Cal Poly Slo’S Computer Science Program Ranking And Overview

If you want to know how Cal Poly SLO’s computer science program ranks nationally and the details of its curriculum, research, career outcomes, and more, you’ve come to the right overview. Cal Poly SLO is recognized as having one of the top undergraduate computer science programs in the country.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover Cal Poly SLO CS’s ranking factors, curriculum specifics, opportunities like research and internships, career prospects for graduates, admissions requirements, and advice for applicants.

Whether you’re considering Cal Poly SLO for computer science or just want to learn about the program, read on for a complete look at this highly ranked department.

Cal Poly SLO CS National Rankings

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Computer Science program has consistently been recognized as one of the top public university CS programs in the nation. Its reputation for excellence in computer science education, coupled with its strong industry connections, has contributed to its high rankings.

Top public university CS programs

Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program has earned a place among the top public university CS programs in the country. According to the U.S. News & World Report, it consistently ranks in the top 20 for undergraduate computer science programs.

This recognition is a testament to the program’s commitment to providing a high-quality education that prepares students for success in the rapidly evolving field of technology.

Factors behind high ranking

There are several factors that contribute to Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program’s high ranking. Firstly, the program offers a rigorous curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on experience.

Students are exposed to a wide range of topics, including algorithms, software engineering, artificial intelligence, and data science, giving them a well-rounded education in computer science.

In addition, the program emphasizes experiential learning through industry partnerships and internships. Students have the opportunity to work with leading tech companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, gaining real-world experience and building valuable connections.

This practical experience sets Cal Poly SLO graduates apart in the job market and contributes to the program’s high ranking.

Furthermore, the faculty at Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science department are highly experienced professionals in their respective fields. They bring their industry knowledge and expertise into the classroom, providing students with valuable insights and mentorship.

The department also fosters a collaborative and supportive learning environment, encouraging students to work together and learn from each other.

Department awards and recognitions

Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science department has received numerous awards and recognitions for its outstanding contributions to computer science education. The department has been recognized by organizations such as the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) for its efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of technology.

This recognition highlights the department’s commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all students.

Additionally, the department has received accolades for its innovative research projects and contributions to the field. Faculty and students have been recognized for their groundbreaking work in areas such as cybersecurity, machine learning, and human-computer interaction.

These awards and recognitions further solidify Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program’s reputation as a leader in the field.

Computer Science Curriculum

Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program offers a comprehensive curriculum that prepares students for a successful career in the field. The program is designed to provide a strong foundation in computer science principles and theories, as well as practical hands-on experience.

Required major courses

The Computer Science curriculum at Cal Poly SLO includes a set of core courses that all students must complete. These courses cover fundamental topics such as programming, algorithms, data structures, computer organization, and software engineering.

Students also take advanced courses in areas like artificial intelligence, database systems, and computer networks.

Some of the required major courses include:

  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Computer Organization and Assembly Language
  • Software Engineering
  • Operating Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence

These courses provide a solid foundation in computer science principles and equip students with the necessary skills to tackle complex problems and develop innovative solutions.


In addition to the core courses, the Computer Science program at Cal Poly SLO offers students the flexibility to choose from a variety of concentrations and electives. These allow students to specialize in specific areas of interest or gain a broader understanding of computer science.

Some of the available concentrations and elective courses include:

  • Software Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Computer Graphics and Visualization
  • Networking and Security
  • Web and Mobile App Development

These concentrations and electives provide students with the opportunity to tailor their education to their career goals and interests, ensuring they have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen field.

Interdisciplinary opportunities

Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program also offers numerous interdisciplinary opportunities for students to collaborate with other departments and apply their computer science skills to real-world problems.

For example, students have the option to participate in interdisciplinary projects with departments such as the College of Engineering, College of Business, and College of Agriculture. This allows students to work on cross-disciplinary teams and gain valuable experience in solving complex problems that require a combination of technical and domain-specific knowledge.

Furthermore, the program encourages students to pursue internships, research projects, and study abroad opportunities to further enhance their education and gain practical experience in the field.

Hands-On Experience

One of the key strengths of Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program is its emphasis on providing students with hands-on experience. Through various initiatives and partnerships, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios, gaining valuable practical experience that sets them apart in the competitive job market.

Undergraduate research projects

Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program offers numerous opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in research projects. These projects allow students to work closely with faculty members and industry professionals on cutting-edge topics, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the field.

By participating in these research projects, students gain valuable insights into the research process and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Internship and co-op program

The program also places a strong emphasis on internships and co-op programs, providing students with the chance to gain practical experience in real-world work environments. Through partnerships with industry-leading companies, students have the opportunity to work on meaningful projects and collaborate with professionals in their field.

These internships and co-op experiences not only provide valuable industry exposure but also often lead to full-time job offers upon graduation.

Industry connections

Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program maintains strong connections with various industry partners, ensuring that students have access to a wide range of networking opportunities. Through career fairs, guest lectures, and industry-sponsored events, students can connect with professionals and gain insights into the latest trends and advancements in the field.

These industry connections often lead to internship and job opportunities, further enhancing students’ hands-on experience and career prospects.

Career Outcomes for Graduates

Employment and salary statistics

Graduates of Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program have excellent career prospects. According to recent employment statistics, over 90% of graduates find employment within six months of graduating. This high employment rate is a testament to the program’s strong curriculum and the skills that students obtain during their time at Cal Poly.

In terms of salary, Cal Poly SLO computer science graduates enjoy competitive starting salaries. The average starting salary for a Cal Poly computer science graduate is around $80,000 per year, which is well above the national average for computer science graduates.

This indicates that employers highly value the education and skills that Cal Poly graduates bring to the table.

Major hiring companies

Many top-tier companies actively recruit Cal Poly SLO computer science graduates. Some of the major hiring companies include tech giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple. These companies recognize the quality of education and training that Cal Poly provides and actively seek out graduates from the program.

In addition to these well-known companies, there are also numerous local and regional tech companies that actively hire Cal Poly graduates. This provides students with a wide range of job opportunities, both locally and nationally, upon graduation.

Further education

While many Cal Poly SLO computer science graduates enter the workforce immediately after graduation, some choose to pursue further education. Graduates who wish to deepen their knowledge or specialize in a specific area can pursue advanced degrees such as a Master’s or Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Cal Poly SLO has strong connections with renowned graduate schools and offers guidance and support to students who wish to pursue further education. The program prepares students well for advanced studies and provides a solid foundation for success in graduate school.

Applying to Cal Poly SLO CS

Admissions requirements

When applying to the Computer Science program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO), there are certain admissions requirements that applicants must meet. The university considers a combination of factors including high school GPA, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities.

It is important to note that the CS program at Cal Poly SLO is highly competitive, so it is advised to have a strong academic record and demonstrate a passion for computer science through relevant activities.

As part of the admissions process, applicants are required to submit their high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a personal statement. It is recommended to have a solid foundation in mathematics, as well as some programming experience, to increase chances of acceptance into the program.

Application timeline/tips

The application timeline for Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program follows the general application cycle for most universities. The application period typically opens in the fall, and the deadline for submission is usually in the winter or early spring.

It is important to check the university’s official website for the most up-to-date information on application deadlines.

When applying, it is crucial to pay close attention to the application requirements and ensure that all necessary documents are submitted on time. This includes completing the online application, sending in official transcripts, and submitting any additional materials, such as letters of recommendation or a portfolio of programming projects.

Additionally, it is recommended to start the application process early and give yourself enough time to gather all the required materials. This will help avoid any last-minute rush or potential issues with missing documents.

Tuition and financial aid

As with any college education, tuition and financial aid are important considerations when applying to Cal Poly SLO’s Computer Science program. The university offers various financial aid options to help students afford their education.

It is advised to explore these options and apply for financial aid as early as possible.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding tuition fees, it is recommended to visit the official Cal Poly SLO website. The website provides detailed information on tuition costs, as well as information on scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial assistance that may be available to students pursuing a degree in Computer Science.

Additionally, it is worth noting that Cal Poly SLO has a strong reputation for providing a high-quality education at a relatively affordable cost compared to other universities. This makes it an attractive option for students who are seeking a top-notch computer science education without breaking the bank.


In summary, Cal Poly SLO’s computer science program ranks among the very best public university programs nationally. With its rigorous curriculum, ample research and internship opportunities, strong career results for graduates, and highly selective admissions, Cal Poly SLO provides an outstanding education for aspiring computer scientists.

Our comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about Cal Poly SLO’s top-tier computer science program, from its ranking and curriculum to real-world experience, career outcomes, and applying to this prestigious public university program.

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