My son is from California and is attending CU for aerospace engineering. He is a sophomore. He really loves CU and being part of all the traditions there. He wanted a "big college" life, with Division 1 football, convenience to snowboarding and also a good place for his major. He was accepted to UCLA but turned it down two years ago to attend CU and he has never looked back. It helped that the CU aerospace engineering program is now rated 14th in the country and is like the best major on campus. I do not know about all of the other engineering programs, but the department he is in is no slouch. It is a very difficult program and he has to study a lot just to keep up. He has joined a coed engineering fraternity and is participating in leadership opportunities through that. Has done Space Grant for a few semesters there. Has had a really good experience there. He did not consider USC (we are UCLA alumns!) but mainly because he hated the neighborhood where USC is. And he was oddly waitlisted at Cal Poly his year....I know Cal Poly is a great school and you could not go wrong there. It kind of depends on what kind of environment you want to live in, how small or big a school you want. For my son, CU has it all. And he is having no trouble getting his classes (unlike Cal Poly I imagine) and will be graduating on time in four years and probably will get his masters in five years since he can start taking graduate level classes in his senior year. Private message me if you have any questions. I do know the Physics department at CU is rated very high as a graduate school and it trickles down to the undergraduate department.