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Abbreviations and acronyms are used quite a bit at Cal Poly — and they can look like alphabet soup at first. They're useful in quickly identifying colleges, groups or other campus organizations and practices, but they may not always be familiar to people outside of the college or organization. We've compiled a handy guide, but always remember to use the full name on first reference or when introducing it to someone.

Cal Poly

Our preferred names for the university is Cal Poly or California Polytechnic State University. Our guidelines go into further detail on how to use the Cal Poly name.


For named colleges, best practice is to use the shortened name of the college. Unnamed colleges use acronyms.

  1. CAED College of Architecture and Environmental Design
  2. CAFES College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
  3. CENG College of Engineering
  4. CLA College of Liberal Arts
  5. Bailey Bailey College of Science and Mathematics 
  6. Orfalea Orfalea College of Business

Divisions and Auxiliary Organizations

  1. AA Academic Affairs.
  2. A&F Administration and Finance.
  3. ASI Associated Students Inc. is the campus student government organization that runs programs and facilities for students.
  4. ITS Information Technology Services.
  5. OUDI The Office of University Diversity and Inclusion leads efforts to build diversity and promote inclusion, attract and respond to a diverse campus community and nurture a respectful and inclusive campus climate.
  6. SA Student Affairs.
  7. SEM Strategic Enrollment Management.
  8. UCM University Communications and Marketing is the campus department responsible for telling the Cal Poly story on campus and beyond.
  9. UDAE University Development and Alumni Engagement.

Units, Centers and other Campus Organizations/Places

  1. BAEC The Black Academic Excellence Center is a space dedicated to supporting and uplifting Black students at Cal Poly.
  2. CAB Center for Applications in Biotechnology
  3. CCI The California Cybersecurity Institute solves cybersecurity challenges via collaboration between Cal Poly and industry partners.
  4. CCMS The Center for Coastal Marine Sciences facilitates interdisciplinary studies of coastal marine systems.
  5. CESAME Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education
  6. CHR Center for Health Research
  7. CHW Campus Health and Wellbeing is the hub for all health services on campus.
  8. CIE The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship helps students and community members develop entrepreneurial skills.
  9. DRC The Disability Resource Center helps facilitate equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of campus life for students with permanent and temporary disabilities.
  10. MCC The Multicultural Center is an educational space dedicated to students, with a focus on students from historically underrepresented groups.
  11. PAC The Performing Arts Center is the premiere performance space on Cal Poly's campus. Concerts, comedians and other events are held there.
  12. SDAB Student Diversity and Belonging is a collective of campus resource centers that support and empower students experiencing marginalization through intersectional advocacy and cultural connections.
  13. TAPS Transportation and Parking Services handles parking permits, tickets and other services related to transportation and parking on campus.
  14. UPD University Police Department, a more commonly used acronym for the Cal Poly Police Department.
  15. UU Abbreviation for the Julian A. McPhee University Union.
  16. WCTC Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center



  1. B.A. Bachelor of Arts
  2. B.S. Bachelor of Science
  3. BFA Bachelor of Fine Arts
  4. BArch Bachelor of Architecture
  5. BLA Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
  6. M.A. Master of Arts
  7. M.S. Master of Science
  8. MAgEd Master of Agricultural Education
  9. MFA Master of Fine Arts
  10. MBA Master of Business Administration
  11. MCRP Master of City and Regional Planning
  12. MPP Master of Public Policy
  13. MPS Master of Professional Studies
  14. Ph.D. Doctorate

Events and Programs

  1. PCW PolyCultural Weekend is an orientation program for traditionally underrepresented admitted students. 
  2. SLO Days Student Life Orientation Days is a welcoming event for the newest students to campus.
  3. SURP The Summer Undergraduate Research Program provides summer research opportunities for undergraduate students.
  4. WOW Week of Welcome is a week full of activities for new and transfer students before fall quarter begins.