Orfalea College of Business

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The Orfalea College of Business
MottoDiscere Faciendo (Latin)
Motto in English
To Learn by Doing
DeanDr. Scott Dawson
Academic staff
81 (2012 Fall)[1]
Undergraduates2,488 (2013 Fall)[2]
Postgraduates44 (2013 Fall)[2]
Location, ,
AffiliationsCalifornia Polytechnic State University
Orfalea College of Business

The Orfalea College of Business is one of six colleges at California Polytechnic State University.


The Orfalea College of Business

The college was first established in 1959 as a Business Department in the Sciences Division. In 1962, the Business Department became part of the Applied Arts Division. In 1970, it became part of the School of Business and Social Sciences. Finally, in 1976 it became the College of Business. In 1987, the school became AACSB accredited for their master's program. The building the school is currently housed in was opened in 1992. In 2001, the college was named after Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko's, in recognition of his $15 million gift to the school.[3]


The Wall Street Journal's rankings by major placed Cal Poly 22nd for business or economics majors.[4] In 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Cal Poly's Orfalea College of Business 64th out of the nation’s top 124 undergraduate business colleges.[5]



For freshmen entering Fall 2016, Orfalea accepted 30.9% of applicants (2,115 accepted/6,828 applied); entering freshmen had an average high school GPA of 4.02, an average ACT Composite score of 30, and an average SAT score of 1342. [6]

Fields of Study[edit]

The Orfalea College of Business offers 3 majors, 4 minors, and 9 areas of concentrations and options within the Business Administration and Economics Department.[7]

  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Industrial Technology and Packaging

Areas of Concentration[edit]

  • Accounting
  • Consumer Packaging Solutions
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Industrial Technology
  • Management and Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Real Estate Finance

Accounting program[edit]

The accounting program prepares students for careers in professional services firms, industry and government. It is recognized as a “preferred” school for recruiting by the big four public accounting firms.[8] Cal Poly is a recipient of special designations from Ernst & Young and KPMG.[9]


Green Light Program: Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business offers a special opportunity for incoming first-year students in the Business Administration major. The Green Light program enrolls qualified students in business courses that are traditionally taken in the sophomore and junior level years. These courses are specially chosen for freshmen who want to begin exploring the curriculum and career options in Business Administration right away. Due to the high demand of being a part of this thriving program, students are required to have exceptional math scores. According to Dean Dave Christy, the Green Light Business Program is designed to respond to the needs of first year students who want to start taking business courses and get involved in the Orfalea College of Business community.[10]

Quantitative Sequence: The “Quant Sequence” is designed to give students the option of pursuing a more quantitative approach to business to optimize their potential in the market. The series’ directed coursework distinguishes the Quantitative Sequence student from other students in Business and Economics for employers seeking first-time job seekers with specialized and more advanced problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.[11]



  • MBA – General Management
  • MBA – Agribusiness
  • MBA – Graphic Communication Document Systems Management
  • MBA – Architectural Management Track (Restricted to existing Cal Poly Architecture students only)
  • MBA – Landscape Architectural Management (Restricted to existing Cal Poly Architecture students only)

Accelerated Track Master of Business Administration (MBA): Orfalea's 1-year (Track 1) accelerated MBA is a 60-64 unit daytime MBA program, consisting of 36-units of required courses with the remaining 24-28 elective units selected from a group of advanced courses.[12]

Traditional MBA: The traditional MBA (Track 2) provides students the ability to take less than the accelerated 16 units per quarter or the option to pursue their degree on a part-time basis. While courses are typically offered during daytime hours, working professionals with work hour flexibility can choose to pursue their degree using this option. Classes typically meet Monday through Thursday. Friday's are reserved for team projects, guest speakers, career services and other extracurricular pursuits.[13]

MBA Dual Degrees[edit]

A dual degree program, involves a student working for two different university degrees simultaneously and in parallel, usually completing them in less time than it would take to earn them separately. The Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business Graduate Programs offer a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) which can be coupled with many of the other master's degree programs available at Cal Poly. This option, allows students to develop a dual degree curriculum that is customized to their specific academic and professional goals. Also available is the MBA & MS in Engineering Management (EMP) dual degree.[14] The Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business allows students to combine an MBA degree with a complementary graduate degree in the sciences, engineering, education, kinesiology, mathematics, and a variety of other fields.[14]

MS in Accounting[edit]

Each program is a one-year intensive program that seeks to enable its graduates to meet the academic requirements for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant in California including the changes in the California law expected to go into effect January 2014. Students preparing to become licensed as a CPA will be candidates for careers with international public accounting firms, regional and local CPA firms, industry and government. Students may select a specialization in financial reporting or taxation. The curriculum in each program requires 45 units of study.

Master of Science in Accounting – specialization in Tax: The MSA-Tax specialization prepares its graduates for a career in federal, state or local taxation with a public accounting firm, industry, or a state or federal governmental tax agency. The graduate tax student begins the program of study with a 3-week special summer session beginning one month prior to the traditional start of fall quarter classes. All MST students will successfully complete a clinical tax education internship during the winter tax-filing season consistent with Cal Poly’s educational philosophy of “learn by doing.”

Master of Science in Accounting – specialization in Financial Accounting: The MSA-FA specialization prepares candidates for careers with international public accounting firms, regional and local CPA firms, industry and government. The MSA-FA specialization is a uniquely designed, multi-disciplinary approach to graduate accounting education that couples advanced financial accounting and audit curriculum with courses in information systems.

MS in Business & Technology[edit]

The MS—BT degree at Cal Poly is a 45-unit program that is housed in the Orfalea College of Business . The Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business and its programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Industrial Technology program is accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT).[15]

On-Campus Research and Development Track: This track is designed for recent BS recipients (engineering, industrial technology, physical sciences) who have interests in enhancing their skills in applied, problem-focused research methods and practices, as well as broadening their expertise in management-of-technology knowledge. This 11-month accelerated cohort track begins with a 3-week intensive summer experience and ends with an early summer international business study tour.[15]

Off-Campus Working Professionals Track: This cohort track is designed for the early-career full-time employees already working in a technology-focused company. Candidates for this track will possess a bachelor’s level technical degree and are on a trajectory to move up into more senior management positions in technology related functions. This track is designed for those that will continue to work full-time but have the ability to dedicate a limited amount of time away from work. Spread over six academic quarters and 21 calendar months, this track offers a mixed delivery format of approximately 20% face-to-face on-campus delivery, during scheduled on-campus weekends, and the balance delivered online through a variety of courseware options and distance learning facilitation.[15]

360° panorama view of Richard J. O'Neill Green lawn outside the Orfalea College of Business.

Executive Partners Program[edit]

The Executive Partners Program of the Orfalea College of Business is an organization of Senior Executives and College Administrators who volunteer their time to share their business experience and expertise. The program was developed to utilize the executive and entrepreneurial talent in the San Luis Obispo area to benefit Cal Poly students. The program matches students with local professionals who will be able to mentor students on career options and give insights into the practical environment of their career choice. The organization's mission is to develop and implement programs and forums that will benefit students by providing access to the professional community, which will enhance and extend their academic experience to transition into their chosen professions.[16]

Partner Areas[edit]

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Health Care
  • International
  • Management
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Supply Chain/Operations
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship[edit]

The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is designed to enable students to interact with faculty, with experienced entrepreneurs, and with each other in ways that will enhance their educational experience as well as strengthen ties between the California entrepreneurial community and Cal Poly while enhancing the university’s historic strengths in technological innovation. Faculties not only innovate, but also conduct applied research on innovation processes – public policies, organizational processes, history and a range of important topics. The iQ Innovative Quest is a non-profit, philanthropic corporation founded by successful Cal Poly graduates and business leaders interested in giving back and enhancing innovation at the same time. The Ray Scherr Elevator Pitch Competition is to attract innovators and entrepreneurs from faculty and students across campus and integrate them into the entrepreneurial pipeline.[17]


Orfalea College of Business building.

The four-story building is situated beautifully in front of the Richard O’Neill Green lawn. Paul J. Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s, and his family have donated a gift of securities worth $15 million to the College of Business. The donation is earmarked to enhance the quality and scope of business education for Cal Poly students. The CSU Board of Trustees voted on January 24, 2001 to officially approve the naming of the Orfalea College of Business in recognition of Mr. Orfalea’s generous gift.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cal Poly Fall 2012 Fact Book" (PDF). Cal Poly Institutional Planning and Analysis.
  2. ^ a b "Fall 2013 Final Census" (PDF). Cal Poly Institutional Planning and Analysis.
  3. ^ "About Paul Orfalea". California Polytechnic State University. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Paths to Profession: Rankings by Major, The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2010
  5. ^ The Complete Ranking: Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 20, 2013
  6. ^ "Prospective Student Profile Admissions - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo". admissions.calpoly.edu.
  7. ^ "Undergraduate Programs - Indisputable leader in experiential business education". www.cob.calpoly.edu.
  8. ^ "Accounting & Law - Undergraduate Programs". www.cob.calpoly.edu.
  9. ^ "Special Designations from Recruiters - Undergraduate Programs". www.cob.calpoly.edu.
  10. ^ "Green Light Program - Undergraduate Programs". www.cob.calpoly.edu.
  11. ^ "Prospective Student Resources - Undergraduate Programs". www.cob.calpoly.edu.
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-04-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2011-04-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ [4][dead link]

External links[edit]