Grad Program FAQs

Thank you for your interest in graduate studies at Cal Poly!

What are the application requirements?

  1. Applicants should have completed a four-year college course of study and hold a bachelor's degree in any engineering or related discipline, the mathematical, physical, or computer science disciplines from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association.
  2. Students must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (based on 4.00 scale). Exceptions will be considered if the applicant is in the top 25% of his/her graduating class.
  3. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is required.
  4. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for all applicants whose native language is not English. If the applicant received a degree in the United States, this test is waived. TOEFL test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was taken. Please refer to Cal Poly admissions website for English language proficiency requirements.

Is there a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score requirement?

If you take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), your most recent score must be at least 80 for the Internet-based test (IBT). If you take the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), your most recent IELTS score must be 7 on a 9-point scale.

Is there a minimum GRE requirement?

We do not set a required minimum GRE score. Our decision is based on a holistic evaluation of your application materials.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement

Yes, students must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (based on 4.00 scale). Exceptions will be considered if the applicant is in the top 25% of his/her graduating class.

Do you offer conditional acceptance based on achieving the required TOEFL and/or GRE scores?

Unfortunately, we do not offer conditional acceptance. At this time, Cal Poly does not have an ELS program.

Am I eligible if I have a bachelor's degree in business or in Liberal Arts?

We do not accept applications without a BS in an engineering, mathematical, physical, or computer science discipline.

How do I submit transcripts and test scores?

The application is completed and submitted via the Cal State Apply web site.

Where should my recommendation letters be sent to?

Please contact the IME office for details.

What is the tuition cost?

The estimated cost of attending Cal Poly is provided on the Cal Poly Financial Aid Office site. In the 2014/2015 academic year, the estimated tuition for graduate study is about $10K for in-state students and $21K for out-of-state students and international students. The estimated living cost in San Luis Obispo, California is about $11K per year.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, Cal Poly does provide financial aid for graduate students in the form of loans and grants. More information is available at the Cal Poly Financial Aid Office. Also refer to the Financial Resources section of the Cal Poly Graduate website.

There are other financial support opportunities including: resident tuition waivers, non-resident tuition waivers, graduate equity fellowships, teaching associate (TA) positions, and research assistant (RA) positions. Please refer to the detailed information on the Graduate Education website. Please also note that these programs are very competitive.

In addition, Cal Poly, the College of Engineering, and the IME Department provides travel support to graduate students who present papers at conferences. 

What if I don't have work experience?

While work experience is beneficial, it is not necessary. Our professors bring real world problems into the classroom. Remember, co-op and internship opportunities count toward work experience, too.

Where can I get more information?

The Cal Poly Graduate Education Office will be able to answer many questions you have about the programs, admissions, or Cal Poly.

Contact Information

Dr. Tali Freed, Professor and Graduate Coordinator
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0357

Tel: (805) 756-2544
Fax: (805) 756-5439

IME Department Office: Building 192, Room 223
Tel: (805) 756-2341
Fax: (805) 756-5439

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