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Applicant Process

Here is the application process for undergraduates when applying to Cal Poly:

  1. Fully explore and decide on the major or program to which you want to apply. Cal Poly applicants must declare a major upon application and 'undeclared' is not an option. Once selections are made, major changes are not allowed until the first quarter of attendance. Selection to all Cal Poly majors is competitive and we have more qualified applicants than available new student spaces. Therefore, Cal Poly rarely considers alternate or 'second choice' majors. Choosing the major that best fits your educational goals is one of the most important decisions you can make as an applicant.
  2. Review the selection criteria for your level to ensure you are maximizing your opportunity for selection. Admission to Cal Poly is competitive in all majors and applicants are advised to read the selection criteria prior to applying.
  3. Submit your application online at by the deadline for the quarter to which you are applying. Late applications are not accepted. Do not send any supporting documents such as essays, resumes, portfolios, recommendation letters, or transcripts upon application. Applicants will be contacted if additional documents are required. Note: Unsolicited documents and transcripts will not be processed. Click here to find helpful application resources.
  4. After submitting an online application, you will be emailed by Cal Poly the following business day, acknowledging receipt of your application. 
  5. Later in the application period, after your application has been uploaded to Cal Poly's database, you will receive another email from the Cal Poly Admissions Office with instructions to access our University portal, MyCalPoly.
  6. In addition to the Cal State Apply application, transfer applicants to Cal Poly will be asked to complete a supplemental application. The supplemental application will be available on your MyCalPoly portal in January. Applicants to Art, Music, and Architecture majors will need to submit the supplemental application by January 15, 2020. Instructions for completing the supplemental application will be emailed to you in early January.
  7. The Cal Poly Admissions Office will then continue to communicate with you throughout the application process with any updates and/or further instructions.

Graduate and International applicants, and Returning Cal Poly Students should review those sections under the ‘Applicant’ tab for additional requirements beyond submitting the application.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Email is our main way to communicate with you. Be sure to add to your address list and check your spam folder for any emails from Cal Poly.

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