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18-year-old Cal Poly grad will be youngest to receive a diploma this weekend

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Posted at 2:17 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-11 00:48:28-04

Karan Singh will receive his diploma on Saturday along with thousands of other students in the Cal Poly Class of 2022.

The 18-year-old will not only get his bachelor's in electrical engineering, but he will also be among the youngest students to earn a Cal Poly degree.

Singh has always looked for an accelerated way to learn, he told KSBY.

"It was mostly not wanting to waste time, through elementary school, middle, high school, et cetera," he said. "I always felt like I wasn't doing enough, or being taught enough, and I wanted to learn more."

Singh skipped a grade in elementary school and only spent two years in high school before taking a state-certified test to leave early. He started his bachelor's degree at Cal Poly when he was 15.

Just two and a half years later, he will receive his diploma. Singh says he took a heavy course load each term to make it possible.

"It helped that I was virtual for most of my degree," Singh said, explaining that he took as many as 25 units per quarter. "After my second quarter, the pandemic happened. So I was virtual up until my second-to-last quarter."

When asked why he chose Cal Poly, Singh said a campus tour won him over.

"The environment, the feel, everything was very professional," he said. "And 'Learn by Doing'—of course, their motto—it's a more practical design, which I liked."

He said didn't feel like he was missing out on anything.

"I like being productive—working toward the betterment of society," Singh said.

Singh isn't done learning. He will begin a doctorate program in the fall, where he plans to focus on the biomedical field.

For now, Singh is working in a lab at Stanford that uses ultrasound to treat epilepsy and Alzheimer's.

The oldest member of Cal Poly's Class of 2022 is a master's degree student who is 74.

The oldest graduate in Cal Poly's history was an 84-year-old member of the Class of 1979.

Cal Poly says in 2018, Cruz Godar received a mathematics degree at the age of 17.

This story has been updated to reflect that Singh is the youngest student graduating with the class of 2022 and not the youngest student ever at the university.