Pre-Master's Program for International Students

The Pre-Master’s program at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo is designed for international students who are academically qualified to apply for admission to the University, but have an insufficient score on the TOEFL or IELTS. The program provides an opportunity to be evaluated as conditionally eligible for a specific master’s degree, pending successful completion of the Embassy Cal Poly intensive English program and obtaining a TOEFL or IELTS score that meets the CSU standard. After earning a sufficient score, a formal application to the master’s degree program for which the evaluation was given can be submitted to apply for admission to the University.

Please note that acceptance to the Pre-Master’s program does not guarantee admission to a master’s degree program at the University. Students who have completed the Pre-Master’s program must submit a CSUMentor application and follow the standard admission process. Admission to the University will be contingent on meeting the criteria for admission articulated for each graduate program and the availability of space in the program at the time of application.

Who Can Apply?

International students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year university, with grades equal to the American GPA (based on 4.0 scale) of 3.0 and higher can apply. An F-1 visa to study in the USA will be administered through Embassy Cal Poly.

What Graduate Degrees are available through the Pre-Master Program?

The Pre-Master’s Program is only available to applicants interested in the MS in Industrial Engineering, MS Engineering with Specialization in Integrated Technology Management, MS in Fire Protection Engineering, MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Masters in Business Administration, or Masters in Public Policy.

When is the Deadline to Apply?

Pre-Master’s Program applications are accepted year-round. There is no deadline and students can apply and begin anytime. However the admission deadlines for graduate programs follow a strict time-line as outlined on the Admissions Office website. In general, students should complete the Pre-Master’s Program prior to April 1 in order to be considered for Fall Admission into a graduate program.

Apply Now

  1. Complete the Pre-Master's application: Interfolio 39441
    • Upload all required documents
    • Resume or statement of purpose in English
    • Official Transcripts (in English) with a stamp or seal of authenticity from the granting institution
    • General GRE scores taken within the past 2-years
    • TOFEL or IELTS scores are recommended by not required
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation that address your academic capabilities
  2. Receive approval of your application:
    1. The graduate coordinator for the master’s degree you wish to pursue at Cal Poly, upon completion of the Pre-Master’s Embassy English program, will review your application and make a recommendation pertaining to your eligibility for the program
    2. If your application is approved you will be notified and you can enroll through the Embassy Cal Poly website: All fees and tuition for the Embassy program will be identified on the Embassy Cal Poly website.
    3. Once you have successfully completed the Embassy program and achieve the required TOFEL or IELTS score, then you follow the process outlined on the Cal Poly Graduate Education website and submit all documents that are required to be considered for admission to the master’s degree program.

Frequently Asked Questions

My bachelor’s degree program was three years, not four years. Would I be eligible for admission to a master’s degree program at Cal Poly?

Currently, Cal Poly does not accept applicants to our graduate programs with a three-year degree.

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