C
#7 Best Public Universities in California

Cal Poly Admission Requirements

San Luis Obispo, California

 2 Reviews

Chances of getting into California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

Acceptance Rate

Admitted 
38%
Admission Difficulty for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Very High 
Applicant Competition High 
How hard is it to get into Cal Poly and can I get accepted?

The acceptance rate at Cal Poly is 38%.  It ranks #18 in California and #133 in the nation for lowest rate of acceptance. Cal Poly is a highly competitive school to get into with a lesser chance of acceptance for qualifying applicants. Last year, 20,127 out of 52,371 applicants were admitted.

The school has very high admission requirements for SAT and ACT scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 20 percent (SAT 1220/1410 ACT 26/32). California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo typically accepts and attracts "A-" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.99. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class. 24% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

The Cal Poly application fee is $70 and applications are due by Nov 30.

Testing Requirements

You are required to submit admission test scores with your application. California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo is not a test optional school. Note: Please consult the school directly to confirm the most up to date testing requirements.

Cal Poly SAT Scores

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 
1220-1410
Applicants Submitting SAT 
75%
SAT Scores for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 25th 610
SAT Math 25th 610
SAT Composite 25th 1220
SAT Scores for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 75th 690
SAT Math 75th 720
SAT Composite 75th 1410
Average SAT Score 1320

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for students to be admitted to California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo?

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo typically prefers applicants to be in the top 22 percent of SAT test takers. The school consistently takes SAT composite scores down to 1220 on a 1600 scale, below which admission should be considered a reach. We estimate some students could be accepted with SAT's as low as 1120. The estimated average SAT composite for admitted freshman is 1320 out of 1600. Cal Poly ranks #14 in California and #108 in the nation for highest average SAT composite score. A competitive SAT score is critical as 75 percent of applicants submit SAT scores to the school.

Find other colleges with similar SAT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1410 and Above Good >54%
1315 to 1410 Avg + 38%-54%
1220 to 1315 Avg - 24%-38%
1125 to 1220 Reach 15%-24%
Less than 1125 Low <15%
Calculate My Chances 

Cal Poly ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 
26-32 
Applicants Submitting ACT 
57%
ACT Scores for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 25th 25
ACT Math 25th 26
ACT Composite 25th 26
ACT Scores for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 75th 34
ACT Math 75th 31
ACT Composite 75th 32
Average ACT Score 29

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for prospective students to get into Cal Poly?

Admission data indicates that Cal Poly regularly accepts students with ACT's of 26 and above. Successful applicants typically send ACT scores in the top 18 percent nationally. We estimate the school accepting minimum ACT composite scores around 23 in some instances. Prospective students submitting an ACT composite of 29 or higher should be in the upper half of applicants - and students with a 32 and above have very competitive chances. The school ranks #13 in California and #100 in the U.S. for highest average ACT composite score. 57 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
32 and Above Good >54%
29 to 32 Avg + 38%-54%
26 to 29 Avg - 24%-38%
23 to 26 Reach 15%-24%
Less than 23 Low <15%
Calculate My Chances 

Cal Poly GPA

Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 
3.99
Typical High School Grades 
A-

What GPA do you need to get into California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo?

Applicants require exceptionally good grades to get into Cal Poly. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo was 3.99 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A- students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #5 in California for highest average GPA. Even with a competitive GPA, admission to Cal Poly will be challenging as the school denies more applicants than it admits.

 What do these ratings mean?

Explore more colleges with similar GPA requirements

High School GPA's for admitted California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 58.38% Avg +
3.75 to 3.99 25.09% Avg -
3.50 to 3.74 11.3% Reach
3.25 to 3.49 3.95% Reach
3.00 to 3.24 1.08% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 0.18% Reach
2.00 to 2.49 0.02% Low
1.00 to 1.99 0% Low
less than 1.00 0% Low

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2021

Other Colleges to Consider 

High School Class Rank

55% of California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo freshman were in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class.

High School Class Rank for admitted California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 55%
Top 25% of class 86%
Top 50% of class 99%
Data Source, Peterson's Data

Applying

Admission Statistics

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 25,732 26,639 52,371
Accepted 10,935 9,192 20,127
Acceptance Rate 42% 35% 38%
Enrolled 2,375 2,414 4,789
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 22% 26% 24%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Fall 2022 Application Deadline

Applications are Due
Nov 30, 2022
Days left to Apply
65

Applicants have 65 days left until the Fall 2022 term applications are due on Nov 30, 2022.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo is $70.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and what student information is used for admission decisions?

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo Application Requirements
Test Scores Required
High School GPA Required
High School Class Rank Neither required nor recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Required
Recommendations Neither required nor recommended
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences No

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=110422 IPEDS survey data for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

FAQs

Does California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo prefer SAT or ACT?

75% of students submit their SAT scores to Cal Poly. 57% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo?

38% of those who apply are granted admission to Cal Poly. Admission competition is high and the college has very high admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1220 and 1410. 75% of students submit SAT scores when applying. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 26 and 32. 57% of students submit ACT scores when applying. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.