One of two polytechnic institutions in the 23-member California State University system, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) is a public university located in the small city of San Luis Obispo, equidistant between Los Angeles and San Francisco in southwestern California.
Established in 1901, it quickly became one of the leading undergraduate universities in the western United States. Over the years Cal Poly San Luis Obispo began to expand, offering Bachelor of Arts degrees for the first time in 1940, and today the university offers 64 bachelor’s programs, 32 master’s courses and a doctorate of education course.
The main Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus is an incredible 1,321 acres, but this is just a small proportion of the total university-owned land.
With the university ranches and property in Valencia, the total amount of university-owned land is 9,678 acres, making it the second-largest landowning university after UC Berkeley.
The campus is comprised of almost 150 buildings, which include 11 accommodation complexes with a capacity for more than 6,300 students, four galleries, the 11,000-seat Alex G. Spanos Stadium, the Robert E. Kennedy Library, and several agricultural units.
There are six main academic colleges on campus – the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, the Orfalea College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Science and Mathematics - each of which offers bachelor’s and master’s degree courses.
More than 170,000 people have graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo over the years. Among the notable former students are Peter Oppenheimer, former CEO of Apple Inc. who currently sits on the board of directors at Goldman Sachs, former American football player John Madden, astronauts Robert L. Gibson, Gregory Chamitoff and Frederick W. Sturckow, and Olympic athlete Stephanie Brown Trafton.