California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

For the liberal arts college in Claremont, California, see Pomona College. For Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, see California Polytechnic State University.

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Motto Latin: Instrumentum Disciplinae
Motto in English
Application of Knowledge
Type Public
Established 1938 (as Cal Poly Voorhis Unit in San Dimas, California)[1]
Endowment $90.2 million (2015)[2]
President Soraya M. Coley[3]
Provost Sylvia A. Alva[4]
Academic staff
1,069 (2012)[5]
Students 23,717 (Fall 2015)[6]
Undergraduates 22,149 (Fall 2015)[6]
Postgraduates 1,568 (Fall 2015)[6]
Location Pomona, California, U.S.
34°03′23″N 117°49′18″W / 34.05639°N 117.82167°W / 34.05639; -117.82167Coordinates: 34°03′23″N 117°49′18″W / 34.05639°N 117.82167°W / 34.05639; -117.82167
Campus Suburban, 1,725 acres (698 ha)[7][8]
Colors Green and Gold[9]
Athletics NCAA Division IICCAA
Nickname Broncos
Mascot Billy Bronco[10]
Affiliations California State University,
Western Association of Schools and Colleges,
American Association of State Colleges and Universities

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (CPP, Cal Poly Pomona, or Cal Poly[Note 1]) is a public polytechnic university located in Pomona, California, United States. It is one of two polytechnics in the 23-member California State University system and one of only seven in the United States. The campus is the second largest in the CSU, and with an enrollment of 22,156 students, and is the second largest polytechnic university in the United States. In Fall 2013, it had 1,059 faculty, of which 442 (or 42 percent) were tenure track.[11]

The university is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Cal Poly is one of three CSUs, and one of only five California institutions, with this distinction.[12] The university has the oldest and largest Hospitality Management College in California, and one of the largest in the US with over 1,000 students.[13] Additionally, Cal Poly has the largest civil engineering student population in the nation.[13] It is the only university in Southern California to grant bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture.[14]

Cal Poly Pomona currently offers bachelor's degrees in 94 majors, 39 master's degrees, 13 teaching credentials and a doctorate across 9 distinct academic colleges.[15][16][17] The university is one among a small group of polytechnic universities in the United States which tend to be primarily devoted to the instruction of technical arts and applied sciences.

Cal Poly Pomona began as the southern branch of the California Polytechnic School (today known as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) in 1938 when a completely equipped school and farm in the city of San Dimas were donated by Charles Voorhis and his son Jerry Voorhis.[18][19] The satellite campus grew further in 1949 when a horse ranch in the neighboring city of Pomona, which had belonged to Will Keith Kellogg, was acquired from the University of California. Cal Poly Pomona, then known as Cal Poly Kellogg-Voorhis, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo continued operations under a unified administrative control until they became independent from one another in 1966.

Its sports teams are known as the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos and play in the NCAA Division II as part of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Broncos sponsor 10 varsity sports and have won 14 NCAA national championships. Current and former Cal Poly athletes have won 7 Olympic medals (3 gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze).


Let it be the Cornell of the Pacific... where any person can find instruction in any study.

Myron Angel, founder of the California Polytechnic School, San Luis Obispo, CA. January 7, 1899.[20][21]

Cal Poly at Pomona stands on the former Arabian horse ranch of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg.

Events leading to the foundation of present-day Cal Poly at Pomona began with the demise of the Voorhis School for Boys in San Dimas, California and its acquisition by the San Luis Obispo-based California Polytechnic School in 1938.[22]

The California Polytechnic School was founded as a vocational high school when California Governor Henry Gage signed the Polytechnic School Bill on March 8, 1901 after its drafting by school founder Myron Angel.[23] Voorhis School, on the other hand, had been established in 1928 as a private vocational school which provided elementary schooling for underprivileged boys and operated under the Christian religious principle, "education coupled with the Kingdom of God".[24][25] Its founder Charles B. Voorhis and headmaster Jerry Voorhis maintained the school opened throughout the worst years of the Great Depression but persistent economic pressures forced them to transfer control to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1938.[26] Hence, Voorhis School became the Cal Poly-Voorhis Unit and its educational offerings were raised to the same level as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s, then a two-year college.[27] The horticulture program was moved to the new satellite campus and the two units operated as one institution spanning two locations under the leadership of president Julian McPhee.[28]

Aerial view of the Campus

During World War II most of the student body was called to active military duty, enrollment declined and the campus closed in 1943.[28][29] Reopening after the war, Cal Poly-Voorhis Unit operated in San Dimas until 1956 when it moved to Will Keith Kellogg’s former horse ranch in the neighboring city of Pomona, California.[30] Acknowledging its Kellogg legacy, Cal Poly-Voorhis Unit changed its name to Cal Poly Kellogg-Voorhis Unit and offered six programs in agriculture.[30] The inaugural class of 1957 at the new campus consisted of 57 students graduating with bachelor’s degrees in a ceremony held at the Rose Garden in Pomona and religious services at Voorhis Chapel in San Dimas.[31][32] Also in 1957, Cal Poly Kellogg-Voorhis introduced the College of Engineering, the second academic unit after the College of Agriculture.[33] The California Master Plan for Higher Education added the two Cal Poly campuses to the new California State College system in 1961 and Cal Poly Kellogg-Voorhis Unit opened its doors for the first time to 329 female students.[30] President McPhee retired in 1966, and Cal Poly split into two different and independent universities. The partnership between the two campuses remains with their involvement in the annual Cal Poly Universities Rose Float.[27][34]

To better reflect its new ties to the California State College system, Cal Poly Kellogg-Voorhis changed its name to “California State Polytechnic College, Kellogg-Voorhis” in 1966 and became the 16th campus to officially join the CSC system.[30] Robert C. Kramer assumed presidency of the independent campus in 1966 (second overall as the university recognizes McPhee as its first) and California State Polytechnic College, Kellogg-Voorhis finally adopted its present-day name California State Polytechnic University, Pomona on June 1, 1972.[35][36]

In 1998, Cal Poly Pomona received criticism when it planned to grant an honorary degree to Robert Mugabe. Mugabe’s negative humanitarian record as president of Zimbabwe lead to protests from staff, faculty and students, ultimately forcing the university to rescind the award.[37]

Cal Poly Pomona underwent further growth in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with the construction of the CLA Building (soon to be demolished),[38] academic facilities, expansion to the Cal Poly Pomona University Library and the addition of programs such as the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies, the I-Poly High School and the U.R. Bronco undergraduate research program. Under then-president J. Michael Ortiz, Cal Poly Pomona launched its first comprehensive capital campaign in fall of 2008 to increase its permanent endowment. Nevertheless, the negative economic effects caused by the late-2000s recession has increased student fees, reduced enrollment availability, eliminated two athletic programs and introduced a mandatory furlough calendar for most of its 47,000 employees.[39][40][41][42]


The campus' office of public affairs recognizes two official names for the university: "California State Polytechnic University, Pomona" and "Cal Poly Pomona".[43] However, "Cal Poly" has also been used to refer to Cal Poly at Pomona, as both itself and California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, California were one institution spanning two locations from 1938 to 1966.[44] Cal Poly's office of public affairs recommends not to abbreviate the university's name merely as "Cal Poly".[43] In the years when the University of California was in charge of Kellogg's donated estate in Pomona (1932–1943), the names "University of California, W.K. Kellogg Institute" and "W.K. Kellogg Institute of Animal Husbandry University of California, Pomona", came into use to describe the site.[45][46] Although Cal Poly Pomona is now part of the California State University, its naming convention does not follow that of most campuses within the system (for example, the CSU campus in San Diego bears the full official name "San Diego State University" and the CSU campus in Fullerton uses the name "California State University, Fullerton").[47][48] Thus, "Pomona State University" and "California State University, Pomona" are seldom used and not in the university's graphic standard's manual.[43]


Cal Poly at Pomona
Downtown Los Angeles
Cal Poly is located about 30 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles.[49]

Cal Poly Pomona is situated in Pomona, a largely suburban city that is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The city of Pomona is located in the eastern portion of Los Angeles County and borders the neighboring county of San Bernardino to the east. The university’s 1,725 acres (698 ha) campus[50] make it the second largest in the California State University system,[51] a figure which includes various facilities scattered throughout Southern California such as a 53-acre (21 ha) ranch in Santa Paula, California, 25-acre (10 ha) campus at the former Spadra Landfill (now known as "Spadra Ranch"),[52][53] and the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in West Los Angeles. The university is currently negotiating the transfer of the 302 acre Lanterman Developmental Center from the State of California. The land is to be used for academic purposes and expansion of the Innovation Village and also shared by the California Highway Patrol, the California Air Resources Board and the California Conservation Corps. The transfer of the land is part of the Governor's 2015-2016 Proposed Budget.[54]

The old horse stables at Cal Poly

Although part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the university is in close proximity to two other large metropolitan and culturally-defined regions, the Inland Empire and Orange County.[55] The university has a tier 1 area, defined as a geographical admissions region surrounding the campus, roughly bounded by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, the city of Chino Hills to the south, Interstate 605 to the west, and Interstate 15 to the east.[56] Cal Poly Pomona's campus buildings vary in age and style from the Mission Revival Kellogg Horse Stables and the Kellogg House (suggesting the Spanish colonial architectural heritage of Southern California) built in the 1920s; the modernist box-like portion of the library completed in 1969; to contemporary dormitories, engineering, science and library-expansion facilities completed in the early 21st century.[57]

Leisure and recreational locations include a rose garden which dates back to the Kellogg horse ranch years; the Kellogg House designed by Los Angeles-based architects Charles Gibbs Adams, Myron Hunt and Harold Coulson Chambers in the 1920s; and a 1.3 acres (0.53 ha) Japanese garden built in 2003 and designed by Takeo Uesugi.[58][59] Kellogg’s House features grounds which were initially landscaped by Charles Gibbs Adams but were later completed by Florence Yoch & Lucile Council.[58][60] Cal Poly Pomona's George and Sakaye Aratani Japanese Garden is one among four under management by institutions of higher education in the County of Los Angeles, the others being the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at Cal State Long Beach, the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden at UCLA, and the Shinwa-En Garden at Cal State Dominguez Hills.[61] At the center of the campus and atop Horsehill are the buildings of the Collins College of Hospitality Management and Kellogg West, a hotel and conference center and home of the student/faculty-run Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.

At the northwest part of the campus is the Voorhis Ecological Reserve, which serves as a 31 hectares (77 acres) wildlife corridor containing Coastal Sage Scrub and Coast Live Oak trees among others.[62] Contrasting some of these architecturally prominent facilities, there are various portable buildings on campus which are used to accommodate the growing enrollment of recent decades. Cal Poly Pomona operates the International Polytechnic High School, a college preparatory high school located on campus.

Cal Poly Pomona's dominant landmark is a futurist-styled administrative facility known as the CLA Building which was designed by Antoine Predock and opened in 1993. The building’s peculiar shape (standing out by a triangular-shaped “skyroom” atop its eight-story tower[63]) has become a symbol of the university; in addition, its close location to film studios based in the Hollywood borough of Los Angeles have prompted its inclusion in motion pictures such as Gattaca and Impostor.[64] In 2013, the California State University Board of Trustees voted to demolish the building and replace it with a new academic/faculty complex because of severe seismic risks.[38]

Cal Poly Pomona's new South Campus

Noted modernist architect James Pulliam once served as campus architect and instructor and designed the Bookstore, W. Keith and Janet Kellogg Art Gallery, Interim Design Center (IDC) and Student Union building which architectural historian David Gebhard regarded as the best building on campus.[65]

Academic and research facilities

The W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center is an academic and research facility serving one of the 22 terms and conditions to the donation of the Kellogg ranch by maintaining Kellogg’s purebred Arabian horses and their breeding program. Another academic facility highlighting the Kellogg legacy is the Horse Stables (also known as University Plaza) which contains a small research library specializing in equine studies along with offices for student services and various campus organizations.

Cal Poly's Voorhis Ecological Reserve

Conceived in 1995 by then university president, Bob H. Suzuki, and initially financed by NASA and the Economic Development Administration, the Innovation Village is a 65-acre (26 ha) public/private partnership research and business facility at the southern edge of the campus. Major tenants include the American Red Cross, Southern California Edison, and the NASA Commercialization Center.[66] The project is currently at the halfway mark of building and leasing 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of the projected total building space. Once complete, it is estimated that the project would employ 2000 to 3000 people and provide half a billion dollars of economic benefits to the local, regional and state economies.[67]

Campus sustainability and transportation

The main quad at Cal Poly

The university has actively sought to reduce carbon emissions and energy usage on campus. In November 2007, Cal Poly became a signatory member of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.[68] Among other things, this committed the university to ensure that within one year, it would purchase or produce at least 15% of the institution's electric consumption from renewable sources. The university, along with other members in the CSU, is also a member of the California Climate Action Registry.[69] and lists on The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges.[70]

Cal Poly Pomona's institute for sustainability education is the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies. The center was built adjacent to an old landfill and conducts research in the areas of sustainable technology and agriculture. As an example of Cradle to Cradle Design, it uses solar-powered dormitories, aquaculture ponds, and organic gardens while providing an environmentally-sustainable housing accommodation for 22 graduate students. In 2010, with the installation of a 210,000 kW hours CPV system by Amonix, the center became the first carbon neutral facility in the California State University system.[71] The center is part of Agriscapes, a 40-acre (16 ha) research project that showcases environmental and agricultural sustainable practices including methods to grow food, conserve water and energy and recycle urban waste. Agriscapes is home of the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch which sells locally and campus grown foods and products. The Cal Poly campus also contains a rainforest greenhouse, a California ethnobotany garden, and an aquatic biology center collectively known as BioTrek, which provides environmental education to all academic levels.[72]

The entire campus community is served by a free campus shuttle system known as "Bronco Express". The shuttle system has 3 lines and is run by the office of Parking & Transportation Services (PTS).[73] In addition, PTS also offers a shuttle service known as "BroncoLink" which provides both students and faculty a direct connection from the Pomona North and Downtown Pomona Metrolink stations to the CLA Building.[74]

Foothill Transit lines 190, 194, 195, 289, 480, 482, and 486 serve the campus daily.

Seismic risks and other challenges of campus development

Although it's believed that the San Jose Fault runs through campus, and geotechnical investigations have been conducted, there is uncertainty regarding its precise type and location. The CLA Building suffers from structural flaws, most notably, water intrusion. In 2005, the university filed a lawsuit against a contractor, for which it was compensated $13.3 million in an out-of-court settlement.[75] Amid these concerns, on September 2010, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a proposal to have the building razed.[76]

Hideo Sasaki's architectural firm Sasaki Associates, Inc. found in the February 2010 master plan that the campus's seismic risk, uneven terrain, lack of parking spaces, small classrooms, and pedestrian-unfriendly roads are major constraints for future campus development. It also indicated the lack of identity, an undefined sense of arrival, and a desire to build a stronger on-campus community, among others, as recurrent themes among campus's users. Nonetheless, the firm highlights campus ethnic diversity, its location-climate, and the natural beauty of campus, among others, as positive aspects of the physical campus as well as the campus life experience.[77]

Organization and administration

College founding
Year founded

Business Administration
Education and Integrative Studies
Environmental Design
Hospitality Management (Collins)
Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences

Cal Poly at Pomona is one of two polytechnics[83] in the 23-member California State University system.[84] The CSU system is governed by a 25-member board of trustees, including one faculty trustee, one alumni trustee, and two student trustees, and has authority over curricular development, campus planning, and fiscal management.[85][86] The university system is currently governed by Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who assumed the office in 1998.[87]

The chief executive of the Cal Poly Pomona campus is President Soraya Coley.[88]

Cal Poly Pomona is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)[89]

University Educational Trust (UET)

The University Educational Trust (UET) is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization serving as a source of external fund-raising, funds-management and revenue-distribution at Cal Poly Pomona. With diminishing state support in recent years, the university has become not fully state-supported, but rather, state-assisted.[90] UET oversees Cal Poly's endowment and generates resources with help of public and private partners to complement state-support and is recognized by the CSU Board of Trustees as a Title V auxiliary organization.[91] It has a total capacity for up to 35 members and currently includes 4 officers, 18 community representatives, and 5 university representatives.[92] The board of directors is composed of the university president who acts as an ex officio voting director and who appoints one ex officio executive director, one faculty member, one student member, and either the vice president for administrative affairs or the chief financial officer. All of the appointed voting directors serve one-, two-, or three-year terms and one-year terms thereafter, as determined by the university president. Other voting directors are elected by majority votes of present voting directors and serve three-year terms and may be re-elected for as many additional three-year terms as possible.[93]


Cal Poly Pomona financial endowment was valued at $90.2 million as of June 30, 2015.[2] In fall 2010, Cal Poly embarked on its first comprehensive fundraising campaign.[94] Early major donors helped raise more than half of the campaign's goal of $150 million before its formal launch. They included an anonymous benefactor who pledged $12 million,[95] and $2 million from 1980 alumni Mickey and Lee Segal.[96] Just before the campaign launch, on July 26, 2010, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a $42 million challenge grant to the university to increase educational access to underrepresented communities, making it the largest cash gift in the history of the CSU system.[97][98] On February 28, 2011, Panda Express founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng announced a $2.5 million pledge to Cal Poly's Collins College of Hospitality Management.[99] The university expects that its permanent endowment at the conclusion of its first comprehensive campaign will top $100 million.[100]


The main entrance of the library following the renovation.

Cal Poly Pomona's academic offerings have evolved throughout the years. Prior to the ownership shift to Cal Poly SLO in 1938, the Voorhis School for Boys in San Dimas had been providing educational offerings in "music, bookkeeping, agriculture, library work, carpentry, nature study, machine shop, and printing" coupled with Christian religious fundamentals to an all-male student body with poor, underage boys.[25][101] In 1938, the campus became the agricultural branch of Cal Poly SLO when a small staff was transfer from San Luis Obispo along with group of agricultural inspection students.[102] Thus, Cal Poly at Pomona (then just Cal Poly) began offering Associate's degrees in 1938 and Bachelor's degrees in 1940 when, despite legislative opposition from pro-University of California members in Sacramento, president Julian McPhee asked allied members Armistead B. Carter and Daniel C. Murphy to introduce the bill when two opposing members were not present to vote.[103] Following the governance breakup with the San Luis Obispo in 1966, and as outlined by the 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education, Cal Poly continued "offer[ing] undergraduate and graduate instruction through the master's degree in the liberal arts and sciences and professional education, including teacher education."[104] Currently, Cal Poly promotes a "learn by doing" philosophy, where an essential part of the curriculum is hands-on application of knowledge.[105]

Merriam-Webster mentions that "polytechnic" is a word first used in 1801 derived from the French polytechnique which contains the Greek-roots "poly" (English:many) and "technē" (art). Thus, Merriam-Webster defines "polytechnic" as, "relating to or devoted to instruction in many technical arts or applied sciences".[106] Cal Poly's polytechnic approach, and learn-by-doing philosophy, encourages students in all programs to get real-world experience and skills necessary to join the workforce upon graduation.[107]

In addition, the university is among six other institutions of higher education in California that have been designated a "Center of Academic Excellence" by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency (NSA).[108][109] While all majors are encouraged to participate in co-op opportunities and internships, all students must do a senior research project.[110]

The 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2) Cal Poly Pomona University Library serves "as the central intellectual and cultural resource of the campus community" and contains over 3 million items and serves as an important center for academic research.[111] Built in 1969 for $4.2 million, the library underwent a major renovation and expansion completed in the summer of 2008 at a cost of over $46 million.[112][113] The library participates in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Enhance program which allows it to correct or add information to bibliographic records in WorldCat.[114]


The university boasts many nationally acclaimed academic colleges and programs. With approximately 5,000 students, its college of Engineering is the second largest in the California State University system.[115] The university has the largest Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Construction Engineering programs in the CSU, and is the only campus to offer an Engineering Technology focus.

Just behind Cal State Fullerton, the university has the second largest Business Administration major in the CSU with nearly 5,000 students. Its Hospitality program is the largest in the CSU and one of the largest in all of the US, with approximately 1,000 students enrolled. Overall, the university holds the fourth largest business college the CSU.[115]


For more details on college-specific rankings, see California State Polytechnic University, Pomona academics § Rankings.
University rankings
Forbes[116] 301
U.S. News & World Report[117] 31
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[118] 169

Money Magazine ranked Cal Poly Pomona 268th in the country out of the nearly 1500 schools it evaluated for its 2015-2016 Best Colleges ranking.[119] The Daily Beast ranked Cal Poly Pomona 159th in the country out of the nearly 2000 schools it evaluated for its 2014 Best Colleges ranking.[120] Cal Poly Pomona ranks 4th among public Western Colleges in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 edition of "Best Colleges", and 31st when the category includes both private and public universities.[60] The university is recognized as the 12th most diverse campus among regional universities in the west by USN&WR.[121]

In Forbes magazine's 2016 list of "America's Best Colleges", Cal Poly Pomona was ranked number 301 among the 660 best public and private colleges and universities in the nation. In the 2012 "PayScale College Salary Report" conducted by PayScale of bachelor’s graduates without higher degrees, Cal Poly Pomona ranked 19th among public universities in the country with a starting median salary of $46,800 and a mid-career median salary of $93,000. This places Cal Poly Pomona the fourth highest in California and the second highest in the CSU, while besting every UC with the exception of Berkeley and San Diego.[122]

Cal Poly Pomona College of Business Administration was placed on USN&WR's "Best Business Schools" list in 2013.[123] The university also is considered to have the 6th best Civil Engineering program in the country among schools whose highest degree is a master's, according to USN&WR.[124]

In December 2014 Kiplinger ranked Cal Poly Pomona 94th out of the top 100 best-value public schools in the nation, and 11th in California.[125] Furthermore, Cal Poly is considered one of the top investments for educational value, with a 2013 net 30-year return on investment (ROI) of $917,100 according to PayScale. This ROI is the third highest in the CSU and 113th highest of the 1,511 US colleges and universities that were ranked, besting most UC campuses.[126]


Fall Freshman Statistics[127][128][129][130][131][132][133][134]

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Applicants 33,858 32,801 31,465 28,143 23,946
Admitted 13,308 17,014 16,636 14,685 13,191
% Admitted
Average GPA
Average SAT
(out of 1600)

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and U.S. News & World Report describe Cal Poly Pomona's admissions process as "selective".[60][135] The CSU system lists Cal Poly Pomona among 16 of its institutions with higher admission standards for first-time freshmen.[136] For the Fall of 2014 there were 33,858 first-time, first year applicants: 13,308 were admitted (39.3%) and 2,707 enrolled (an admissions yield of 20.3%).[137] The middle 50% range of SAT scores was 450-570 for reading and 470–620 for math, while the middle 50% ACT Composite range was 20-26.[137] Of the enrolled freshmen, 21.5% had a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher, while the average GPA was 3.42.[137]

Freshmen applicants who graduate high school outside Cal Poly Pomona's Tier 1 area (known as Tier 2 applicants) are rank ordered by eligibility index and granted admission based on a year-specific cutoff score.[138] Since academic year 2010–2011, Tier 1 applicants may no longer be guaranteed admissions based on the CSU Eligibility Index and may be subject to similar criteria as Tier 2 applicants.[139]


Cal Poly Pomona is an ethnically and culturally diverse university, self-described as "Champions of Diversity", College Prowler states that "Cal Poly is the melting pot of the Cal States".[140][141]

Demographics of student body Fall 2014[137]
African American 3.3%
Asian American 24.5%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.3%
Hispanic American 38.4%
International student 4.8%
Multi-Racial 3.9%
Native American 0.2%
White American 20.1%
Ethnicity unknown/other 4.5%

Cal Poly Pomona has over 1,000 visa-bearing international students. The majority of them come from Asia, but many others also come from Mexico, Russia, Morocco, Germany, and Zimbabwe.[142]


During the fall admissions filing period, the CSU designates academic programs where more applications are received than can be accommodated by the campus, and designates them as "impacted".[143] At Cal Poly Pomona, impacted academic programs include: Animal Health Science, Animal Science, Aerospace Engineering, Chemical and Materials Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Psychology, Sociology, Communication, Biology, Biotechnology, and undeclared programs.[144] As such, applicants are rank ordered by eligibility index regardless of local admissions area and are accepted as space permits.[145] Cal Poly Pomona students who wish to change majors to an impacted program must meet supplemental requirements required for that major. Requesting a change to an impacted majors must be received by the end of the initial filing period for the term for which new majors are being accepted (i.e. By February 28, 2010 for summer 2011; November 30, 2010 for fall 2011; June 30, 2011 for winter 2012; or August 31, 2011 for spring 2012).[146]

Student life


On Campus Housing Bed Count
Suites Phase I
Suites Phase II
University Village Phase I
University Village Phase II
University Village Phase III
Center for Regenerative Studies
Student suites at Cal Poly Pomona

With an on-campus housing capacity of 3,509 students,[147] Cal Poly Pomona has the fourth largest housing system in the California State University.[148] In 2014, 45% of first-year students and 11% of all students live in college housing.[137]

There are three residential styles on the Pomona campus. The oldest housing facilities consist of six residential halls located on University Drive. The four older red-brick halls are named Alamitos, Aliso, Encinitas, and Montecito, each providing accommodation for up to 212 residents. The other two housing halls (Cedritos and Palmitas) were the result of later housing development and each has room to accommodate up to 185 residents.[149]

The two newest residential complexes are the Village and the Suites which offer apartment-style living to non-freshman students. The Residence Halls and the Suites are managed by the Division of Student Affairs, whereas the Village is managed by the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation.[150] Phase I of the construction of the Suites, housing 420 students, was completed in 2004 [151] and Phase II, housing 622 students, opened in 2010.[152]

In an effort to reduce commuting and raise academic performance and retention, starting with the 2010–2011 academic year, freshmen from outside the Tier 1 Local Admissions area (the area roughly bounded by the San Gabriel Mountains and Chino Hills to the north and south and the 15 and 605 freeways to the east and west), will be required to live on campus.[139]

Students on a walkway leading to the CLA Building.

Bronco Student Center

Main article: Bronco Student Center

The Bronco Student Center is a student activity center for meetings, conferences, meals, recreation, and shopping for students and alumni on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, California. This is where ASI student government offices are located, as well as other various student run departments like facilities and operations, Recreation, Programming and Marketing (RPM), Business Services, Games Room Etc. (GRE).

LGBT-Friendly campus

According to the Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, Cal Poly Pomona is one of the nation's best campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.[153] The university offers gender-neutral housing, a pride center for LGBT students, the club oSTEM (out in STEM) and Pride Alliance for faculty and staff members.[154]

Campus media

Campus events are covered by the student newspaper, the Poly Post. The Bronco Sports Show is a quarterly television broadcast capturing the highlights and statistics from Bronco Athletics along with other featured events around the campus. PolyCentric[155] is the university's official online magazine. PolyCentric features news, announcements of campus events, spotlights on various departments, and resources for faculty and staff. A web site also provides a comprehensive archival search for past articles and photos.[156]

Bronco Pep Band

Main article: Bronco Pep Band

The Bronco Pep Band is a student-run band at Cal Poly Pomona. The band is a group within the athletic department. It follows the tradition of other student-run bands in the sense that it focuses on its members individuality. The band attends athletic events during the year to encourage the school's athletic teams and audience support/involvement. The pep band is entirely voluntary and all students at Cal Poly Pomona or anyone else in the area are free to join.

Greek life

Greek Life at Cal Poly Pomona consists of 16 fraternities and 11 sororities governed by the Greek Council. From the total male undergraduate population, 2% are enrolled in fraternities and 1% of women in sororities respectively.[157][158][159]

Active Chapters at include, but are not limited to: Nu Alpha Kappa, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Phi Kappa Tau, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Pi Kappa Phi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Chi Omega, Sigma Kappa, Kappa Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Triangle, Phi Sigma Rho as well as other multicultural, profession, honor and service societies.

Rose Parade float

Cal Poly Pomona together with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has participated in the Tournament of Roses parade since 1949; winning the Award of Merit in their first year. In the period from 1949–2005, the floats have won 44 awards. This joint program is one of the longest consecutive running self-built entries in the parade, as well as the only "self built" floats designed and constructed entirely by students year-round on both campuses. The Rose Float tradition continues today and marks the partnership between the two Cal Poly campuses.


Voorhis Vikings

Before the university moved from San Dimas to Pomona, the college had a handful of athletic teams named the "Voorhis Vikings". They were composed mostly of homeless and orphaned boys of all races who were cared for at the Voorhis School during the ten-year period it operated.[160] Despite this historical background, the university's current athletic programs are named the Broncos.

Cal Poly Pomona Broncos

Cal Poly Pomona varsity teams compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association of NCAA Division II. Teams are known as the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos and field 10 sports for men and women for the fall, winter, and spring quarters. Cal Poly Pomona's most recent national championship came in 2010 Division II basketball tournament when the university's men's basketball team defeated Indiana University of Pennsylvania 65–53 in the title game. The Broncos are currently the most successful program in the CCAA having achieved 60 CCAA and 14 NCAA National Championships.[161][162] University athletes have also claimed individual championships in women's tennis (1980, 1981, 1991, and 1992).

Team national championships for the Broncos include the following:

Notable people


Some notable faculty members include: Pritzker Prize laureate Thom Mayne,[163] modernist architect Richard Neutra,[164] poet Virginia Hamilton Adair,[165] and Fulbright scholar Renford Reese.[166]


More than 119,000 alumni have graduated from Cal Poly Pomona over the course of its history, and over 15,000 remain active with the university through the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association .[13][167][168] Some notable alumni include Hilda Solis, former U.S. Secretary of Labor; Stooges guitarist and former Sony technology executive James Williamson; author Anthony Amaral; and Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker.[169][170] Chi Cheng and Kim Rhode are Cal Poly Pomona alumni and Olympic medalists.[171] Among other notable alumni in athletics are: Heisman Trophy-winning football player Glenn Davis, former professional football player and NFL head coach Jim Zorn,[172][173] soccer player Jonathan Bornstein,[174] BMX rider Dave Mirra,[171] and all-time PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams, Jr..[175]

See also



  1. "Cal Poly" may also refer to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo; however, locals in southern California may also use the term to refer to the Pomona campus. See the name section of this article for more information.
  2. From 1938 to 1966 the California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) intermittently operated as one institution in up to three different locations: Pomona, San Dimas and San Luis Obispo.


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