UC vs. Cal Poly: Preparing for Graduate School

In summary, Cal Poly does not prepare students well for transferring to a graduate school after undergrad. There may be deficiencies in the topics that are being taught, or it may be difficult to connect with professors early in one's career.
  • #1
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Hi, I read online and people say that if you want to get into graduate school, pick UC over Cal Poly. Why is that? What is missing in Cal Poly that doesn't prepare students to transfer to graduate school after undergrad?
 
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  • #2
saltine said:
Hi, I read online and people say that if you want to get into graduate school, pick UC over Cal Poly. Why is that? What is missing in Cal Poly that doesn't prepare students to transfer to graduate school after undergrad?

It really depends on the major you want to pursue. What kind of degree do you want?
 
  • #3
Hi, I am already in a graduate program. I am just asking in general. The context is engineering. Say you want to get a PhD in Civil, Mechanical, or Electical Engineering.

I read posts saying that the education (engineering) at Cal Poly (California Polytechnics) is very hands-on and practical, and many recruiters would not hesitate to hire undergrad from there. But if that is the case, what is missing there that makes people say, "Oh, but if you plan to go into research you should pick UC (University of California)."

Why isn't it advisable to just get the practical knowledge and transfer to a research university? What is missing that makes the valuable practical knowledges undesirable/uncompetitive if they were to apply to graduate school? What is missing that make them "less ready" for research?

Is there an actual deficiency in what they learn? Or is it simply a matter of not being able to connect with a professor early and do undergraduate research in undergrad, so you don't get a head-start?
 
  • #4
saltine said:
Hi, I am already in a graduate program. I am just asking in general. The context is engineering. Say you want to get a PhD in Civil, Mechanical, or Electical Engineering.

I read posts saying that the education (engineering) at Cal Poly (California Polytechnics) is very hands-on and practical, and many recruiters would not hesitate to hire undergrad from there. But if that is the case, what is missing there that makes people say, "Oh, but if you plan to go into research you should pick UC (University of California)."

Why isn't it advisable to just get the practical knowledge and transfer to a research university? What is missing that makes the valuable practical knowledges undesirable/uncompetitive if they were to apply to graduate school? What is missing that make them "less ready" for research?

Is there an actual deficiency in what they learn? Or is it simply a matter of not being able to connect with a professor early and do undergraduate research in undergrad, so you don't get a head-start?

I can't give you a definitive answer, but I'll try,

Personally, I think classes are taught with a slight emphasis on either practical or theoretical topics. Anything that is totally inconsequential in the real-world, would be most likely to be removed at a school like Cal Poly. Likewise, in research, I think knowledge of the theory and principles behind a certain topic matter more than practical applications.

Hope this helps!
 

What is the main difference between UC and Cal Poly for preparing for graduate school?

The main difference between UC and Cal Poly for preparing for graduate school is the focus on research. UCs, being research universities, have a stronger emphasis on research and academic rigor. Cal Poly, on the other hand, is a primarily undergraduate institution with a focus on hands-on, practical learning. Therefore, the level of research experience and opportunities may vary between the two institutions.

Does one institution have a higher acceptance rate for graduate school?

Both UCs and Cal Poly have competitive acceptance rates for graduate school. The acceptance rate may vary depending on the specific program and department. It is important to research and compare the acceptance rates of the specific programs you are interested in at both institutions.

Are there any notable differences in the curriculum for graduate school preparation at UC vs. Cal Poly?

The curriculum for graduate school preparation may differ between UC and Cal Poly. UCs offer a wider range of graduate programs and may have more specialized courses for graduate school preparation. Cal Poly, on the other hand, may have a more hands-on and practical approach to coursework, which can also be beneficial for graduate school preparation. It is important to research and compare the specific courses and curriculum offered at both institutions for your desired graduate program.

Are there any notable differences in the resources and support for graduate school preparation at UC vs. Cal Poly?

Both UCs and Cal Poly have resources and support for graduate school preparation, but they may differ in their focus and availability. UCs, being research universities, may have more resources and support for research opportunities, while Cal Poly may have more resources and support for practical experience and internships. It is important to research and compare the resources and support available at both institutions for your specific graduate program.

Is one institution more prestigious for graduate school preparation?

The prestige of an institution for graduate school preparation may vary depending on the program and department. Generally, UCs are considered more prestigious for graduate school due to their research focus and overall academic reputation. However, Cal Poly also has a strong reputation for producing highly skilled and practical graduates. Ultimately, the prestige of an institution should not be the sole factor in your decision, and you should carefully consider the program and department that aligns with your career goals.

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