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Cal Poly SLO Engineering?

JSnoopy93JSnoopy93 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
edited December 2011 in Engineering Majors
I got in and I don't feel too proud so I'd like to ask if Cal Poly Engineering is prestigious or respected? How difficult is it to get in? I applied for civil engineering and am waiting on other schools before accepting.
Post edited by JSnoopy93 on

Replies to: Cal Poly SLO Engineering?

  • ziggy90ziggy90 Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    It's a good school. It's one of the top undergrad engineering schools.
  • skbryanskbryan Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    You'll most likely get a job as soon as you graduate. They'll hook you up.
  • fermiumfermium - Posts: 83 Junior Member
    It depends on what you consider to be prestigious or respected.

    Is Cal Poly on the same footing as MIT or Princeton or even Cornell? No, definitely not.

    Is it on par with UCI, UCSB, UCD or equivalent schools? Yes, most definitely.

    Your "feel good" level obviously also depends upon your academic stats. If you are the top 1% or above of the US high school graduates population, I would say go to a better school, like Princeton. If you are top 5% go to Harvey Mudd. If you are at the top 10%-15% area, then Cal Poly would be a good match.
  • onecircuitonecircuit - Posts: 637 Member
    fermium ^^^^well said, although the UCSB engineering program has come out to be surprisingly highly ranked as per the recently issued NRC rankings of graduate school programs.
  • JamesMadisonJamesMadison - Posts: 619 Member
    Why do people always say "or even cornell" here? I've read that phrase like 3 times in the last 2 days. I would hate to be from Cornell right now. Hahaha.

    James Madison, Jr.
  • fermiumfermium - Posts: 83 Junior Member
    ha ha ha! Because Cornell is not MIT. But it is better than Brown for sure !!!

    And thank you for the kind words onecircuit.
  • norris212norris212 Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    Go UCSB! Haha. Cal Poly is good for sure. It's where I wanted to go. But I guess it depends on what your other choices are. In California, it has a better reputation than anywhere except the really elite schools. It's pretty equal to UCSD, UCSB, and maybe UCLA as far as prestige.
  • ickglueickglue Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    What are your academic stats? It will be easier to answer your question if you provide them.

    For Fall 2010, Cal Poly freshman engineering admission stats are:

    Avg. GPA: 4.03
    Avg ACT: 31
    Avg SAT: 1372 out of 1600

    So it is definitely not easy to get in by any measure.
  • calpolygaycalpolygay Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    ^Could you provide a source for those numbers?
  • ickglueickglue Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
  • JSnoopy93JSnoopy93 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    Thank you all for your input, it puts my choice into a better perspective. As for my stats, they are:

    4.15 GPA, ACT 28, SAT 1350 (I'm a bit embarrassed by my scores because they are sub-par haha)

    I'm still amazed that they chose me? I guess it was because I was Vietnamese or the rigor of my courses. Anyways, the main reason I wouldn't go to Cal Poly is because I want a more well-rounded school because I also have an interest in Medicine and International Studies. I am waiting for Brown, USC, UCLA, UCB, and Cornell at the moment. Can anyone put things into perspective for me? Again, I thank you all for your input. Much appreciated!
  • calpolygaycalpolygay Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Thank you ickglue. The thing about those numbers, is that they are inflated. The reason why OP got accepted with 4.15 GPA, ACT 28, SAT 1350 is because the average GPA, SAT and ACTs of those who enroll is less than those who get accepted. Not every applicant who gets accepted decides to attend the university.

    To put things into perspective, like OP indicates, Cal Poly SLO is a good alternative to the mid-tier UCs (Davis, Irvine, SB).

    It's not in the UCLA-Berkeley-USC league and definitely not comparable to ivy league. Someone suggesting so is delusional.

    Nonetheless, congratulations OP!
  • JSnoopy93JSnoopy93 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    ^Thank you! :)
    That makes MUCH more sense. I was going through that pdf and it had unrealistic numbers. A few of my peers got into SLO with much lower stats. Anyways, I consider Cal Poly a great backup. Wish me luck on these next colleges!
  • ickglueickglue Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    Firstly, as a disclaimer, I am a neutral observer on this subject. I am not here to promote or denigrate anyone school choices or school reputation.

    With that being said, I am not sure if I would characterize the stats as being inflated. The "inflation" you pointed out is universal to all university's admission process. I know what you mean by not all accepted students will enroll. That is true for ALL university in the US, including Harvard, my alma mater. There are students with GENIUS stats applying and being accepted into Harvard, and choose not to attend. So the enrolled students stats will be naturally lower than otherwise. This is almost universal for 99% of all US universities (HYPMS, UCs, CSUs etc).

    But even so, the admitted stats are what the university admission committee is shooting for as an average. And from looking at the historical stats of Cal Poly, their overall admission requirements trajectory is upward, so I suppose they are striving to make the averages you see in the 2010 freshman admits stats as the eventual enrolled norm. May be it will take another 5 years, who knows, but that seems to be their strategy going forward.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Cal Poly is NOT on par with the Ivies. I speak from personal experience.

    I would definitely agree with you the CP is not on par with Cal and UCLA engineering. May be 1 or 2 selective majors within CP engineering could potentially somewhat match UCLA, but not Cal.

    Where our opinion diverge is USC, I think USC is a fine school, but its not the same caliber as Cal or even UCLA to certain extent. They might be better than mid-tier UCs in most engineering majors but not all. So there again might be couple of selective majors within CP that can match USC. After all, according to USNWR, CP supposedly is better in EE than Harvey Mudd. I do take that with a grain of salt for what I cited, but Harvey Mudd is definitely better than USC.

    Now back to the OP, Please don't take it as a dig on your achievements. I don't doubt you are a great student with bright future. I am just discussing my opinion and they are just my opinion.

    Your Achilles' heel is that your ACT/SAT score is solidly below what an Ivy (Cornell, Brown in your case), and Cal engineering will be asking for. Your GPA is decent but not breathtaking. So all the schools you mentioned with exception of USC, and may be UCLA, will be reaches for your profile, UNLESS you have a great hook in your essay and for your in person interview. If you do, that's another ball game entirely.

    Just based on your numbers solely (which is NOT a holistic view of your profile) , your stats currently put you somewhere in the area somewhere between Cal Poly to UCSD, possibly UCLA, all of which are outstanding engineering schools. So Cal Poly is more of a match rather than a safety. And Cal, Cornell, Brown will be reaches. I put Cornell and Brown on about the same level (approximately) as Harvey Mudd, and both are above Cal and UCLA solidly. And I agree with the previous post that the top 5% of the US High school graduates is a match for Harvey Mudd, so this is the same for Cornell and Brown.

    I wholeheartedly support your desire wanting a more well rounded education, it is a great idea to look around at other disciplines! I think you will get that holistic experience at an Ivy for sure, and may be USC, but not a a California public university due to the severe budget cuts.

    I wish you luck at reaching Cornell or Brown. If you do, forget Cal and UCLA.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,552 Senior Member
    JSnoopy93 wrote:
    4.15 GPA, ACT 28, SAT 1350 (I'm a bit embarrassed by my scores because they are sub-par haha)

    I'm still amazed that they chose me? I guess it was because I was Vietnamese or the rigor of my courses.

    Your GPA and SAT numbers appear to be pretty close to the average accepted applicant in engineering, according to the linked file. Vietnamese is probably ORM, not URM, at the schools you listed.

    Regarding medicine, you can do pre-med in any major at any decent school, if you include the pre-med courses in your schedule. Typically, these are a year each of chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, and sometimes calculus (which is usually a prerequisite for physics anyway).
This discussion has been closed.