Academic Programs


The Orfalea College of Business is home to vibrant academic programs that inspire and empower thousands of students each year. Cal Poly alumni, friends and corporate partners can contribute to specific academic areas and programs to make a direct and immediate impact on its students, faculty, technology and opportunities. Your impact will extend further to change the industries that hire our graduates.

To explore your options, click on one of the options below:

 

The Accounting Area of Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business has developed a sterling reputation for preparing superior graduates who go on to be leaders in the industry. Faculty build curriculum with the industry in mind to give students a thorough knowledge of accounting and tax laws along with the confidence to use those skills while leading a business toward success. The program is built upon a commitment to career readiness that empowers students to Learn by Doing by working with clients, tackling complex tax cases, and serving the community.

Your gift could support:

  • Student industry tours of major firms and employers
  • Intensive workshops on Excel and other technical programs
  • Student scholarships/faculty fellowships

Cal Poly’s Economics Area prepares career-ready business leaders to succeed in a wide variety of business and economic environments. Each day, our students integrate quantitative analysis, statistical modeling, and sound economic theory in addressing industry and public policy’s most engaging problems. Students put concepts into practice through Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy as they work with live data, consult local clients and engage in internships that fine-tune their skills.

Students often major in economics to build a foundation in quantitative analysis and then concentrate in marketing, accounting, finance or management. Business administration and economics majors can elect to concentrate in one of three disciplines in economics: general economics, quantitative economics and real estate economics. Each economics concentration is tailored for growing industries that seek creative, collaborative leaders who can combine business acumen with technological skills to make strategic decisions.

Your gift could support:

  • Student industry tours of major firms and employers
  • Intensive workshops on Excel and other technical programs
  • Student scholarships/faculty fellowships

Cal Poly’s entrepreneurship curriculum goes far beyond just “starting a business.” The discipline encompasses a spectrum of business activity — creativity, opportunity analysis, marketing, sales, people management, technology, finance and accounting. The Orfalea College of Business helps young entrepreneurs sharpen their skill set by earning a deep understanding of business management practices, risk assessment and market strategy through all stages of a business. Entrepreneurship graduates are prepared for a variety of career paths: launching their own startup, tackling fast-paced positions in emerging technology hubs, leading a small business, or bringing innovative leadership to corporate positions. The entrepreneurship concentration aligns with a plethora of resources in Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) to afford students collaborative Learn by Doing experiences with students from all disciplines on campus.

Your gift could support:

  • Student industry tours of major firms and employers
  • Career readiness resources and initiatives
  • Student scholarships/faculty fellowships

Cal Poly’s finance concentration, the largest in the Orfalea College of Business, empowers students to lead in a fast-paced profession critical to our global economy. Through in-depth coursework, case studies and unique Learn by Doing projects, students learn about everything from income securities to portfolio management with an emphasis on corporate finance. Finance students also gain valuable experience with computer science, accounting, and economics to develop a well-rounded skill set. Classes are taught in Cal Poly’s Financial Analysis Resource Center, a special-purpose classroom with data terminals, financial software and real time display of stock prices. Cal Poly finance graduates are known for being career-ready and creative, bringing value to their companies from the first day on the job.

Your gift could support:

  • Student industry tours of major firms and employers
  • Career readiness resources and initiatives
  • Student scholarships/faculty fellowships

Cal Poly’s industrial technology and packaging program incorporates a broad range of technical skills and business management knowledge to cultivate creative industry leaders. Through Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy, students are empowered to innovate and test new products, design, prototype and validate packaging solutions, conduct lean manufacturing analyses, and develop plans for technology commercialization to improve the intersection between technology, people and organizations. Because of its small class sizes and hands-on approach, Cal Poly’s industrial technology and packaging degree is recognized as one of the strongest in the country. Leading companies in manufacturing, technology, consumer goods, healthcare, food and agriculture seek its graduates for dynamic careers with some of the highest starting salaries of any Cal Poly alumni.

Your gift could support:

  • Digital Fabrication lab upgrades
  • Student scholarships

Cal Poly’s Packaging Program is the undisputed leader in experiential packaging education and technology by providing the global packaging value chain with premiere talent and applied research. As the only Packaging Program within a business school, it has earned a national reputation for excellence while maintaining small class sizes. The world’s leading technology companies, agricultural producers and marketers, and retail ventures seek Cal Poly’s packaging alumni to fill dynamic roles designing, developing and testing packaging. A unique interdisciplinary curriculum blends the Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy with the study of manufacturing and packaging processes, packaging materials, structural design, graphic communication, marketing, business administration, and food science.

Your gift could support:

  • Digital Fabrication lab upgrades
  • Student scholarships

The management and human resources concentration prepares students for general leadership and management positions, as well as careers in the more specialized field of Human Resource Management (HR). Through a resolutely experiential learning approach, the HR portion of the curriculum prepares students to become practicing professionals in basic HR functions such as recruitment, staffing, training and development, and compensation. The Management portion of the curriculum prepares students for entry-level leadership and management positions, including opportunities in management training programs in large corporations, management consulting, and managerial positions in family businesses and other small organizations. Students will master readily applicable management skills such as leadership, organizational design, development and change, global business management, and negotiation.

Your gift could support:

  • Club activities
  • Career readiness resources and initiatives
  • Student scholarships

The Orfalea College of Business’ information systems concentration combines the study of people, organizations and technology. At Cal Poly, information systems students develop a broad-based, sought-after skill set that combines a foundation of business principles and strategy with rigorous technological skills. Following the university’s Learn by Doing philosophy, students receive hands-on skill development with the latest software platforms and work on real-world collaborative projects alongside their peers, faculty, and our corporate partners.

With the current business environment that relies heavily on information technology, our students are well prepared for challenging careers in a global economy. Cal Poly’s graduates are in high demand among consulting firms, high tech firms, startups, and bio-tech firms, to name a few, and are able to command some of the highest starting salaries among recent college grads.

your gift could support:

  • Student industry tours of major firms and employers
  • Career readiness resources and initiatives
  • Student scholarships/faculty fellowships

Cal Poly’s Marketing Area in the Orfalea College of Business prepares career-ready graduates who will lead in an ever-changing marketing environment. The curriculum is a conscious balance among the technical rigors of data analysis, the nuance of creative strategy, and the finesse of relationship management with clients and consumers. The marketing faculty embraces Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing mantra through hands-on student projects that give graduates experience and confidence. From market research to communications strategies, students have opportunities to provide data-driven guidance, critical thinking and creativity to local startups, Cal Poly organizations, and the community.

Your gift could support:

  • Student industry tours of major firms and employers
  • Career readiness resources and initiatives
  • Student scholarships/faculty fellowships

Cal Poly’s real estate finance concentration empowers students to navigate an increasingly complex profession. Successful real estate professionals wear many hats. In this spirit, the course work emphasizes an understanding of various city and environmental regulations. The unique Learn by Doing projects also emphasize the best architectural and construction management practices. Most importantly, the coursework emphasizes finance. That is, the coursework concerns all facets of real estate. With the degree, graduates are ready for job opportunities in real estate investment banking, consulting, insurance, REITs, brokerage firms, and real estate startups. Students can further develop their skills through participation in the Cal Poly Real Estate Club.

Your gift could support:

  • Student industry tours of major firms and employers
  • Career readiness resources and initiatives
  • Student scholarships/faculty fellowships

Questions? Contact the Orfalea College of Business Dean’s Office.
ocobadvancement@calpoly.edu | 805-756-2705