Student Profile

Like other universities, Cal Poly follows the progress of its students— both freshmen and transfer — by annual cohorts entering in a particular academic year. The university considers their entering academic qualifications — high-school GPA, test scores, etc. — in relation to the time required for them to graduate after completing their degree programs. This time-to-degree metric can conceal much about a group of students, but it is nevertheless a standard measure of institutional success in higher education.

In addition to this cohort-based approach, Cal Poly tracks academic information about its students at large — their class level (freshman, sophomore, etc.), unit load (full or part time), enrollment status (freshman, transfer, etc.), and academic standing (good or otherwise). The university also tracks a variety of demographic information about its students —their gender, ethnicity, California state residency, and Pell Grant status (recipient or non-recipient). These are important markers of progress toward Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong’s Vision 2022 goal to “create a rich culture of diversity and inclusivity that supports and celebrates the similarities and differences of every individual on campus.”


First-Time Freshmen Entrance Measures



4.00 was the average high school GPA for freshmen entering in Fall of 2018.




Click here to see full report of entrance measures, including standardized test results. 


The average unit load for undergraduates was 14.58, for post-baccalaureates 16.73, and for graduate students 11.30.



14.50 was the average unit load for all students. The average unit load for undergraduates was 14.58.

Enrollment by Student Level


21,037 was the total number of undergraduates. The total number of enrolled students was 21,812.





Click here to view the enrollment trends over the past 15 years.


Enrollment by Gender


48.4% was the percentage of women among all students enrolled at Cal Poly in Fall 2018. This was equivalent to 10,557 women out of a total of 21,812 students.

The percentage of under-represented minority students was 20.5%. The percentage of Pell Grant recipients was 16.5%.



See Total Enrollment by Gender for more details from 2014-2018.





Institutional Research at California Polytechnic State University (2019). 2018 Fact Book. Retrieved from

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