Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 25, 2024
FAQs regarding COVID-19 are located on our COVID-19 information page

Campus Housing


Who is eligible to live on campus?

Any student enrolled in eight or more units can apply for campus housing. Housing is required for first-year students. As of fall 2023, a second year on campus is required for members of the Cal Poly Scholars Program, TRIO Achievers, Student-Athletes, College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES), and College of Engineering (CENG).

Other continuing and transfer students can apply to live in campus apartments until all spaces are filled. Once housing is full, students can apply to an interest list.


Can I take a tour to see the inside of a residence hall?

For the privacy of our students, we are not offering tours that go inside University Housing during the academic year; however, tours that go inside several of our communities will be offered June through August. Throughout the Academic Year, we will also offer outside tours through University Housing and also have virtual tours through all campus housing communities. To find out when the tours are and to sign up for a tour, please visit CalPoly.Edu/Tours. You can also find pictures and floor plans for each community on our Residence Halls and Apartments webpage.

Flexible Housing Options

Are there housing contracts in addition to those that run for the duration of the
academic year (from September to June)?

Yes. Students can apply to the interest list for either of the following:

  • Summer Quarter Housing
    Continuing Cal Poly students can enjoy summer housing in campus apartments. Students can stay for the full summer session or select their own date range with a consecutive 21-night minimum.
    For more on Summer Housing, visit the Summer Housing page.
  • Winter and Spring Housing
    Students can apply to the interest list for housing during the winter and spring or housing for spring only.
    See the Winter and Spring Housing page for details.

Social Activities

What types of social activities occur in the campus housing communities?

Some examples of activities students and staff plan are:

  • barbecues
  • casino nights
  • coffee socials
  • semi-formals
  • beach bonfires
  • recreational tournaments
Students have a chance to plan their own activities by participating in their Hall Council.


What laundry facilities are available on campus?

Laundry rooms for campus residents are included and conveniently located throughout the residence halls and apartment communities.

Laundry is free for campus housing residents. Just bring your own laundry detergent.

Climate Control

Is there heat and air conditioning in the residence halls and apartments?

The residence halls and apartments have a heating system. There is no air conditioning. Heat is controlled centrally by the university. Cal Poly switches the system to heat during cooler months. 


Can I get a housing refund if I change my mind about attending Cal Poly?

Students with campus housing must cancel the housing contract in their Housing Portal on MyCalPoly 30 days prior to their move-in date. The initial payment is fully refundable for incoming new students who will not attend Cal Poly after all. Refer to the Housing Calendar for cancellation dates and the Terms and Conditions for additional information regarding cancellation policies. The $500 initial payment is not refundable for continuing students and transfers that cancel to live off-campus. Additional daily charges apply if the cancellation is received after the date noted on the Housing Calendar. To cancel your housing, go to University Housing in your Housing Portal in MyCalPoly.

Pests and Wildlife

What processes are in place for pest and wildlife control?

University Housing prides itself on providing clean accommodations for all campus residents and employs full-time custodial and maintenance staff to maintain our living communities.

Occasionally, pests or wildlife, such as ants, mice, bedbugs, or swallows, may appear around or in living areas. If you notice any problems, please let us know by doing one of the following:

  • Tell the person at the front desk of your residence hall or apartment.
  • Submit a "Maintenance Request" through the Cal Poly Portal under University Housing.
  • Contact Housing Services.
    • Phone: 805-756-1587
    • Email:

Special Needs

What accommodations are available for students with disabilities or other special needs?

Students who need housing accommodations, such as a specific room type, assistance animal, or specific assignment location based on a disability must contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC).

  • Email:
  • Phone: 805-756-1395

The DRC collects medical information and any required documentation. University Housing is notified by DRC of any recommended accommodations.


Is housing available for families and married couples?

Housing is not currently available for married couples or families.


Room Features

What amenities do rooms come with?

Residences are fully furnished with a bed frame, XL twin mattress, desk, chair, wastebasket, and wardrobe or closet for each resident.

All furniture that is original to a room must remain in the room. Personal furniture is not permitted.

In every campus residence, students also enjoy:

  • WiFi
  • Compact refrigerator in residence halls or full refrigerator in apartments or quintuples
  • Regularly scheduled cleaning service of bathrooms and common areas

For amenities specific to a particular Learning Community, visit the Residence Halls and Apartments page.

Room Types

What room types can I expect when living in campus housing?

The majority of first-year students live in campus residence halls. The room type depends on the Residential Learning Community assignment, though the vast majority of first-year students live in triple rooms. 

Our residence halls feature double, triple, and quintuple rooms. The majority of rooms for first-year students are triples. Should new, first-year student enrollment increase and/or public health conditions require reduced occupancy levels, some first-years may be housed in campus apartments.  

Continuing and transfer students live in Poly Canyon Village or Cerro Vista Apartments, which feature single and double bedrooms within shared apartments.


Are risers or lofts permitted?

For resident safety, the use of risers or lofted beds is not allowed in the residence halls or apartments.

TV and Stereo

Can I bring a TV and stereo?

All rooms come with a television service hookup. Students may provide their own coax TV cable, TV, and/or stereo. Consider space constraints in residence hall rooms and apartments and discuss items to share with roommates prior to moving in. Residents can check out wall mounts/brackets at their community center.

A free streaming service, SpectrumU, is also provided for residents.


Can I have a pet?

Only fish in an aquarium are allowed. Aquariums may not exceed:

  • 5 gallons per resident
  • 10 gallons per residence hall room
  • 20 gallons per apartment

Students may not bring or keep any animal in or around the residence halls or apartments. Specific information can be found in the Student Handbook's Pet Policy on the Housing Policies page. 

Hanging Pictures

How should I hang pictures on the wall?

To avoid potential damage charges, use painter's tape, utility hooks, hanging strips or suction hooks to hang items on the walls.

Room Changes

Can residents change Residential Learning Communities or rooms or during the year?

If public health conditions allow, students can trade within their residence hall/apartment or into another residence hall/apartment throughout the year as space is available. The room trade request can be completed through your University Housing portal. For specific guidelines, see the University Housing Resident Handbook on the Housing Policies page. 


Roommate Requests

Can I request a specific person to be my roommate?

Yes, there is an opportunity to indicate a "Roommate Preference" in the online housing application. Request a roommate in the application by adding the student's  Cal Poly email address. All roommate requests must be confirmed by the requested student. Students can edit their Housing Application, including roommate and Learning Community preferences, until the May deadline. See the Housing Calendar


Is there a process for matching roommates?

If the student has not requested a specific roommate in the housing application, roommates may be matched based on the Learning Community preferences they each requested and gender.

Room Change

Can I request to change rooms if my roommate and I are not compatible?

Room changes are permitted as public health conditions allow. Residents can request to change to a different room, hall or apartment after move-in. To see specific dates, visit the University Housing Calendar. The room change request can be done via the University Housing Portal, under Room Change Request. University Housing's ability to accommodate a request depends on availability in the desired hall or apartment.


Dining Plan

How does the dining plan work?

All first-years living in campus housing are required to have a dining plan for the entire academic year. This gives students the convenience of having meals easily accessible so they can focus on their academics and student life.

For more on campus dining, visit the Dining Plans webpage.


Address Assignment

When do students get their mailing addresses?

Residents' mailing addresses will be sent to them by Distribution Services shortly before move-in. Distribution Services assigns mailboxes to apartment residents during the summer.

Address Format

How should I write the address so that it gets to where a student lives?

To see examples of how to address mail and packages, visit the Residence Hall Mail & Package Services page. Students will receive an email in August with their mailing address.


Parking Availability

What is the availability of parking spaces at Cal Poly?

For specifics on parking, visit the Transportation and Parking Services page.

For alternative transportation options, visit the Commuting to Campus page.


Safety Protection

What types of measures are taken to protect my safety?

Safety of our residents is our highest priority. Cal Poly's residence halls and apartments are locked 24/7. Here are some safety measures in place and a full list is available via the resident safety page.

  • Resident Advisors (RAs)
  • Coordinators of Student Development (CSDs)
  • University Police
  • Front Desks
  • Courtesy and "Blue Light" emergency phones
  • Custodial and Maintenance Staff
  • Fire Alarms
  • Community Alerts
  • Educational Programs
  • Text Messaging 

Medical Emergencies

Who responds in the event of a medical emergency?

University police dispatchers are certified in the use of the emergency medical dispatch protocol, first aid, CPR and automatic external defibrillators. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics also respond to campus calls for care.

University Police

Where is the closest police department?

The Cal Poly Police Department is located on campus. It is a full-service police agency certified by the California Department of Justice and staffed with officers and administrative personnel who are trained to carry out sworn and civilian responsibilities.

Assembly Areas

Where do I go in the event of a campus-wide emergency?

Outdoor assembly areas, emergency blue phones, wheelchair evacuation chairs and carless pickup areas have been set up around campus. See Emergency Maps for details.

Major Emergency

Does Cal Poly have plans in the case of a major emergency?

In the event of a major emergency - one in which the campus cannot operate normally — the campus' Emergency Management Plan will be activated and emergency activities will be coordinated from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). For COVID-19 related information please see our COVID-19 response page

Fire Safety

What are the resident fire safety guidelines?

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