Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive public university located in San Luis Obispo, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's Central Coast. It is a distinctive learning community offering academically focused students a hands-on educational experience that prepares them for today's scientific and technical world.
A Cal Poly education pays off. For the past decade, 89.2 percent of Cal Poly students report working full-time or attending graduate school within one year of graduation. A full 89.2 percent of 2007–2008 grads are working full-time or attending graduate school—70.2 percent are working full time, and 18.9 percent went on to graduate school. And 94 percent of those employed are in fields relating to their college degrees.
For the 18th year in a row, Cal Poly has been rated the best public-master's university in the West by U.S. News & World Report, in its 2011 America 's Best Colleges guidebook.
Cal Poly moved up to 6th in the magazine's overall list of the West's best universities, including both public and private institutions, that provide "a full range of undergraduate and master's-level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs." U.S. News ranks colleges that grant doctoral degrees, such as those in the University of California system, in a separate category.
Cal Poly’s College of Engineering program ranked second among public engineering programs, bested only by the U.S. Military Academy, for schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's. A number of College of Engineering programs ranked high in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs in their individual specialty categories. The university’s industrial and manufacturing, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering programs were each ranked as the top program at a public university in their respective specialty categories. Cal Poly’s civil and environmental engineering program was ranked the second best program at a public university.
Cal Poly ranks third nationally among public universities in a Forbes.com ranking of college campuses, based on a study that looks at earnings of alumni at colleges around the country.
Forbes.com says it bases its ratings on the salaries of college degree holders who have 10 to 20 years of work experience.