Study Abroad

Studying Abroad brings many lasting benefits that our students carry with them throughout their personal and professional life.  These benefits include a cross-cultural education; this allows students to become more competitive for internships, coops and jobs.  In addition, students acquire self and cultural-awareness, leadership, independence, adaptability, problem solving, and cross-cultural communication skills required in today’s workforce.  For more information on the benefits of studying abroad as it applies to your job search, we recommend you view Maximizing Your Experience Abroad, and contact Career Services for additional assistance.

To learn about all of study abroad opportunities, please attend the Study Abroad 101 Workshop, please click here for time and location.

International Exchange Program (IEP)

The College of Engineering’s International Exchange Program (IEP) has established exchange agreements with reputable engineering universities around the world. These countries include: Australia, Germany, Spain, and Sweden. Our exchange programs offer a unique opportunity for engineering students to complete engineering coursework while studying abroad and at the same time exposing them to the increasing demands of our global economy.

If you would like to learn more about our International Exchange Programs, we encourage you to view our FAQ’s page!


Must be a major within the College of Engineering.

Must be in good academic standing (not on academic probation)

GPA Requirement - 2.5 cumulative Cal Poly GPA

Be at least in your 3rd year of study




Exchange Partner Universities: 

Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden 

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Karsruhe, Germany

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Lucerne University of Applied Science and Arts, Lucerne, Switzerland

Munich University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany

Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia

TECNUN University of Navarra, School of Engineering, San Sebastian, Spain


Other Engineering Abroad Options:

CEA: University Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

The Sample Course List document shows courses that have been previously approved. This list is unofficial and for planning purposes only. All students must submit major/support substitution petitions to receive transfer credit.  

Visit the CEA Engineering in Madrid Website for more information.


CSU International Program: Engineering in Mexico,Queretaro, Mexico

The Sample Course List document shows courses that are approved for transfer credit (a petition is not needed) however, if you choose to take additional classes, you will need to submit major/support substitution petitions to receive transfer credit. 

Visit the CSU IP Engineering in Mexico Website for more information.


Helpful Tips:

Application Deadlines:

For fall semester abroad, the deadline is early March.

For spring semester abroad, the deadline is early October.

For specific dates, please visit Cal Poly Abroad

Unit Conversion:

Residency Requirement:

Cal Poly requires that 30 of the last 40 units taken toward your degree be taken at Cal Poly. However, for students that intend on studying abroad with IEP toward the end of their academic career this requirement is automatically waived.

Personal Statement Sample:

To view a letter of intent sample, please click here.

How many units do students typically take?

There is no unit restriction or minimum for our exchange programs, except for students who are on financial aid. For students on financial aid, please meet with an financial aid advisor to discuss the unit requirement to keep your aid whlie you are abroad. In general, we encourage students to take a full load (12 Cal Poly units) to be a competitive applicant. Please use the unit converison above to calculate the number of Cal Poly units you plan to take while you are on exchange. 

Are petitions required in order to apply to an exchange program?

No, you are only required to create a list of proposed courses when applying through the study abroad portal application. We encourage students to complete the substitution petitions as soon as possible once they have determined a list of propsed courses. Before you go abroad, please complete the petitions, so that you are aware which courses will provide you Cal Poly course credit. If there is any changes in courses while you are abroad, please contact and the IEP peer advisor will submit a petition for your new course on your behalf. 

How can I arrange to take my finals at Cal Poly when returning from abroad?

If the semester you are abroad overlaps into Cal Poly's upcoming quarter due to the abroad school's finals schedule, please try the following options:                                                                                                                                                                                             

1. Ask the professor if it is possible to take the exam earlier (You should communicate with the professor as soon as you are enrolled in their class the possibiilty of taking the exam earlier - typically soon after the class is completed/prior to the final schedule)

2. If you do not have the option of taking the exam early - ask if you can have the exam proctored by Cal Poly Testing Services: You will need to email testing services and follow-up with your professor and any other people involved to make sure you are able to take the exam, earn a grade, and submit your transcripts to Cal Poly when finished.

When to go abroad?

Please select one of the following based on your major:

AERO    BMED    CE    CPE    CSC    EE  ENVE   IE    MFGE    MATE    ME    SE 

Every student has a unique study plan, so please visit us during drop-in hours to find the quarter(s) that work best for you.

IEP Drop-ins:


WINTER 2018:

January 2018:

1/16/18, 2-4 pm

1/23/18, 2-4 pm  

1/30/18, 3-4 pm


February 2018, 2-4 pm





Extra Drop-ins on Thursday, 2/22 from 2:30-4 pm! 


March 2018, 2-4 pm 




IEP Workshops will be scheduled for the month of February TBD. The IEP workshops will only be for students applying for fall exchanges: March 1st, 2018 Deadlines. The workshops will be program based and developed to help students with: course selection, course substitutions, planning for back-up courses, address how transfer credit affects GPA as well as registration planning for return from abroad.

SPRING 2018:

IEP Drop-ins will resume as normal on a weekly basis (TBD).

IEP Contact Information:

Maria Zavala, Academic Advisor, Coordinator of International Exchange Programs 

You are welcome to come visit us during our scheduled drop-in advising hours (call Engineering Student Services at 805-756-1461 to verify hours). If you have any inquiries, please email us at:

We are located in Engineering South, Building 40, Room 111