82
Unigo Top Student Rated School

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

10%

Very Good

44%

Average

34%

Poor

8%

Terrible

3%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

42%

Average

37%

Poor

14%

Terrible

7%

Campus Food
Excellent

4%

Very Good

22%

Average

36%

Poor

23%

Terrible

15%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

32%

Very Good

53%

Average

12%

Poor

2%

Terrible

0%

Class Size
Excellent

44%

Very Good

39%

Average

13%

Poor

4%

Terrible

0%

Activities
Excellent

46%

Very Good

38%

Average

12%

Poor

3%

Terrible

0%

Local Services
Excellent

45%

Very Good

39%

Average

12%

Poor

4%

Terrible

0%

Academics
Excellent

58%

Very Good

30%

Average

9%

Poor

3%

Terrible

0%

Overall Review for California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

Excellent

40%

Very Good

48%

Average

7%

Poor

2%

Terrible

2%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Michael

n/a

Kelly

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo has a great location as it is 10 minutes from several different beaches and a couple hours from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cal Poly also has great people and was ranked #! for happiest places to live. The school makes classes harder than they have to be though.

Anahit

Great

Emma

Cal Poly SLO is at the top of my list for applying to colleges this fall. I applied early decision and hope i get to start school here next fall. When i visited, I got a really good vibe from the whole campus and everyone I met on it.

Daniel

It's a school with great academics. It's also a school with little cultural diversity. Greek life is a big part of Cal Poly, but it was recently suspended due to a blackface incident. If you just want a solid degree, then Cal Poly is a great choice. But if you care about culture at all, don't go here.

Allena

Cal Poly is unlike any other college. I knew it was the college I wanted to attend the first day I visited. The overall feeling of the campus is friendly and inviting. Campus is even surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and is close to the ocean, so the location is awesome. The only downside would be that it is a small town, but I personally like that feeling. The academics can be difficult, but if you work hard, collaborate with peers, and talk to professors, it will help you succeed.

David

In my opinion, Cal Poly is a great school for students who are ambitious and want to succeed in their field of work. Cal Poly equips you with the skill and knowledge required for your area of study by having a very hands on approach and very involved professors.

Collin

There are so many wonderful aspects to this school it is great. As a transfer student, I am not new to the college scene, but there are still so many great experiences to be had here. The classes are challenging, and there are classes that encompass almost all types of interests. As a transfer student, I can happily say this is everything I had hoped for.

Katherine

As an out of state student, Cal Poly is the perfect school to adjust to living across the country. They have top notch architecture and engineering programs that are nationally ranked and have great professors. Plus you have numerous outdoor activities like hiking right outside your doorstep!

Maya

Cal Poly is an amazing school that truly adheres to its motto of learn by doing. Cal poly provides countless opportunities for people to get involved in their major in any way they decide and truly pave the course of their education. Additionally, Cal Poly teaches you how to go after these opportunities even after you have left college.

Alexandra

Overall this school has a really good rating and looks great on paper. As a student here I have found that I do not like it here as much as I thought I would have and I am thinking of transferring. Students can be clique driven and not everyone is pleasant to be around. I have met plenty of staff who do not seem to know what they are doing as well.

David

Cal Poly SLO is phenomenal. I absolutely love it here. Depending on your major there can be impacted classes. Overall I would absolutely recommend Cal Poly!

Pacific

Cal Poly is a great school academically. It is still a state school, though, so you won't find as many amenities here as you would at a private school. Most of the facilities feel outdated. What we lack in design we more than make up for in quality of education and class size. In the majority of my classes, the professor knew my name and was open to having discussions outside of class time. They really are interested in teaching you and helping you progress toward your degree.

Christine

"Learn By Doing" was the motto of our school which truly taught me to follow my gut and push ideas forward. Throughout my undergraduate career, my professors pushed me to be creative and fully develop ideas no matter how extreme they felt in the beginning. The faculty of my department are some of the most dedicated and honorable people I will ever meet. They have not only taught me about the field, my future opportunities, and the basic skills to become successful, but they have taught me about myself as a person. As for the entire college of Cal Poly SLO, each professor has inspired me or made me look at a subject in new light. The school's facilities and structure provide everyone with equal opportunities and teaches everyone that it is up to us, individually, to take those opportunities when they are given. "Learn By Doing" makes me unafraid of the future — knowing well that I am ready for what life has to offer.

April

San Luis Obispo is a small town. If you're looking for big city life, then this is not the school for you. There are a lot of wealthy students and families in the area. San Luis is an unusual college town because the other main population is retired people. The two groups don't always mix well! Be prepared for stiff rules, fines, and laws regarding noise and alcohol. Cal Poly is an impacted school, which means there are more students than spaces in the required classes. On average it takes students 5 years to graduate. The professors are all very educated and accommodating to students. If you plan to live off of campus, then plan on having a roommate or several as the cost of living in this town is ASTRONOMICAL!

Hannah

I love this school! The Cal Poly learn by doing motto can be found in all aspects of the learning process here, from major classes to support to GE classes. As an animal science student it was especially important for me to be able to start doing hands on learning right away. My first quarter at Cal Poly I was able to be in a small class of about 20 students and work directly with animals while many other students don't have this opportunity until their 3rd or 4th year.

Laura

There's not much I can say about Cal Poly that is negative. Yeah, the food sucks, there is not much diversity, and housing isn't the best on or off campus. However, this school is amazing for many reasons. First of all, its location: 3 hours from LA and the Bay area and 15 minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast. We also have some of the best degree programs in the country. We dominate in engineering and architecture, but all majors have above-average programs. Unlike with many UCs, Cal Poly students are taught by professors and not by TAs. Cal Poly also follows the motto "Learn By Doing." Whichever major you may be in here, many of your classes will be hands-on and not just dull lectures. You will actually be able to create the things that will be required of you in jobs in the future. Cal Poly's social life is also fantastic. Almost everyone is very friendly and outgoing. Drugs and alcohol are also heavily consumed on weekends, even by the engineers. They go pretty hard. Internship opportunities are also widely available to all majors and there are frequent career fairs. The professors and administration really want you to succeed, and there is no reason you can't. There are countless resources available to all students. Needless to say, Cal Poly is amazing.

Ryan

Cal Poly was the perfect fit for me. I would describe it as work hard, play hard. The area of SLO offers endless activities, especially outdoors. The campus is very big but the school doesn't feel huge. The only thing holding Cal Poly back is a strong athletic scene, but the large number of clubs and activities helps make up for it. Go Greek!

Rachel

Cal Poly as a campus and a school is a bit above average. Most classes are of a good size and interesting with lots of "learn by doing" opportunities. I am currently taking a dendrology class where we go out into the field almost every week and actually see the plants we talk about in class, which brings me to what is really special about Cal Poly: it is located in the center of so much nature and outdoor activities, almost everyone is active and into hiking or surfing or ham mocking. The culture here is really great and the people are one of the nicest, pretties groups of people I have ever met.

Janely

It is located in a really nice town, but you do have to drive a bit to be able to go into town. There is a lot of places to hike, and you can usually hike up to the mustangs. The only bad thing that everyone can agree on is the limited parking spaces for the students. The campus is really spaced out so there is a lot of walking to do however, classes of the same major are usually close to one another. Not too much diversity, but the school really encourages it.

Michelle

The faculty, staff, and tenure-track professors are all very knowledgable, professional, available and involved with campus activities. The curriculum covers both a breadth and depth in all subjects, and is well planned out and easy to understand. This is essential because the quarter system is a fast 9 weeks. you begin classes and 2 weeks later a midterm, another two weeks another midterm, another two weeks then the final. If you are prepared for the fast pace and in-depth curriculum it would be a great school for you. It is unique in that you have to declare your major when you apply and spend your entire first year taking classes only in your major. If you are unsure what you want to major in or do in your career it wouldn't be a good fit for you. The cons about cal poly is that the food in all the areas on campus that you can purchase it is not very good, they do not provide adequate meals for those who have dietary restrictions or allergies, and they ahve no organic options. A plus is that the surrounding nature is very beautiful and there is a lot to explore if you like nature and can ever find the time to get out in it. The school is a leader in technologies and every major on campus get some hands-on training in different kinds of new technology through cal poly's specific upper division elective requirements. Each student must take an upper division class outside of their major in advanced technology courses of the future, and in diversity sensitivity in a changing world. Cal Polys learn by doing philosophy means everything you do is hands-on and practical and the faculty work with you to make sure you are on track and you can curve your projects so that they fit with your specific specialization within your major. The only downside is that most of the students at poly come from wealthy families in large cities. As a poor student from a rural area, this can feel a little isolating at times because most of the students have never had true hardships. Also cultural and ethnic diversity on campus is very low, and the school works very hard to get more students of color and overseas students to attend. Hopefully they will be successful soon.

Isabel

I believe that Cal Poly is very well known for their academics and they are indeed very good; however, the food on campus is sub-par and my only saving grace is that I live in an apartment on campus so I have the option of cooking food when I want. It was rather unfortunate that the school overaccepted students this year because many people are crammed into rooms and it is not an ideal living situation. There are plenty of things to do on and off campus but first years are not allowed cars so it is rather difficult to try and explore around San Luis Obispo which the school encourages.

Jade

I had a horrible experience at this university. I had to deal with racist remark from people following me home and the administration did nothing to stop it. I did make friends ,but most people I knew from my year transferred out after a year. There is no diversity on campus. It was predominately Caucasian. There were very little people of color. I did find some professors on campus to be amazing and so helpful. I also found it extremely difficult to change majors with this university compared to the current college I am in.

Katie

The school is a welcoming environment full of friendly people, accessible teachers, and plenty of available extra curricular activities. The class sizes are smaller and more personal and the hands on experience is priceless. For its tuition Cal Poly is the best there is and I'm excited to be attending.

Jose

It is a great school for engendering, architecture, math, chemistry, and agriculture, and most other STEM related fields. But the Liberal arts and physics department is week. Registration for classes sucks. But the people are very nice and the small classes really help the students learn better than being in lector halls of over 300.

Nicole

A wonderful school academically. I, along with most of my close friends from school, are currently working in our fields or attending graduate school so I know that my education there was worth it (and VERY affordable compared to other equally rigorous schools). I had a couple of issues with the administration and climate of the school.

Alexander

I think Cal Poly is the best school in California. It is located in the greatest area providing perfect weather, plenty of places to shop, beaches to run off to and so much more. Cal Poly itself has some of the most intelligent and helpful professors providing regular office hours always encouraging students to ask for help if needed. Cal Poly provides many ways to get involved such as Greek life, clubs, sports, a fantastic recreational center, and more. Cal Poly does its best to make incoming students feel safe and welcomed before starting a new life in college. It introduces Slo days and WOW week to incoming freshman. These events help incoming freshman familiarize themselves with each other and become comfortable with campus culture by participating in activities introduced by there WOW/SLO days leader. Apply Now!

Anna Vy

A practical education, very hands-on labs. Beautiful campus and friendly people. The food was bad but it’s totally improving now. Lower level classes’ teachers are kinda a gamble. Some good some horrible. It’s in the middle of nowhere tho , besides the beach and the mountains.

Arjun Reddy

Cal Poly's is a great place. It's just been a week that I joined the master's program at Cal Poly and I've been in love with the way how thing's work around the campus. It provides a very happy atmosphere for the student's to be a part of. The facilities are really good and more importantly the coursework and support systems for the students are very uniquely designed. San Luis Obispo really leaves upto to its "Happiest Place to live in America" reputation. There are a couple of drawbacks though like finding off-campus housing is really difficult. But gives the students the authentic Central Coast experience.

Caitlin

In my opinion, California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo is a below average school. Unfortunately, I have not enjoyed the way my classes have been taught and I have had poor experiences overall. The atmosphere is hostile and not inclusive, and students seem to be more interested in parties and joining greek like than they are in their academics.

Jessica

I love the Cal Poly campus and attitude. The school has a very positive energy and is easy to fall into place with. There are not a lot of local shops but there is always something to do. I personally think it is very easy to meet people here and have had a very easy transition from high school to college.

Nikole

Cal Poly is located in the awesome town of San Luis Obispo. There is not much diversity and a heavy emphasis on STEM type majors. Great school for engineering students not so great for liberal arts.

Victoria

I love Cal Poly SLO! I have grown up in the shadow of the campus and now finally attending is a dream come true. My major facility are the nicest people ever and encourage me to do my best even if my activity does not pertain to my major. They are helping reach my degree and career goal of becoming an agriculture teacher. With their credential program I may even be able to earn my masters degree before I am hired anywhere thus pushing me further and higher than my fellow applicants for the same jobs. Overall Cal Poly SLO is the best place for me!

Amy

Cal Poly is a great choice for anyone who desires to be challenged academically, as well as enjoys nature and fun times. The professors are friendly, helpful, and always willing to make time to work with you on whatever you may need, academic or personal. I would highly recommend Cal Poly to anyone.

Ligia

I RECOMMEND NOT COMING TO CALPOLY IF YOU ARE A MINORITY. The professors are incredible, academics-wise: A+. BUT I am taking the time to write this because I want to warn other minorities. I graduated in June. As a gay woman, it was hard being in a culture that was predominantly white and heterosexual. The demographics and the school administration's apathy (despite their constant dialogue on "inclusivity" when an incident happens) provided for a culture of ignorance. It was hard to find others like me, but even harder to be in a place where I felt most people didn't understand me and didn't want to. Four stars if you're in the majority (great parties, beautiful area, amazing hikes/stuff to do, great place to experience college), two stars if you're a minority (IN MY OPINION).

Sarah

Cal Poly is a very welcoming campus. The town of San Luis Obispo itself is a friendly beach town. The curriculum that is based on the saying "learn by doing" is extremely encouraged and practiced at this school. Students are really able to experience hands-on learning in their field of study.

Mariah

Cal Poly is a great school. I'm in one of the greatest programs in the country for my major; I feel lucky to be a student. However, a more diverse student community is something I wish was here. As a minorityI don't feel wholly represented at this school.

Tai

Its a great, enthusiastic and exciting school where learning and creativity is encouraged. Many of the professors in the sciences are helpful in communicating with you on a personal level if you have any questions, as well. There are many different communities of students and professors that you can explore to search further into your interests, whether they are career oriented or personal. Could be closer to the ocean though!

Kailey

My overall opinion of California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo would be that it is a beautiful campus with students who are there to make a difference in the world. I really liked how they offer so many opportunities for their students to thrive as individuals.

Tate

It is by far one of the best educations for your money in California. Great weather, smart students, safe place. Always tons of extra curricular activities to do throughout the week and on the weekends. Close to beach & mountains. Well diversified student body.

Matthew

I am an incoming freshman, but I visited the school and I love it there. The campus is beautiful and the town is just lovely. I cannot wait to begin attending the school in the fall. Certainly this is the school for me. Also, the girls are super hot.

Zac

Cal Poly SLO has so far been a good experience for me. In my first year I’ve met a lot of people from the dorm, I’ve rushed for fraternity, I’ve found workout buddies, and I’ve participated in off-campus line dancing that has been a whole lot of fun. And, oh, the classes have been good too. I’m in the process of requesting a change in major, the advisors have been helpful, and time is on my side since I’m requesting the change in my freshmen year. Overall, I’m happy I’m here and am looking forward to next year!

Chase

The unique atmosphere of Cal Poly is incredibly welcoming and serves to create a comfortable environment for each and every student to express themselves. The university takes every opportunity to reach out and make the college experience something memorable.

Jacob

Fantastic place to study. No end to the opportunities available to undergraduates, a rare sight at a top public university. Clear weaknesses in amenities from administration and liberal arts/"whole person" education. The strengths are overwhelming and the weaknesses are obvious, so you can already know what you're getting into.

Natasha

It has no diversity and the student body is very conservative. If you're progressive don't come here, unless you want to bear the brunt of causing all the change that needs to be done. This school has a huge agricultural background and most of the kids here are church going, Trump supporting, closed- minded, racist individuals.

Chloe

Cal Poly is located in one of the most beautiful parts of California. There are so many opportunities to explore the outdoors around the campus or even beyond the central coast. The "learn by doing" motto is lived out in every class I've taken, including GEs which is really special. The Week of Welcome, though long helps new students to get involved and transition well to the new environment. Cal Poly does have a lot of areas it needs to improve in though. The diversity of the student body and San Luis Obispo community is lacking. Because of this there isn't a lot of good ethnic food, which is a bummer. The food on campus, though improving is disappointing and always gets better on parents weekend or whenever there are anticipated visitors. This may be an issue on a lot of campuses but there are very few parking spots so it's kind of a hassle to have a car. Cal Poly does a good job of raising awareness to the issues on campus and around the world; however, because we are so far away from other communities and campuses, the city and campus can feel like they're in their own bubble and all the problems blow up. Despite all of these negative aspects, the opportunities to get plugged in and find your niche on campus are endless. If you like sports there are plenty of intramural teams. There are lots of chances to be part of drama and musical groups. We have a lot of religious groups on campus and plenty of other clubs (over 150). Students can go line dancing in town and the food off-campus is pretty good too. The farmer's market every Thursday night sells really yummy produce that is affordable for college students. Because some students feel unsafe in the campus and community, other students have worked to create an app that gives students easy access to help if they need if they are ever walking alone and feel unsafe. While I can't speak for everyone, I've noticed that the student body is willing and open to encouraging positive change.

Victoria

I think California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is really great for some people, but on the opposite spectrum is really harmful for others. Aside from academics, which are overall very good, the campus climate in terms of inclusivity, diversity, and equity is lacking severely. Without a diverse university there is a huge under-repsentation of many marginalized groups and i think that needs to be changed.

Morgan

I love Cal Poly! It’s a great place for STEM majors— the math and science buildings and classrooms are amazing, and the professors are even better. It’s only my freshman year and I have already gotten microbiology research experience. The campus is surrounded by mountains, and the view is gorgeous. It’s a great place for hiking, hammocking, and beach days, too.

Winnie

Cal Poly is a very fun environment to be in, however it gets a little bit intensive when it comes to academics. There is a lot of outdoor adventures to be found, such as hiking and sports. The environment is really nice, and the weather is almost always perfect.

Brittany

When I was in high school, I first visited Cal Poly to visit my cousin who was an Engineering major. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the campus, the engagement of the students, and the overall vibe of the student body. As a student on the campus, I was thoroughly immersed in my courses and received an excellent education. I had great relationships with my peers and professors. I felt I received a personalized education with small classroom sizes that allowed me to truly learn how to think analytically about issues. Overall, the college and town where it is located make for an incredible learning environment.

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH