Grad Program FAQs

Thank you for your interest in graduate studies at Cal Poly!

What are the requirements?

    1. Applicants should have completed a four-year college course of study and hold a bachelor's degree in any engineering or related discipline, the mathematical, physical, or computer science disciplines from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association.
    2. Students must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (based on 4.00 scale). Exceptions will be considered if the applicant is in the top 25% of his/her graduating class.
    3. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is required.
    4. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for all applicants whose native language is not English. If the applicant received a degree in the United States, this test is waived. TOEFL test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was taken. Please refer to Cal Poly admissions website for English language proficiency requirements.

Do you have a required minimum TOEFL or IELTS score?

If you take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), your most recent score must be at least 80 for the Internet-based test (IBT). If you take the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), your most recent IELTS score must be 7 on a 9-point scale.

Do you have a required minimum GRE Score?

We do not set a required minimum GRE score. Our decision is based on a holistic evaluation of your application materials.

Do we have a required minimum GPA?

Yes, students must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (based on 4.00 scale). Exceptions will be considered if the applicant is in the top 25% of his/her graduating class.

Do you offer conditional acceptance with conditions achieving required TOEFL and/or GRE scores?

Unfortunately, we do not offer conditional acceptance. At this time, Cal Poly does not have an ELS program.

Am I eligible if I have a bachelor's degree in business or in Liberal Arts? 

We do not accept applications without a BS in an engineering, mathematical, physical, or computer science discipline.

How do I submit Transcripts and Test scores?

Submit your official transcript to Cal Poly’s admission office and your official GRE scores to CSU Mentor. A scanned copy of your transcript, TOEFL, and GRE score should be uploaded onto Interfolio.

How should my Recommendation Letters be sent?

In the Interfolio online application, you will be prompted to list your recommenders and their contact emails. The recommenders will receive an email with a link where they will submit their letter electronically. We cannot accept paper, mailed, faxed, or emailed versions of the letters of recommendation. All letters must be submitted electronically through Interfolio.

What is the tuition cost?

The estimated cost of attending Cal Poly is provided on the Cal Poly Financial Aid Office site. In the 2014/2015 academic year, the estimated tuition for graduate study is about $10K for in-state students and $21K for out-of-state students and international students. The estimated living cost in San Luis Obispo, California is about $11K per year.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, Cal Poly does provide financial aid for graduate students in the form of loans and grants. More information is available at the Cal Poly Financial Aid Office.

There are other financial support opportunities including: resident tuition waivers, non-resident tuition waivers, graduate equity fellowships, teaching associate (TA) positions, and research assistant (RA) positions. Please refer to the detailed information on the Graduate Education website. Please also note that these programs are very competitive.

In addition, Cal Poly, the College of Engineering, and the IME Department provides travel support to graduate students who present papers at conferences. 

What if I don't have any work experience?

While work experience is beneficial, it is not necessary. Our professors bring real world problems into the classroom. Remember, co-op and internship opportunities count toward work experience, too.

Where can I get more information?

The Cal Poly Graduate Education Office will be able to answer many questions you have about the programs, admissions, or Cal Poly.

Contact Information

Dr. Jianbiao (John) Pan, Professor and Graduate Coordinator (On Sabbatical Spring 2017)
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0357

Tel: (805) 756-2450
Fax: (805) 756-5439

Dr. Xuan Wang, Professor and Interim Graduate Coordinator Spring 2017
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0357

Tel: (805) 756-2137
Fax: (805) 756-5439

IME Department Office: Building 192, Room 223
Tel: (805) 756-2341
Fax: (805) 756-5439