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Cal Poly/Cal State Schools

  1. Aug 1, 2007 #1
    Hello all,

    I used to post in this forum under another name, so I'm not a complete stranger to you all. But I suppose this counts as my "first post." Quick background on me: I'm still in junior college and I'm looking to transfer to a University. At first, I was looking at schools with really good physics programs. I am 25, very soon to be 26, and am no longer under the care of my parents. So, the cost of schooling has become a slight issue.

    My wife graduated with a degree in Engineering from Harvey Mudd 4 years ago and asked one of her old physics professors what he thought. He mentioned that the Cal Poly and Cal State (California) schools are often underrated and can be fine for highly motivated students. I've also learned that the tuition is quite affordable at these schools. I'll be meeting with him in a few months to further discuss my options and what he thinks might be best for our situation and my capabilities.

    Does anyone have any experience with these schools? Can anyone tell me a little more about their personal experience with the science programs from the California State and Polytechnical Universities?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2007 #2


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    Cal Poly is a very well-regarded school, at least for engineering and physical science. Some of the Cal state schools are quite good, but they vary tremendously, unlike the UC schools, which are almost all excellent. You'd probably have to tell us specificially which Cal state schools you're considering.

    - Warren
  4. Aug 1, 2007 #3
    I've only begun to look recently. My choices for the past year were Cornell, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and possibly even Harvey Mudd (though my wife hated her experience there.) I didn't even consider Cal State or Cal Poly until receiving that e-mail from her professor. The first school I looked at was Cal Poly SLO. I like the area more than Pomona (I used to live a few miles from there) and I hear, though haven't verified, that SLO is a little better. The department looked good online and the tuition is only about $5,000 for every 3 quarters. That certainly would help staying out of debt by the time I graduate.

    The only Cal State I'd seriously consider is possibly Long Beach. I actually have a few friends and acquaintances there and have sat in a few classes and I thought it was decent.

    For now, I suppose I'd like to get a little more info and feedback on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I think it would help in determining whether it would be a good back-up school.

    Thanks again.
  5. Aug 1, 2007 #4
    I believe cal poly SLO is an excellent school for engineering, I'm not sure about physics. One of my community college professors mentioned how its very difficult to get in to Cal poly SLO since he had a few engineering students get accepted by Berkeley but rejected by SLO.

    As for Cal States, I thought that they all had less reputation and quality than the UC's, but I could be wrong
  6. Aug 2, 2007 #5
    I've heard the same for engineering. I didn't realize it was that difficult to get into SLO, I suppose I'll talk with my current college counselor about my options. I think you are also correct about the Cal States and their reputation compared to the UC. They are generally of "lesser quality" in some areas, but still good for people who really want to apply themselves. They seem a little more hands-on whereas the UC system is geared more toward theory.

    Thanks for the replies.
  7. Aug 2, 2007 #6
    hi everybody
    i got the same problem, currently i have 3.62 GPA( still lots more hard class to finish) and doing undergrad with physics major in community college. I stay in California so i want to go to Berkeley or UCLA but m not sure whether i will get over there or no..
    as I am enrolled in honor program, UC Riverside offers Guarantee transfer, for that i have to do contract with them. (i guess even Davis offer guarantee admission )
    How is Riverside? (Davis?)
    is it worth to spend huge money (with interests) in Riverside for physics major or better to go to some cal state uni? or will i be able to get into UC Berkeley, UCLA with Okyae GPA?
    are there any alternative choices for me in California with best research opportunities?
    Plz suggest me
  8. Aug 3, 2007 #7
    I've heard some pretty bad things about UC Riverside... not all UC's are the same. For example, where it might be incredibly competitive to get into Berkeley, UCLA, or UCSD, Riverside has an automatic acceptance for people who have a particular high school GPA or higher. This says nothing of high schools which are in the bottom 10% of California (as I know of a few who did well there and went on to UCR.)

    I've really heard good things about CSULB and Cal Poly SLO. With a GPA like 3.62 from a community college, your chances look good. If you've finished the IGETC requirements and also the department admission requirements from the schools you intend to apply to, you should be okay.

    For a better idea, try this website: www.assist.org

    Good luck!
  9. Aug 3, 2007 #8
    thankx for ur thread
    i couldn't understand abt which university u r talking.. is it CAl poly, Berkeley, UCLA, UCI or csulb?
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  10. Aug 3, 2007 #9
    Avoid private schools for undergrad unless you are getting a big scholarship. You'll learn the exact same thing as you would in a public school for a lot more money.

    Stick with Berkeley, Davis, UCLA, UCSD, UCSB, or UCI.
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