Frequently Asked Questions about BRAE

Thanks for taking the time to visit us today!  Please read our answers to common questions below.  If you have questions that aren't answered here, please feel free to email us.

>>   Cal Poly has the reputation of “only 4.0 GPA students should apply". I have heard rumors that I have no chance of getting accepted. Is this true?

While the competition to get into Cal Poly is rigorous, it is not impossible. Admission is competitive among the students that apply for a specific major. The higher demand of some programs has raised the entrance bar very high. Entrance is based on three factors (percentages are approximate):  GPA (50%), SAT/ACT Scores (45%) and extra-curricular activities (5%). For example, statistics of Fall 2020 Freshman were:

Cal Poly
Ave GPA = 3.99
Ave SAT (Math and Reading) = 1316
Composite ACT = 28.7

BRAE Major
Ave GPA = 3.91
Ave Reading/Writing SAT = 621
Ave Math SAT = 653
Ave Composite ACT = 26.6

ASM Major
Ave GPA = 3.94
Ave Reading/Writing SAT = 599
Ave Math SAT = 616
Ave Composite ACT = 24.8

Prospective students should make sure they adhere to the guidelines given for new freshmen and for new transfer students to maximize their probability of being selected for admission into Cal Poly. For Department-specific guidelines, please see our transfer applicant criteria for the BRAE and ASM majors.

Each October the College of Agriculture will be hosting a “Fall Preview” program. This is an opportunity for prospective students to learn about Cal Poly and potential majors.

>>   How can I visit the campus and learn more about Cal Poly and the BRAE Deparment?

We are happy to welcome you to Cal Poly and the BRAE department for a visit. Each October the College of Agriculture hosts a “Fall Preview” event, where students hear from speakers about admissions, housing, etc. and then visit departments of their interest. This would be the easiest way to learn more about Cal Poly and the BRAE dept.  

In addition, more than 30,000 campus visitors each year participate in Cal Poly campus tours led by volunteer student guides or Admissions Staff and informative admissions presentations given by Cal Poly Admissions Counselors. For more information about guided campus-wide tours, please click here. The BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department is located in the Agricultural Engineering Building (8) Room 101. To visit the BRAE department, contact Dr. Peter Livingston, BRAE Department Head. Or call the BRAE department office at (805) 756-2378.

>>   Is BRAE difficult for new students to get into?

Like all Cal Poly departments, our standards are high.  However, we accept a higher percentage of applicants than other departments.  Maybe it's because of our strange name, or maybe it's because it is difficult for students who have never been here to understand what we offer, but whatever the reason, we currently do not receive an overwhelming number of new-student applications each year.  Many students transfer to our department once they get a "feel" for us. 

>>   What sorts of jobs are available after graduation?

We don't want to brag (although maybe we do), but our graduates are in high demand.  Our reputation for producing well-educated, experienced, and workplace-ready graduates has been well-established throughout California and the rest of the world.  To get an idea of what some of our former students are doing now, check out our alumni highlights page.

>>   What sorts of activities are available for students?

Our "learn by doing" philosophy does not end when students walk out the classroom door.  Our students are involved in a variety of clubs, including the Agricultural Engineering Society and ASABE.  We also offer the annual tractor pull, and our successful quarter-scale tractor team, among others.  You can find out about these and more during our monthly department-wide barbecues.  If it's job experience you're looking for, our world-renowned Irrigation Training and Research Center offers valuable student jobs, and we always offer help finding summer jobs and internships.

>>   Are there scholarships that I can apply for?

Yes!  Check out our scholarship page for open application information, visit Cal Poly's financial aid office, or contact the department office for many more scholarship opportunities that aren't listed here.

>>   How can I find out more?

Feel free to peruse the website for ideas about academic programs, clubs, or student activities.  You can also find information on how to visit the campus.  If you're still curious, please feel free to contact us.

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