Hispanic Outlook on Education ranks Cal Poly Pomona No. 1 among polytechnic universities and No. 18 among all U.S. universities for the number of Hispanic students graduating with Bachelor degrees in 2019-20. The university is also No. 2 nationally for degrees awarded to Hispanic students in “architecture and related services” and No. 5 for degrees awarded in engineering and “agricultural/animal/plant/veterinary science and related degrees.”
Architecture, located in the College of Environmental Design, is often ranked among the nation’s best in its field. Campus diversity, studio projects and inspiring peers and faculty are common themes among majors when asked about program highlights.
Christopher Ornelas, a junior architecture student, enjoys the “vibrant and energetic environment” on campus with resources and clubs that “really help students develop and thrive.”
Among them, the campus chapters of the American Institute of Architecture Students, NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architecture Students), and Tau Sigma Delta which play an important role in connecting architecture upperclassmen and the newer students, he said.
For Carina Arias, a junior architecture student, campus diversity was a big draw. “I knew that I would feel represented and included, which is something very important to me as a first-generation Mexican-American woman,” she said. “I always hated feeling out of place in education spaces.”
She is currently working on a design for a community center in South Central Los Angeles. “The project has taught me a lot about understanding the history and struggles of vulnerable communities and how architects can create safe spaces…. Architecture school is all about networking and learning from your peers, and studio culture really reflects that.”
Architecture student Monserrat Cardenas agreed. “Seeing my peers’ work all around the studio not only inspires many of us but serves as a conversation starter.”
Cardenas’ favorite studio class so far focused on developing a mix-used building in the diverse Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“The professor’s organization and passion for teaching encouraged us to think about our projects in a more profound manner and challenged us to go beyond our means and abilities,” said Cardenas.
The College of Engineering offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate programs. Widely recognized for excellence, the undergraduate engineering program was most recently ranked No. 5 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Highlights for senior Eric Galarza, mechanical engineering, include the support and networking opportunities through the Maximizing Engineering Potential program with its many opportunities to speak with representatives from top industries.
“My favorite project,” Galarza said, “is my involvement with the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers, where we are designing, analyzing, and will manufacture a racecar. One the most difficult classes here at CPP is also one of my favorites, even though I am currently on the edge of a decent grade, that class is Intermediate Dynamics. It has really opened my eyes to how objects are changing with time.”
Ana Jurado, a junior studying mechanical engineering, chose Cal Poly Pomona for its “learn by doing” educational philosophy. In classes, she has used SolidWorks to create various 3D parts and, in a virtual-mode design class, the students “used SolidWorks to create an entire rover for a specific mission. We also got some hands-on experience from home as we worked in a team to design and build a machine to complete a specific task.”
Outside of class, she utilized the Office of Undergraduate Research to join a research team working to scale up solar fuel cells to power small unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.
The Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture offers a range of undergraduate majors: agribusiness and food industry management, agricultural science, animal science, animal health science, apparel merchandising and management, food science and technology, nutrition and plant science.
Cal Poly Pomona has approximately 27,000 students, and about half are Hispanic. Designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education, the campus was recently named a First-gen Forward university by the Center for First-Generation Student Success.