If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.
The acceptance rate at Cal Poly is 31%. For every 100 applicants, 31 are admitted.
This means the school is very selective. If you meet Cal Poly's requirements for GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other components of the application, you have a great shot at getting in. But if you fall short on GPA or your SAT/ACT scores, you'll have a very low chance of being admitted, even if you meet the other admissions requirements.
Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.
The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.
The average GPA at Cal Poly is 3.92.
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
With a GPA of 3.92, Cal Poly requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants. Furthermore, you should be taking hard classes - AP or IB courses - to show that college-level academics is a breeze.
If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.92, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.
You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Cal Poly. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.
Cal Poly SAT Requirements
Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.
Average SAT: 1300 (Old: 1239)
The average SAT score composite at Cal Poly is a 1300 on the 1600 SAT scale.
On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1239. (According to our records, this school requires only Reading and Math, so this score is out of 1600.)
This score makes Cal Poly Competitive for SAT test scores.
Cal Poly SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1200, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1420. In other words, a 1200 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1420 will move you up to above average.
Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
Cal Poly SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)
The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1130, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1340. In other words, a 1130 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1340 puts you well above average.
Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
SAT Score Choice Policy
The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.
Cal Poly has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."
This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.
Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.
For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:
Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, Cal Poly will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1000 to 1400 in this example.
This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Cal Poly forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.
Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 1420, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.
Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
Cal Poly ACT Requirements
Just like for the SAT, Cal Poly likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.
Average ACT: 28
The average ACT score at Cal Poly is 28. This score makes Cal Poly Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.
The 25th percentile ACT score is 26, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 31.
Even though Cal Poly likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 26 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 28 and above that a 26 will look academically weak.
ACT Score Sending Policy
If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.
Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.
This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 31 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.
ACT Superscore Policy
By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.
We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Cal Poly, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 31.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.
Cal Poly considers the SAT/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.
SAT Subject Test Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.
We did not find information that Cal Poly requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.