Cal Poly’s San Luis Obispo campus is the most selective school in the California State University (CSU) system. Taking less than 30% of first-year applicants, the mid-50% of enrolled Cap Poly SLO freshmen is 4.08-4.25. In other words, if you don’t have an A average, chances for success are minimal at best.  Fortunately, there is more than one way to become a Mustang as the university admits close to 2,000 transfers each year. This blog will share the Cal Poly transfer acceptance rate as well as other essential pieces of information like the Cal Poly transfer deadline, the requirements/checklist for applicants, the transfer decision date, and much more.

Cal Poly Transfer Acceptance Rate

Below we present the most current available Cal Poly transfer acceptance rate as well as historical data.

In the fall of 2022, the Cal Poly transfer acceptance rate was 18.5%. Back in the previous cycle, Cal Poly SLO received 11,047 transfer applications and accepted 1,960 individuals.

In 2021, the acceptance rate broken down by gender was:

  • Male transfer applicants: 15.8%
  • Female transfer applicants: 20.1%

When trying to get the complete picture of how difficult it is to transfer into a given school, it is important to also look at historical data. Many schools have wild fluctuations in transfer acceptance rate from year to year. As you can see, the transfer rate has been consistently in the 14-20% range in recent cycles.

Historical transfer rates are as follows:

Year Acceptance Rate
2021 17.7%
2020 19.9%
2019 14.6%
2018 15.9%

 Acceptance Rate by College

Here are the acceptance rates by college/school within the larger university.

School Acceptance Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Science 38.9%
Architecture & Environmental Design 12.0%
Engineering 17.5%
Liberal Arts 17.3%
Science and Mathematics 12.4%
Business 18.4%

 Cal Poly Transfer Deadline

The transfer deadline is November 30. The application window opens on October 1, so you can begin completing all materials at that time.

Cal Poly Transfer Requirements

All students must submit the following items as part of their Cal Poly SLO application:

In addition to meeting the transfer requirements, you’ll need to have achieved/earned the following:

  • Completion of the “Golden Four”. This includes coursework in Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Mathematics.
  • Finish 30 units of Gen Ed Requirements.
  • Completed recommended coursework for your intended major.
  • Minimum 60 UC-transferable semester (90 UC-transferable quarter units)

Cal Poly Transfer GPA

There is a minimum GPA requirement of 2.0 in order to be eligible to apply. However, this is of little relevance to the actual standards of the school. The mid-50% transfer GPA range is 3.34-3.89. The Orfalea College of Business has the highest GPA standards, but all schools are fairly close to one another.

Transfer Decision Date

The Cal Poly transfer decision date occurs by April 1 at the very latest.

Final Thoughts – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Transfer Acceptance Rate

This university only accepts upper-division transfer students, meaning that you will be starting at Cal Poly SLO for the beginning of your junior year. The cost to apply to CSU schools is $70 per

The major that you select on your application is a driving factor in the evaluation process. In the school’s own words, “We evaluate and admit students by their major and admission is competitive in all majors. Each major has its own selection criteria and required coursework for transfer students to have completed in order to be considered competitive during the selection process.”

Certain applicants will be notified in mid-January to submit a portfolio. More information is available through the Architecture DepartmentMusic Department and the Art and Design Department.

If you are looking for information on how to apply to Cal Poly SLO as a first-year student, you may find the following blog to be of interest:

Those searching for application info on other institutions may wish to visit our Dataverse pages/blogs:

Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).