California Polytechnic State University has been an educational force in the San Luis Obispo region since 1903. Development began two years earlier when Myron Angel, a journalist, envisioned an institution where residents from all backgrounds could “learn by doing.” Since then, Cal Poly has grown into a higher-education center where thousands have earned bachelor’s and graduate degrees in the past century. Modernization has kept Cal Poly on trend with digital infrastructure, centralized academic services and peer learning support programs. As expansion continues, so do new learning opportunities that prepare graduates for competitive employment in trending careers through more than 95 rigorous degree programs in six colleges. Prospective students can look to the school’s stellar reputation with regard to its academic excellence. Rankings from U.S. News & World Report place Cal Poly at No. 1 for top public schools, No. 4 in computer at schools without doctoral programs, and No. 10 among its institutional peers for best regional schools in the West. In addition, Cal Poly appears in recent lists for Kiplinger’s, Money magazine, and Payscale’s “College ROI Report” for being among the country’s most affordable best-value colleges.

California Polytechnic State University: Accreditation Details

Cal Poly retains regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to confer undergraduate and graduate degrees. Specific program accreditation is granted by professional organizations for curricular adherence to industry or business standards. Examples include the

-Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology,
-National Architectural Accrediting Board,
-Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering,
-and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

California Polytechnic State University: Application Requirements

Admissions are handled by departments for each major and requirements may vary accordingly. Applicants fall into the following categories for consideration:

-Freshmen, who have completed high school or GED programs but have not yet attended college
-Transfers, who have secondary credentials with 60 or more transferable college credits
-Graduates, who have completed a college degree from an accredited school
-International students with documented English language proficiency
-Veterans from any branch of the U.S. armed forces

Additionally, applicants can be expected to provide the following types of information:

-Official transcripts of educational records from high school, GED programs or college
-Standardized scores from the SAT, ACT, GRE or other requested tests
-Documentation of relevant work experience for graduate programs
-Documentation of domestic residency or international citizenship
-Written essays if requested by program of studies

Tuition and Financial Aid

Cal Poly does not offer a breakdown of tuition and fees per unit of study but do explain total program costs for expenses based on full-time enrollment. Current costs are $8,919 for residential undergraduates enrolled in 12 or more units of study and $10,185 for residential graduate students enrolled in eight or more units. Non-residents add $248 per unit of study. Graduate students in business pay an additional $169 per unit for professional fees. Other costs associated with programs can include fees for books, materials, transportation, or room and board. To defray these expenses, high school or Cal Poly advisers can assist students to determine eligibility for the following financial aid opportunities:

-Federal Student Aid Program (FAFSA)
-Federal Work Study Program
-Federal TEACH or Pell Grants
-Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
-Federal Perkins and Stafford Loans
-Federal PLUS Parent or Graduate Loans
-State University Grant
-State Educational Opportunity Grant
-Cal grants funded by the California Student Aid Commission
-California Dream Act Grants
-Cal Poly Athletic Grants-in-Aid
-California Middle-Class Scholarship
-Cal Poly Departmental and Program scholarships
-Leopold Wrasse Scholarships

Cal Poly Program of Note: B.S. in Computer Science

With state-of-the-art technology as its foundational core, the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is one of Cal Poly’s most popular undergraduate programs. Its curriculum maintains high standards of excellence that consistently land it at the top of nationwide rankings among similar undergraduate offerings. The degree encompasses approximately 180 quarter credits from general education requirements, upper division classes, concentrated studies in the major, and support courses in technical writing, calculus, linear algebra, and statistical methods for engineers. Degree completion can be accomplished in four years, but students have up to five to finish requirements. Content in the major focuses on the following intensive studies:

-Computer science fundamentals
-Advanced computer science theory
-Computing principles
-Computer organization
-Software engineering
-Computer architecture
-Discrete structures
-Algorithmic design
-Analysis of algorithmic systems programming
-Programming languages
-Computational theory
-Operating systems
-Professional ethics and responsibilities

Experiential learning offers students hands-on opportunities to put theory into action. Almost every course in the major involves lab activities culminating in two independent lab projects during the senior year. Courses are taught in small groups by computer science faculty, which translates into a more personalized learning environment for optimum acquisition of material. Learning outcomes from the B.S. in Computer Science program include

-applying computing and math concepts appropriately to solve problems,
-designing, implementing and evaluating computer-based systems, processes or programs to meet anticipated targets,
-effectively working on teams to accomplish common goals,
-understanding trending issues and how they affect computing standards,
-assimilating professionalism, ethics, data security and social issues into everyday work experiences,
-communicating with a diverse audiences across disciplines,
-analyzing and interpreting the effects of computing on individuals, organizations and society,
-recognizing the importance of continuing professional development,
-keeping current with techniques, skills and tools for best computing practices,
-applying math, algorithms, and computer science theory to real-life computer models and design situations,
-and constructing software systems on a continuum of complexity using appropriate design and development principles.

Graduates with this degree will be prepared for careers across industry platforms in business, education, government, retail, advertising, marketing, entertainment, legal and medical settings. They will employ career competencies as

-computer systems analysts,
-information security specialists,
-software application developers,
-programmers and web designers,
-network systems administrators,
-quality assurance engineers,
-database administrators,
-or computer support specialists.

As the digital age increases use of computer systems and programs, the need for qualified computer science professionals will continue to rise. For those with an interest in this field, earning a B.S. in Computer Science from the California Polytechnic State University could be the start of a beautiful career.

Another excellent resource:

Top 10 Best Online Masters in Computer Science Degree Programs