Cal Poly

Prospective Graduate Students

Cal Poly offers over 50 Master’s degree programs covering all of our six colleges: College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Science, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science & Math School of Education, and Orfalea College of Business. A complete listing of our graduate programs can be found at the Graduate Programs page.

Admission to Master’s Degree & Graduate Certificate Programs

All graduate master’s degree and graduate certificate applicants must complete a two step process. Step one, apply via CSU Mentor, and step two, apply via Interfolio. Applicants for master’s degree programs may only apply to one program at a time and the application cannot be transferred to another program. The two step application process is outlined here. Included in the information are FAQ's to help answer questions you may have in the process.

The CSU advises prospective students that they must supply complete and accurate information on their application for admission along with certified transcripts of all previous academic work attempted. Failure to file complete, accurate, and authentic documents may result in denial of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, or expulsion (Section 41301, Article 1.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations).

For more information, please review both the CSU Mentor Tutorial and Interfolio Tutorial

Admission to Professional Certificate Programs

All professional certificate applicants must file a complete application by submitting a dossier on Interfolio. Interfolio is the online provider that we use for prospective students. Follow the Interfolio links found next to each Certificate Program. Applications can be submitted anytime throughout the year. Applicants must supply complete and accurate information along with un-official transcripts of all previous academic work attempted. Failure to file complete, accurate, and authentic documents may result in denial of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, or expulsion (Section 41301, Article 1.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations).

See the Interfolio Tutorial for Prospective Students for Interfolio application instructions.

Contact the Cal Poly Extended Education Office if you have questions about the application process. Extended Education does not guarantee that Professional Certificate courses will be offered unless adequate enrollments are realized. Applicants for certificates involving on-line courses will not be accepted from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland and Minnesota; pending interstate distance education regulations.

For additional questions regarding the application process, please email us at gradadmissions@calpoly.edu.

Appeals to Graduate Admission Decisions

Cal Poly does not set aside spaces for students who appeal admission decisions. Every denied application has been carefully reviewed. Therefore, for an appeal to have merit, it must bring to light new academic information as well as information pertaining to extenuating circumstances that was not present in the application information that clearly shows the student to be stronger than had been earlier evidenced. Neither grades received in the current academic year nor mistakes made by the applicant on the application are a basis for an appeal or the reversal of a decision.

Submitting an Appeal

  1. Send us a formal letter requesting that we reconsider your application. The letter must come from you (the applicant) and be postmarked no later than 15 days after receipt of your original admission decision. Note: letters submitted via email or fax are not acceptable and will not be considered. Be sure to identify the graduate program you applied to and your student identification number.
  2. Your letter must clearly outline your reasons for appealing the initial decision. The information you present should be new and compelling. Your letter should not simply repeat information that had already been presented in your application.
  3. Official GRE scores should be sent directly to Cal Poly Admissions and can provide a basis for consideration beyond your undergraduate GPA scores.
  4. Letters of recommendation and personal statements or essays cannot be submitted as part of your appeal.

It is our usual practice to respond to appeals within 30 business days of the date we receive them. While all appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the rate of a decision being reversed based upon an appeal has historically been very low. All appeal decisions are considered final.

All appeals should be addressed to:

Cal Poly State University
Graduate Education Office
1 Grand Avenue.
Building 52-E47
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 U.S.A.
Attn: Admission Appeal

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© 2015 California Polytechnic State University Graduate Education
Building 52, Room E47
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-2328
grad@calpoly.edu