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Cal Poly's National Honors, Rankings and Recognition:
A Constantly Growing List

SAN LUIS OBISPO -- Cal Poly is a nationally-ranked university nestled between coastal mountains, wine country and the Pacific Ocean in San Luis Obispo, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The university has a constantly growing list of national and international honors, rankings and accomplishments. Scroll down to see the most recent.

Results Released on Cal Poly Graduate Survey

The Career Services Department reported the most recent statistics about Cal Poly graduates:
— 93 percent are employed in jobs related to their major
— An employment rate of 88 percent, including graduate school
— Median salary of $52,000
By major, averages salaries:
— College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences: $42,000
— College of Architecture & Environmental Design: $45,000
— Orfalea College of Business: $54,500
— College of Engineering: $65,000
— College of Liberal Arts: $40,000
— College of Science & Mathematics: $40,000
For more information, visit the Career Services website.

Business Insider Ranks Cal Poly Students Among Top 40 at Public Universities in the Country

Business Insider used statistics from U.S. News & World Report to determine the smartest students among the nation's public universities. Cal Poly made the list of the Top 40.

Payscale Ranks Ranks Cal Poly 13th Median Salaries for Bachelor's Degrees at Public Universities

According to’s new 2014-2015 College Salary Report, Cal Poly bachelor’s degree graduates rank 13th in the nation, and among the top three in the state, for median salaries among public-university bachelor’s degree recipients. More statistics from the survey:
— 13th highest salary potential of 445 state schools ($56,200 starting salary, $100,100 mid-career salary);
— 3rd best school for computer science majors ($68,200 starting salary, $133,200 mid-career salary);
— 45th of 499 schools for business majors ($54,100 starting salary, $97,600 mid-career salary).
For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.

Cal Poly is the Best In the West for 22nd Consecutive Year

Cal Poly again has been rated the best public-master’s university in the West in the U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges guidebook — the 22nd consecutive year the university has earned the badge of honor. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.

Money Magazine Ranks Cal Poly one of the 'Best Colleges' for the Money

Cal Poly was ranked one of the “Best Colleges” for overall value among U.S. four-year colleges and universities, according to a survey by Money magazine. The university rated in the top 5 percent of 1,500 colleges and universities reviewed by Money as part of its “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.

Women’s Engineering Program Receives National Award as a Model Program

Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) presented its annual Women in Engineering Program Award to Cal Poly Women’s Engineering Program (WEP). The award recognizes an institution that serves as a model program by sharing its experiences and materials, hosting pre-college or retention activities/projects, improving the educational environment for women in engineering, and offering professional guidance to students and/or faculty who seek careers in engineering and science. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.

James G. Boswell Foundation Commits $8 Million to Construct Agricultural Research Center

The James G. Boswell Foundation has committed $8 million for the establishment of the “J.G. Boswell Agricultural Research Center." Plans for the research center include facilities such as laboratories to support sensory sciences, food safety, plant pathology, enology and genomics. This will allow students across the university to experience front-line agricultural research technology and enhance their preparedness for industry success. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.

Cal Poly Ranked No. 7 for Return on Investment among Public Universities Nationwide in PayScale List

Cal Poly ranks No. 7 among the nation’s public universities and No. 33 among all institutions for return on tuition investment, according to a new listing from The list includes the weighted total cost for a graduate based on in-state tuition rates along with the 20-year net return on investment. Read more at the Cal Poly News website.

Cal Poly is Among Business Insider’s 20 Public Colleges with the Smartest Students

With the rapidly rising price of college tuition, many top students are realizing they don't need to pay an arm and a leg for a quality education and that state schools deliver high-quality learning experiences. Business Insider ranks 20 public colleges with students who think it's smart to pay less.

Recreation Center Recognized as One of the Coolest in the Country

A lot goes into choosing a school: top-notch education, state-of-the-art labs, engaged faculty, the location, and many other factors. The quality of life is also important, including optimal health and fitness, and it's important to have the proper incentive to achieve both. A great place to exercise, take classes and enjoy friends, Cal Poly's Recreation Center was recognized as “one of the coolest college recreation centers in America" by Men’s Health magazine.

Cal Poly garnered spot No. 16 on the list of Most Beautiful Colleges in California

Some of the most beautiful college campuses in the country are in California, with natural beauty, great architectural character and world-class climates. Among the best of the best, Cal Poly was ranked in the top 25 Most Beautiful Colleges in the state by Colleges in California. Click through to see more.

Cal Poly Library Receives 2014 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has named Cal Poly’s Robert E. Kennedy Library as a recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. Sponsored by ACRL and YBP Library Services, the award recognizes library staff and programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution. ACRL awards are given out in university, college and community college categories. The Kennedy Library was selected in the university category for its innovations in student engagement. It is first University Library in California to Receive the Honor. Read more on the award.

Cal Poly Float Wins Crown City Innovation Trophy at 2014 Rose Parade

The float co-constructed by students from Cal Poly and California State Polytechnic University in Pomona received the Crown City Innovation Trophy at the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade held New Year’s Day. The Cal Poly float, “Bedtime Buccaneers,” depicts children, pets and stuffed animals playing on a bed-turned-pirate-ship, and featured something never before seen at the Rose Parade: a system for making the flowers themselves move, creating a ripple effect on panels of the blue flowers on the front and back of the float representing water around the “ship.” This system was conceived, designed and built from the ground up by students in the Mustang 60 lab at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Visit the Cal Poly News website for more.

Cal Poly Again Among Top 50 on Kiplinger’s 'Top 100 Best Value in Public College List'   

Cal Poly has again been named among the Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for 2014. Cal Poly ranked No. 43 for in-state and No. 34 for out-of-state for its "high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, a low sticker price, and overall great value." Read more on Kiplinger's ranking.

State-of-the Art Center for Science & Mathematics Opens at the Heart of Campus

The Warren J. Baker Center for Science & Mathematics was dedicated in November. Located in the heart of campus, the Baker Center was designed with all Cal Poly students in mind. Every student will take a class in the 189,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, where ample study spaces facilitate teamwork and studio classrooms integrate lecture and lab, encouraging students to actively discover science. Read Cal Poly Magazine for a look at the people behind the new facility.

Cal Poly Architecture Program Achieves No. 1 In National Ranking
Landscape Architecture Ranked No. 1 in the West and No. 4 Nationally

Cal Poly’s bachelor of architecture program moved to the No. 1 spot in DesignIntelligence’s latest rankings of the country’s top 20 architecture and design schools. As well, the university’s bachelor of landscape architecture program ranked fourth in this year’s listings. In addition, DesignIntelligence lists the nation’s 30 Most Admired Educators for 2014, and two members of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design received the exceptional recognition. Richard Zweifel, longtime associate dean of the college, was cited for understanding the “profession and the interaction between disciplines.” He also was recognized for “his leadership and his work with the American Society of Landscape Architects” and for his consistency and vision, which “have kept Cal Poly among the best education programs in multidisciplinary design professions.” Brent Freeby, architecture lecturer, “is known for his critical feedback and ‘tough love’ ways.” He received praise from students “for his support and knowledge,” and for pushing “them to grow and learn at a high level.” Read more on the rankings.

Cal Poly to House Multidisciplinary Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy

Cal Poly launched the Institute for Advanced Technology & Public Policy, led by former State Sen. Sam Blakeslee. The interdisciplinary institute will develop practical solutions to societal issues by informing statewide public policy through advanced technology. The nonpartisan institute is guided by a diverse advisory board of distinguished state leaders, including California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom; Jack Scott, former chancellor of the California Community Colleges and State Senator; and Charles Munger, Jr, philanthropist and reformer. For more on the non-partisan policy and technology think-tank.

Cal Poly Journalism Department Launches Integrated Digital-first Curriculum

Cal Poly’s Journalism Department is the first in the California State University system to launch an integrated, digital-first, student-run news organization as part of its journalism curriculum. Called Mustang Media Group (MMG), it is breaking down barriers that previously separated students in print, broadcast and digital news to create a full-circle media organization. Public relations students will join journalism students in many aspects of MMG, playing a key role in community engagement and marketing. For more, go to Cal Poly News.

Cal Poly Ranked Best In the West by U.S. News for 21st Consecutive Year
-College of Engineering the Best State-Funded Engineering Program in the U.S.
-Computer and Mechanical Engineering No. 1 Among Public Universities
-Electrical and Civil Engineering Second in the Nation Among Publics

Cal Poly has been rated the best public-master’s university in the West in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 America’s Best Colleges guidebook — the 21st consecutive year the university has earned the label. For more on the U.S. News & World Report ranking.

Cal Poly Named Top College for Return on Investment for English, Humanities Majors

Affordable Colleges Online has ranked Cal Poly the fifth best college in the nation for return on investment (ROI) for their English and humanities programs. Affordable Colleges Online evaluated English and humanities programs in institutions across the country and identified those with the top ROI for their graduates’ education. For more on the English and humanities rankings.

Cal Poly Alumna Wins Fulbright Award

Paige Wopschall, 2011 Cal Poly graduate, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Bulgaria. The Fulbright Program is an international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Through the program, according to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, participants exhibiting leadership and academic merit are given “the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.” For more on Wopschall.

Cal Poly Alumnus Selected for the Latest NASA Astronaut Group

Cal Poly engineering alumnus and U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Victor Glover is one of eight people named to NASA’s 21st astronaut candidate class. Glover and seven others were selected from a pool of more than 6,100 applicants. According to NASA, the new group of potential astronauts will help the agency push the boundaries of exploration, including the first human missions to an asteroid and to Mars. Glover will become the fourth Cal Poly alumnus to serve as an astronaut. The others include: Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson (Captain, USN, Ret.) (B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1969), a four-time commander on the space shuttle and recent inductee in the National Aviation Hall of Fame; Greg Chamitoff (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1984), and Frederick “Rick” Sturckow (Colonel, USMC, Ret.) (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1984). For more on Glover's selection.

Cal Poly Ranks No. 7 on List of Affordable Colleges with Highest Returns on Investment

Cal Poly has been named the nation’s No. 7 most affordable college with highest return on investment by the website Affordable Colleges Online.The Affordable Colleges Online list ranks the top 50 colleges and universities out of nearly 900 surveyed in the U.S. For more on the ROI ranking.

Cal Poly Again Among Top 20 Public Schools in PayScale Survey

For the second consecutive year, Cal Poly ranked in the nation’s top 20 public universities for college tuition return on investment, according to PayScale. Additionally, Cal Poly’s overall ranking among all universities jumped to 37 from 62. For more on the PayScale survey.

Cal Poly One of 13 Universities Targeted by Oracle Corp. for Recruiting Blitz

Computer technology giant Oracle Corp. is scouting at 13 of America’s top universities – including Cal Poly – to fill 450 sales and technical sales positions in Boston; Austin, Texas; and Redwood Shores, Calif. Through a series of on-campus events this spring, Oracle is hiring about four dozen Cal Poly students, said Martin Shibata, director of Cal Poly’s Career Services. For more on the Oracle Recruiting blitz.

Cal Poly’s Renovated Rec Center Receives LEED Gold Certification

Cal Poly’s Recreation Center, which underwent a major renovation and addition of 65,000 square feet of space from 2010-12, has received LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Gold is the second-highest certification awarded through the council’s LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, which gives building owners and operators a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. For more on the Gold LEED Certification.

Cal Poly Kennedy Library Wins John Cotton Dana Award

Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library has been awarded a John Cotton Dana Award and a $10,000 grant, an honor given annually to recognize “outstanding achievement in the promotion of library services.” The Kennedy Library was one of eight winners. For more on the John Cotton Dana award.

Cal Poly Wins Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Award

Cal Poly recently was named a winner in the ninth annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards competition. The competition, presented by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, highlights achievements that California campuses have made through innovative and effective energy efficiency projects and sustainable operations. It showcases projects other campuses can use as models to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability goals. For more on the sustainability award.

Cal Poly, UC Berkeley Awarded $1 Million Grant for Collaborative Computing Project

Cal Poly and UC Berkeley recently received a $1 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the development of the IPython Notebook, a project designed to make scientific and technical computing collaborative and interactive. Python is an open-source programming language used across a wide range of industries and fields. It is especially popular in scientific and technical computing. IPython is an interactive environment for Python programming that allows users to see the results of their code as they’re writing it. For more on the Python project.

Cal Poly’s Engineers Without Borders Named the Nation’s Premiere Student Chapter

The Cal Poly student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) was recently named National Premier Student Chapter. Founded in 2005 by a handful of students dedicated to making a global impact, the Cal Poly chapter now includes almost 200 members who are working with communities in India, Thailand and Nicaragua to implement sustainable engineering projects.
More on Engineers Without Borders

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business Among Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top B-Schools for Fourth Year Running 

For the fourth consecutive year, Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business has been named to Bloomberg Businessweek magazine’s list of the nation’s top undergraduate business colleges. This year, Cal Poly ranked 69th and was one of only three public universities in California on the list.
More on Cal Poly's Bloomberg ranking

Cal Poly Honored by White House as a Top School to Retain and Graduate Engineering Students

Cal Poly was honored by President Barack Obama as a leading school in the retention and graduation of engineering students. Engineering Dean Debra Larson represented Cal Poly at the Feb. 8 event held at the White House. She was one of roughly 40 engineering deans whose colleges do well in student retention, as determined by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
More on the White House award

Cal Poly Journalism Professors Win Best Paper Award at International Conference

Cal Poly journalism professors Bill Loving and Brady Teufel won the Best Paper Award for a paper they co-authored and presented at the recent Organization of Social Science and Behavioral Research International Conference held in Las Vegas, Nev.
More on the paper

Cal Poly Named Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars
Interim Director of International Education and Programs Also Recognized

The Institute of International Education and the Fulbright Program have named Cal Poly as one of this year’s Fulbright Scholarship Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars and acknowledged the excellent work of Raymond Zeuschner, interim director of International Education and Programs.
More on the award

Cal Poly Architecture, Design Programs Earn Top Honors Again from DesignIntelligence

Cal Poly continues to lead the nation’s architecture and design programs in an annual survey by the monthly journal DesignIntelligence. DesignIntelligence ranks Cal Poly’s landscape architecture program first in the Western region and third in national undergraduate programs in preparing students for success. Cal Poly tied with Purdue University and Texas A&M. Louisiana State and Penn State ranked first and second, respectively. The landscape architecture program also earned top honors in the category of cross-disciplinary teamwork.
More on the DesignIntelligence award

Cal Poly Makes Forbes Best Colleges List for Fourth Straight Year

For the fourth year in a row, Cal Poly ranks on the Forbes magazine list of the country’s best colleges and universities Cal Poly ranks No. 9 among California’s public universities and, just as last year, is the top-ranked California State University campus on the list. Cal Poly appears at No. 28 among the 50 private and public universities and at No. 230 overall among the 610 U.S. campuses on the list. It is the fourth year Forbes has produced the list, with Cal Poly appearing each year.
More on the Forbes best college list

Cal Poly Named Best in the West by U.S. News & World Report for 19th Straight Year

For the 19th straight year, Cal Poly has been rated the best public-master’s university in the West in U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 America’s Best Colleges guidebook.
More on the U.S. News & World Report rankings

Cal Poly Professor Receives Award for Special Education Achievements

Cal Poly School of Education Professor Michael Ruef has received the 2011 Thomas Haring Award in recognition of his efforts on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The award is given annually by the UC Santa Barbara Gervitz School of Education.

Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program Honored with 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program received the California Exposition and State Fair’s 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award for the university’s enduring contributions to the advancement of the California wine industry.

Cal Poly's City and Regional Planning Ranked No. 1 in Nation

Planetizen, the only national ranking organization for planning programs, has ranked the Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Department’s graduate program (MCRP) No. 1 nationally of all programs without a Ph.D. 

Cal Poly Earns Innovation Award at Shell Eco-Marathon

urban concept carThe Cal Poly Urban Concept Car Team drove off with the Southwest Research Institute Technical Innovation Award and a third-place finish in the urban concept car category at the 2011 Shell Eco-Marathon. The Cal Poly engineering students focused on the Urban Concept competition, which focuses on more “roadworthy,” fuel-efficient vehicles as opposed to the Prototype category with sleek, wind tunnel-tested cars that get astonishing fuel mileage.

Architectural Engineering Students Take Two First Place Finishes in Building Design Competition

Cal Poly architectural engineering students were awarded two first place and two runner-up finishes in the second annual Architectural Engineering Student Competition sponsored by the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Charles Pankow Foundation. The winners were announced at the 2011 Architectural Engineering Conference in Oakland on March 31.

Cal Poly’s Mustang Daily Captures Third Consecutive College Newspaper of the Year Honor

Cal Poly’s student newspaper, the Mustang Daily, was named College Newspaper of the Year at the College Newspaper Business and Advertising Manager (CNBAM) National Convention on April 2 in Nashville, Tenn. It’s the third consecutive year the paper has earned this title, which goes to the school with the most points, earned by placing first, second or third in the annual contest’s categories.

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business Again Named to Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s List of Top B-Schools

For the third consecutive year, Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business has been named to Bloomberg Business Week magazine’s list of the nation’s top undergraduate business colleges. This year, Cal Poly was ranked no. 73 and was one of only three public universities in California to be included on the list.

Cal Poly Retains Top 50 Ranking on Kiplinger List

Washington, D.C.-based business publication Kiplinger’s Personal Finance again named Cal Poly as one of its “100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2010-11” in its February magazine. Cal Poly retains its spot at No. 50 on the list of 100 public universities from around the U.S. for in-state students and moves up 14 spots to No. 33 for out-of-state students.

Cal Poly Named Best Public Undergraduate Architecture School

Cal Poly was recently ranked the top public undergraduate architecture school in the nation, alongside Virginia Tech, in an annual survey by DesignIntelligence. The university ranked fourth overall behind Cornell, Syracuse and Rice universities.

Mustang Daily Earns National Honors

The Mustang Daily, Cal Poly’s student-published daily newspaper, earned two Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker honors, which were announced at the National College Media Convention in Louisville, Ky., in October. For the second time in four years, the newspaper’s website,, received the Pacemaker in the large-school newspaper category.

Cal Poly Grads, Alumni Earn Top Starting Salaries

Cal Poly graduates and alumni top all other UC and CSU campuses and plenty of private universities when it comes to their median starting career salaries. At mid-career, their median salaries top all UC and CSU grads except Berkeley's and San Diego's, and are still ahead of many private university grads. But Cal Poly offers alumni — and parents — a greater 'return on investment' than private universities and UCs by delivering that earning power at much less cost. Those are among the latest findings in a growing evaluation of university costs and benefits compiled by two independent groups.

Cal Poly Named 2011 Campus Sustainability Leader has named Cal Poly a Campus Sustainability Leader for 2010 for its ongoing efforts in sustainable campus practices. Cal Poly received overall B+ for 2011 on the annual College Sustainability Report Card, for the second year in a row. It is the only California State University campus to earn the award this year.

Cal Poly Business, Engineering Produce the Best Hires In the Nation,
According to Wall St. Journal Report

Cal Poly is among the top universities in the nation at producing the best graduates to hire in business and engineering, according to recruiters polled by the Wall Street Journal as part of a special report. Cal Poly business grads are on par with Stanford, Harvard, Penn State and UC Berkeley, while engineering grads top those of UCLA, Rensselaer, Carnegie Mellon and more. The rankings are part of a Wall Street Journal report on "Paths to Professions" released earlier this fall.
See the WSJ breakout of recruiter bests 'by major'
See what recruiters told the WSJ about Cal Poly grads
Read the WSJ 'Paths to Professions' package

Cal Poly Engineering Earns National Accreditation

Cal Poly’s College of Engineering recently received accreditation for 11 of its degree programs – including a first-time accreditation for the Software Engineering established in 2003. ABET—the accreditor for university programs in computing, engineering and technology—awards the stamp of approval that assures program quality and adds value to diplomas. Getting that approval involves an ongoing process that culminates in an on-site visit by a team of evaluators every six years.

Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department Earns National Reaccreditation

After completing an extensive self-study and hosting a site visit by a three-member team of industry and education experts, the Graphic Communication Department at Cal Poly has received national re-accreditation effective Sept. 1, 2010-Aug. 31, 2016. The Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications, Inc. awarded the academic accreditation. A formal presentation was made and a recognition plaque was given to faculty and administrative representatives from Cal Poly during the Oct. 3 annual ACCGC Board of Directors meeting in Chicago.

Cal Poly 'Best in West' 18 Years in a Row in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Cal Poly - aerial shotFor the 18th year in a row, Cal Poly has been rated the best public-master's university in the West by U.S. News & World Report, in its 2011 America 's Best Colleges guidebook. The magazine ranked Cal Poly No. 6 among all private and public universities in the West. Cal Poly is ranked in a category of universities which grant bachelor's and master's degrees. Cal Poly’s College of Engineering also moved up one spot - No. 2 public engineering program in the nation, just behind the U.S. Military Academy. Cal Poly was featured on the Aug. 17 "Today Show" video segment on the U.S. News rankings as one of the nation's "Up and Comer" universities to watch.
See the 'Today Show' segment

Cal Poly is No. 1 Spot for Aero Recruiting

Aviation Week & Space Technology recently named Cal Poly the best place in the nation to recruit for employees. Cal Poly tops Georgia Tech, Penn State, Virginia Tech and MIT

Forbes Magazine Ranks Cal Poly Among 'Best Colleges' in U.S.

Cal Poly ranks in the top third of universities in the nation on the latest Forbes magazine "Best Colleges in the U.S." rankings.

Orfalea College Up in 'Business Week' Rankings

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business once again has been named to Business Week magazine’s list of the nation’s top undergraduate business colleges -- one of only two public universities in California to make the list.

Forbes Puts Cal Poly Among Nation's Top Colleges

Cal Poly has been named one of America’s top colleges and universities by Forbes magazine. Cal Poly is No. 27 on the list of the country's 100 best public universities.

Professionals Give Cal Poly Top Ranking for Producing Best Architecture Hires in the Nation

Cal Poly’s Architecture Department ranked third among undergraduate programs in the annual DesignIntelligence survey.

Architecture, Ag Among Nation's Best

Cal Poly is among the Top 10 schools in the nation in granting degrees to Hispanic, Asian and other minority students in agriculture, architecture and engineering.

More about Cal Poly