Apply to Art & Design

Admission to Cal Poly is competitive in all majors. Cal Poly continues to have more qualified applicants than available new student spaces. Cal Poly comprehensively reviews all applications, and looks for students who have strong academic records and are active both in and outside the classroom.

Beyond the basic qualifications for the California State University, Cal Poly considers other factors for admission deemed important to the campus and does so in an objective format. In fact, it is impossible to predict a candidate's chances of admission by looking at the academic record alone. All candidates are objectively evaluated by the cognitive and non-cognitive variables under the faculty-mandated Multi-Criteria Admission (MCA) process.

When Admissions reviews your application, Cal Poly considers:

  • Your intended program of study (the major to which the application is made)
  • Your college-preparatory courses in secondary school
  • GPA earned in college-preparatory courses
  • Standardized test scores
  • Your extra-curricular activities and work experience


Application Process Steps

STEP 1 Apply online

Deadline: End of November

  • Apply online at CSU Mentor for the following Fall Quarter. Our program accepts new students only in the fall and does not participate in early admission decision since a portfolio is required. Be sure to check the box to receive information from Cal Poly during the online application. Please note that you can not double major in Art and Design. All applicants must declare a major when submitting their application.
  • See Cal Poly's Applicant Process for more information.

STEP 2 — Invitation for Portfolio Submission

  • Cal Poly's Admissions office determines which applicants meet university requirements for the Art and Design major.
  • In January, applicants are notified if they are (or are not) invited to submit an art portfolio. Eligible applicants will receive an invitation that will include a deadline date that the portfolio will be due and directions on how to upload portfolio documents digitally. The invitation will be sent to the e-mail address that was submitted online with Admissions when applying for Cal Poly. 

STEP 3 — Submit Portfolio

  • Portfolios will be due in February (approximately 4–6 weeks from the time the invitation to submit is sent). The deadline date to submit the entire portfolio will be noted in the invitation for portfolio submission that eligible candidates receive in January. Please see the department's portfolio requirements.

STEP 4 — Selections Made

  • Portfolios will be reviewed a week or two after the due date, and you should see the outcome on MyCalPoly no later than April 1.


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