Hardest Majors To Get Into At Cal Poly

Caltech polytechnic is one of the two polytechnics universities in California. It is reputed for its academics and alumni, and also because of its low acceptance rates. The percentage of students that manage to get into the university is a notorious 28%. Cal poly, as the university is popularly called, has been in demand for the last decade, and hence, the competition is high, especially for its master’s programs. After all, from the academics to the placement to the faculty, everything, as reported by alumni, is a tech student’s dream. Let’s learn about ‘Hardest Majors To Get Into At Cal Poly’.

Hardest Majors To Get Into At Cal Poly

Hardest Majors To Get Into At Cal Poly

Are you a student looking to get into a master’s degree in Cal Poly? Or are you just curious about the famous majors that Cal poly has? Whatever the case, here, we list 10 majors courses at Cal Poly that will make you work hard. Of course, it will always be easier if you are already quite passionate or have a minor in the subject you want to major in. Still, it’s always great to know what you’re getting into and how much hard work you will have to put in. After all, getting into the university is already very hard, and harder for some courses than the others.

So let’s read on to finally know the toughest majors to get admitted into at Cal Poly-

  1. Psychology- Cal Poly was recently ranked 106 on College Factual’s list of the best schools for psychology majors. So you might already have guessed how popular this course must be among students. In the session 2019-20, about 128 students graduated out of Cal Poly with a psych major. 
  2. Computer sciences- In the 2019-20 session, Cal Poly gave out 169 degrees in computer sciences. According to students, the opportunities for getting good internships or placement are abundant if you are a student of this course. 
  3. Biological sciences- This again is a course that has only a few seats and thousands of applicants. Out of 630 schools, Cal Poly ranked at #59 according to a survey conducted by the College Factual. Last year, 198 students got majors in biology from Caly Pol.
  4. Marine sciences- The university owns half a mile of Avila Beach Pier. It is also really close to the Morro Bay Estuary and has ties to Central Coast Aquarium and that is why, according to Nikki Adams, a Cal Poly biological sciences professor, it is “the perfect location” for studying Marine sciences. So, that is why, although the Marine sciences courses were introduced to the academic curriculum only in 2016, they have become very popular very fast. However, they are really hard to get into and the acceptance rate is very low. 
  5. Aerospace engineering- For aerospace and aeronautics engineering, Cal Poly is ranked to be the second-best institution in California and 16th in the country(College Factuals). In this course too, the acceptance rate is pretty low. In fact, in 2019, 96 students graduated with a major in this.
  6. Political science- Again, this is a very sought-after course. Although most science and engineering courses from Cal poly are famous, this is one of the few liberal arts courses that are very in demand. The faculty and facilities are all really good and the passed out students boast of having been taught by the best professors. 
  7. Biomedical engineering- This is a course that Cal poly is known for. That is why the number of applicants for this is very high. And so, the acceptance rate for this particular majors course is about a whopping 10%. This degree comes in handy during placement, and as tough as finishing a major in biomedical engineering from Cal Poly is, it is easy to get a job because of it. 

Admission details-

Now that you know about the popular courses at Cal Poly, we shall discuss the admission procedure and other related details with you. First of all, let us see what the selection criteria for the university are. According to calpoly.edu, you have to have these-

  • A decent GPA- Last year alone, about 15000 students’ were denied admission in spite of having a GPA above 4.0. That’s why a good GPA doesn’t ensure your admission although it helps if you have it.
  • Good SAT/ACT scores- According to usnews.com, half of the applicants admitted to Cal Poly have an SAT score lying between 1240 and 1440 or an ACT score ranging from 26 to 32. But again, a quarter of applicants who were selected had lower marks than these, so don’t lose hope if you don’t have the recommended scores. Just polish your application with internships and extracurricular activities. You can send the scores of as many of these tests you have taken before applying. Your best scores from all will be considered. However, for admission in the Fall 2021 session, these scores weren’t considered as the selection criteria. 
  • Extracurricular activities and work experience- This is the last criterion that will impart to your selection in Cal Poly. Make sure that you are active in your high school and don’t just stick to your books. Cal Poly values any work experience you might have had, any activities you might have volunteered for, or any extracurricular activities, be it sports or music or anything that you might have excelled at. You might also mention any roles of importance that you might have held in an organization. 


To summarise, you have to be active in your high school years and make use of any opportunity to volunteer or work that you can. This wouldn’t only help you get into Cal poly but at any institution that you want to study at.

The admission process overall is quite simple so there is nothing much to tell regarding that. You have to fill the application online and enter the required details. You must keep an eye on the deadline and select your major only after considering the pros and cons. Lastly, we wish you all the best and hope that you get into Cal poly.