We are happy that you are considering Cal Poly for your college degree. Although we have more than 17,000 students on our campus, the emphasis is on undergraduate education. Cal Poly has the reputation of combining a small college atmosphere with the advantages of a major comprehensive, polytechnic university. The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry here is one of the best in the country. You can see the nuts and bolts of our programs and courses by clicking on The Department link.
We assume that by coming to this page, you are looking for the spirit of the university and of our department. Glad that you asked!
The instructional faculty number about 35 tenured and tenure track, lecturers, emeriti professors, and part-time instructors. See the Faculty link at the left. Our tenure track faculty actually teach labs as well as lectures. You will not have a graduate student teaching assistant for recitation and lab. Your instructors have a minimum of 5 office hours per week. Almost all are available for consultation through email as well, and that is 24-7 (or maybe 18-6). You can drop in to a faculty member's office just to chat.
We also host seminars, ice cream socials, picnics, intramural sports teams, and get-togethers for our students and faculty. We encourage you to consider becoming involved in the department both socially and through undergraduate research projects. Our alumni attending professional and graduate schools tell us that their classmates are amazed when they find out about the family atmosphere of this department.
The Cal Poly campus has lots of open space and when the weather is nice, which is most of the time, you can see people sitting on the lawns and benches studying, talking, eating, and, yes, napping between classes. World-class beaches are only 10 miles away. Be sure to bring your wetsuit. The Pacific Ocean is cold out there!
Cal Poly University Housing offers traditional residence halls as well as two new apartment-style housing complexes: Poly Canyon Village and Cerro Vista. The College of Science and Mathematics is in the middle of building a new Center for Science and Mathematics located at the heart of the campus, one that will set high a standard for university science facilities across the country.