Department Forms and Procedures

Prospective Students


Materials Engineering at Cal Poly is the only primarily undergraduate materials engineering program in the USA. You get to know your peers and professors on more of a personal level as you work hands-on with equipment that undergraduates in other universities typically do not have access to.

Our curriculum is centered on the grand challenges that engineers face in applying creativity to design products, processes, and systems that support human well-being and that are also compatible with sustaining the environmental systems that provide ecological services vital to human survival.

The intention behind our curriculum is that you will develop the cognitive, social, affective, and psychomotor characteristics needed for engineering's very important mission.

In the past, engineering education focused on technical information, which primarily involved left-brain development (e.g., science and math). With the rise of globalization and its strain on environmental and social systems, the 21st century engineer needs to develop skills that integrate creativity and social sciences into more technical aspects of engineering. We have designed our curriculum based on research in educational psychology.


Each student is unique and contributes to the diversity of the Materials Engineering department. Almost 200 students make up the MATE student body. MATE students interact with a higher percentage of female, out-of-state, and international students.


Involvement in clubs enhances the learning and social experience of MATE students. MATE clubs provide opportunities to learn from alumni and industry representatives who come share their knowledge, tour companies, volunteer for various outreach events, and sponsor social activities. 

Alpha Sigma Mu (ASMu)

At Cal Poly's ASM chapter, students with at least junior standing and within the academic top third of their class are invited to join the society. To become members, students must fulfill community service and outreach requirements. The outreach program is dedicated to encouraging children and teens, particularly from under-served communities, to pursue a career in materials science and engineering. The annual highlight event of Alpha Sigma Mu is the Materials Engineering Department Banquet.

Alpha Sigma Mu Website

Materials Engineering Student Society (MESS)

MESS is dedicated to promoting student understanding of materials through alternative learning opportunities, including professional awareness, educational speakers, and projects aimed at learning and applying materials science and engineering concepts. We want everyone to find a place to fit in, so all majors are welcome!

MESS Website

Microsystems Technology Group (MST)

MST represents a collection of dedicated students and faculty at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who have identified a need for a multidisciplinary technical collaboration to explore the design and fabrication of micro/nano-scale devices. MST oversees the Cal Poly Microfabrication Laboratory, a fully functioning teaching and research Class 1000 facility that supports a variety of graduate and undergraduate projects.

MST Website

National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)

NACE is a group of hardworking students looking outside the classroom to expand our education and make lifelong connections in corrosion. Corrosion is a growing field,and NACE enables us to further our education and prepare us for careers. The club holds regular meetings on campus, supports several corrosion related projects, and hosts special events and trips.

NACE website

Community & Celebrations

Being a MATE student isn't all hard work! Community and celebration are also a big part of the MATE experience. Students are often spotted in our main classroom and in our lounge area, studying together and hanging out. Students, faculty and staff gather informally during Dead Week to de-stress by enjoying snacks and laughs together before finals. Our annual MATE Banquet is a department-wide celebration of what makes MATE great. We also hold a special graduating seniors' banquet and Spring commencement ceremony for our graduating MATEs to celebrate them and their accomplishments.

Open House 

This annual event showcases the Cal Poly campus to new students, their families, and the community while offering a glimpse to life as a Mustang.

Visit Cal Poly's Open House website to learn more.

College of Engineering Overview Tours

An Engineering Overview Tour covers the field of engineering, the engineering majors offered at Cal Poly, and the similarities and differences of each major. Your tour guides will take you through many engineering labs, a key part of Cal Poly’s “Learn by Doing” curriculum. Tours are designed to help high school and college transfer students learn about engineering and decide which engineering major is right for them. Tours last two hours and end at Chumash Auditorium in the University Union (Building 65) a few minutes before the university campus tour begins.

Materials engineering department tour

For tours of the Materials Engineering Department, please contact us directly at or (805) 756-2568. 

Resources for MATEs

Advising & Academic Success

CENG Advising Center (40 - 115)

Engineering Student Services provides an inclusive, respectful, encouraging environment that fosters the retention and graduation of all undergraduate engineering students. Through their Advising, Multicultural Engineering (MEP)International Exchange Program (IEP), and Tutoring Programs, ESS staff provides comprehensive services to guide and empower students to achieve their goals.

CENG can also be consulted regarding the various curriculum forms (e.g., Course Substitution Forms, Special Problems, Change of Catalog). They will help route the forms for signatures and processing by the Registrar's Office.

Get help from CENG tutors trained to assist you learn the material based on your learning style so you can excel on your exams and homework on your own.

Multicultural Educational Program (MEP)

The Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) is part of the CENG Advising Center. MEP recruits, retains and graduates a diverse population of students, especially groups which continue to remain the most underrepresented in engineering. 

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation in STEM (LSAMP)

LSAMP is dedicated to broadening the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Supplemental Workshops in Science (SWS)

Supplemental Workshops in Science provide an accelerated learning environment for selected classes. Guided by trained facilitators, students participate in discussions, compare notes, develop study strategies and challenge their understanding with practice exams and worksheets. Workshops meet twice a week and earn one unit of academic credit.

Supplemental Workshops in Math (SWM)

Supplemental Workshops in Math is an intensive mathematics program for students who are enrolled in mathematics courses from MATH 100 to 143. SWM helps students master math concepts and promote collaborative learning, including concept enhancement, problem-solving and mock exams.


Career Services (124 - 114)

Take advantage of all the support (e.g., career fairs, jobs posted on MustangJOBS, workshops, individual counseling) Career Services offers!

When employers contact the MATE Office about jobs and internships, we refer them to Career Services and request that they post their opening on MustangJOBS.  We encourage alumni to post employment opportunities on our LinkedIn group page as well.

Lab Facilities

Materials engineering students get hands-on experience with state-of-art instruments and testing equipment found in industry. Providing students access to equipment that allows them to analyze materials is a key component of their learn by doing education. Materials engineering students graduate with the confidence and skills to use equipment, thereby requiring less on-the-job training after they are hired. Employers know our students are ready to work, so MATE graduates are highly desirable.


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Contact Us


Materials Engineering Department
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Location: 41A-229

Phone: (805) 756-2568


Hours: M-F 8am-5pm

Click here to view map.