Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive public university located in San Luis Obispo, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's Central Coast. It is one of five comprehensive polytechnic universities in the US and has approx. 19,000 students. Cal Poly’s motto is ”Learning by Doing” as all student programs have a technical, professional, and arts component. Student apartments are avaialable on campus but many students prefer private apartments or houses near campus which are readily available.
University in brief
Language of instruction: English Academic calendar: September - June. Trimester system. (Fall-Winter-Spring Quarters) Credit system: Undergraduate: 15 units/quarter (200-400 level), 45 units during a full academic year. Graduate: 8 units/quarter (400-500 level), 24 units during a full academic year. KTH students should take 300-400 level courses. Website:Exchange Programs - International Students and Scholars (calpoly.edu) Note: KTH only nominates full-year students to Cal Poly due to the trimester system. There are no exceptions to this rule. Orientation is mandatory. College of Business is not available, and it is difficult to get access to courses in computer science and computer engineering. Students have previously not been required to buy insurance through Cal Poly. The insurance Student Out, provided by Kammarkollegiet, has been enough during the previous academic year. This might however change. For the latest information about insurance and fees, visit the university website.
Visa and vaccine in the USA
The processing time for a visa to study in the USA can take a long time, therefore, you should start the application as soon as you have been accepted for exchange studies at a university in the USA. The same goes for arranging the necessary vaccines you need to start your studies in the US.
For exchange studies in the US, a J-1 visa is required (DS-2019 form):
I-901 SEVIS Fee | ICE
. J-1 students may enter the USA up to 30 days prior to the start date on the DS2019.
Cost for visa: approximately $220 (as of 2023).
Keep the following documents with you in your hand luggage:
I-20 or DS-2019
I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
Proof of financial resources
Acceptance letter from Exchange University
When applying for a US visa, you are required to provide financial evidence to show that you can afford your stay in the US. You can, for example, use a bank statement in this matter.
You can find more information about the visa requirements on the US embassy website:
Immunization requirements are based on state law, you may need the following vaccines to start your studies in the USA.
Rubeola (Measles, MMR)
Tetanus Diphtheria (Td or Tdap)
Meningitis (Men Quad/Conjugate, MCV4)
Meningococcal B (Separate from Meningitis)
You may also need a Tuberculosis screening (most often done upon arrival in the US).
More information can be found on Cal Polys website.
Number of spots: 2 full-year spots Grade requirements: none Previous Nominations: 4,51 (2017/18); 4,82 (2018/19), 4,106 (2019/20), 4,47 (2020/21), 4,17 (2021/22), 4,1833 (2022/23), 4,3415 (2023/24).
More Information on Selection
Programme specific information
If your programme or your school is not listed below, contact the international coordinator at your school.
This university is not suitable for master's students who have not taken their bachelor's degree at KTH. This is because KTH only nominates full-year students to Cal Poly due to the trimester system, and you are not supposed to take courses during the last semester of your master's programme (you have to write your degree project then).
School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH)