California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Graduate Program Reviews

67% of users found this page helpful Was this page helpful?
of students recommend
(3.9 out of 5.0)
School rating based on 34 respondents

School Highlights

Grad. Rate
Has Online
Find an Online Degree:

School Ratings

Quality of Instruction
Student Financial Services
Satisfaction With Degree
Earning Potential
Prepared for Career

School Information

  • Website: Visit College Website
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC, + 2 more
  • Campus Setting: Suburb: Small
  • Student Population: 21,306 (20,426 undergrad)
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
  • Graduate Attendance Status: 28% part-time, 72% full-time
  • Annual Tuition: $10,866 in-state; $20,370 out-of-state
Source: NCES

Student & Graduate Reviews

3.0 out of 5.0
Degree: Social Work
Graduation Year: 2008

It provided hands on learning opportunities.
3.5 out of 5.0
Degree: Public Policy
Graduation Year: 2018

The positive is that it is one of the few state schools that offers a more traditional university experience: most students live on campus or in university housing and are following a traditional educational path. The negative is that it offers a traditional university experience. It is the most expensive CSU in the system. It seems most students attend directly from high school and finish in four years, meaning those who are older or attending part-time are few and have even fewer support services. As a student who is used to learning from my classmates as much as my professors, I was incredibly disappointed by the lack of diversity, including age, experience, race, etc. Professors know their subjects very well and most are active in their fields, making instruction in the classroom incredibly rich and informative. In terms of nationality, age, and areas of interest, they were very diverse and showed incredible empathy for their students. Most had limited experience outside of academia, so while they were very experienced in their fields, they were limited in speaking beyond that. However, they know the purpose of our education and really push us to learn and grow according to the schools motto of learn by doing, and theyve fostered amazing growth from their students. The program is small, each cohort is typically around 10 students, meaning each students receives a lot of individual attention. There is also a lot of opportunity available through the school, and the program is very proactive in making students aware of the learning and networking opportunities available. The school, however, does not seem to share the commitment to diversity and student success. Theres a lot of talk but little action towards improving diversity, supporting minority students, and creating a safe and tolerant campus. Students, clubs, and campus services are often stymied in their attempts to change the campus climate. Then again, most students seem to love it there, but most students come from a traditional background and are seeking a traditional experience, so its up to each student to determine whats most important to them in their college experience. As a working, commuting, minority student, I find the culture there a bit much. Overall, the quality of my professors and instruction was top notch, there's amazing availability of opportunity and experience, and some in my cohort have already landed great jobs. If only the program existed on another campus!
4.6 out of 5.0
Degree: Biology
Graduation Year: 2016

Great learn-by-doing mantra, excellent teachers, opportunities for extra-curriculars, amazing college town!
4.5 out of 5.0
Degree: Civil Engineering
Graduation Year: 2016

I attended Cal Poly for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university was a great place to learn with their "Learn by doing" philosophy. This hands on approach to education very effectively prepares students for the workplace in their respective fields.
4.08 out of 5.0
Degree: Biology
Graduation Year: 2017

Tight-knit community of professionals and resources available to students. Quality of professors and program is above and beyond what I was looking for. Surrounding area is very college student friendly and supports students throughout their academic career.
4.08 out of 5.0
Degree: Counseling
Graduation Year: 2016

The professional level support and education provides a consistent experience as a graduate student. Alumni and advanced candidates are connected to provide a secure, supportive social network. Coursework is manageable and allows for specific interests to be explored.
4.08 out of 5.0
Degree: Biology
Graduation Year: 2016

Cal Poly ensures that all grad students in the Biology department graduate with well-rounded knowledge of molecular, physiological, and ecological knowledge in biology. However, this also constitutes a large course load, especially when considering that each student has his or her own research project to work on, and the cost of living in the area requires many students to work on and off campus. However, graduates from the program are well equipped with marketable skills and knowledge.
4.33 out of 5.0
Degree: Higher Education
Graduation Year: 2015

The program provides a lot of support (academic, professional, and personal). The faculty is great and the material is incredibly pertinent for the field. The workload can be heavy but it is manageable and purposeful. Some cons include that the campus itself doesn't have a dominant grad program (not a lot of services for graduate students) and there is not a lot of diversity for a public school.
4.17 out of 5.0
Degree: Liberal Studies
Graduation Year: 2015

I love my program very much because you get connected right away with alumni from the program, internship opportunities, and the faculty are very accessible and helpful. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to enter a Student Affairs position. The school itself is not very supportive of graduate students and their needs, it's not very diverse at all despite it being a public school, and graduate students are still limited to the 20 hour work week when we clearly need more than that to live in the expensive community.
4.67 out of 5.0
Degree: Teaching
Graduation Year: 2014

The professors are extremely willing to help and ensure that their students are successful. The teachers that are accepting of student teachers are amazing mentors and the entire area around the school is beautiful.
67% of users found this page helpful Was this page helpful?
Disclaimer: makes student reviews available via this site. The views expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the views of takes no position with respect to the information or opinions expressed in the user comments/reviews and is not responsible for their content. For additional information, refer to our Review Guidelines.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the school of this site. With the exception of the recommend rate percentage (which is the average based student-submitted ratings to our site), all of the data is sourced either from the National Center for Education Statistics or from an official representative of the school. NCES data is updated annually to reflect the most current available data, and student review information is updated in real time. For additional information, refer to our School Data Methodology.
This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.