General Graduation Requirements
There are eight general requirements which all students must meet in order to earn the bachelor's degree from Cal Poly and participate in commencement. The more students understand their progress toward meeting these requirements and relate them to the many programs available, the better the chance of creating an exciting educational experience and avoiding errors which may delay graduation.
Students must be formally admitted to the major in which they wish to graduate, and must matriculate, in order to earn a degree.
The specific requirements for each degree program are shown under the academic department offering the major and include a curriculum display with courses listed by Major, Support, Concentration (if applicable), General Education, and Free Electives. Each major has a degree flow chart, which shows the recommended sequence of courses leading to the degree; see the "Degree Flowcharts" link at the top of this page.
Students are responsible for meeting all requirements, and should embrace the responsibility. Advice is available from faculty advisors, college advising centers, the Office of the Registrar, and students’ online Degree Progress Reports. Students should plan their degree programs carefully and review them frequently with their advisors. Students are strongly encouraged to access their Degree Progress Report frequently, including after they register each quarter, to verify that courses in which they enrolled are fulfilling requirements as expected. They are also encouraged to address any unanticipated deficiencies in the information shown on their Degree Progress Report, while realizing that recently received substitutions, transfer credit, etc., may not yet be reflected in the Degree Progress Report. As they approach graduation, careful attention to the Degree Progress Report will help ensure that they complete degree requirements in a timely fashion.
Minimum Requirements for Graduation
- Minimum Number of Units
Baccalaureate degree programs ........... Minimum 180 units
Individual baccalaureate degree programs may require more than 180 units. (Title 5, Sections 40500, 40501, 40505, 40507) A minimum of 60 units overall must be upper division (defined as any course completed by the student at the 300- or 400-level; this could include transfer work completed at the upper-division level at a four-year institution).
Minimum Requirements for Graduation Degree Minimum # of major units at 300-400 level Bachelor of Arts (BA) 18 Bachelor of Science (BS) 27 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) 27 Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) 41 Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) 41
- Grade Point Average (GPA)
Students must earn at least a 2.000 GPA in all three of the following: 1) all Higher Education units earned (all college-level work), 2) Cal Poly cumulative units earned, and 3) the major (the courses used to meet Major Courses, see the curriculum sheet; support courses do not count toward major GPA). For a definition of GPA and grade points and units graded, please refer to the Grading section of this catalog.
- U. S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP) Requirement
Students must complete the USCP requirement. See the separate section on USCP.
- General Education (GE) Requirements
Students must complete the GE requirements as indicated in the degree program and shown in the GE section of this catalog. A CSU-mandated minimum of 72 units of GE overall must be completed.
- Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
Students must demonstrate competency in writing skills (as described below).
- Senior Project
A senior project is required for all Cal Poly students (as described below).
- Academic Residence Requirements
The minimum requirements for units taken in residence at Cal Poly are:
- 50 quarter units
- 36 of the 50 units in residence must be upper division
- 18 of the 36 upper division units in residence must be in the major
- 12 units of General Education
- 28 units in residence of the last 40 units counted toward the degree
Extension credit or credit by examination may not be used to fulfill the residence requirements. However, a maximum of 36 quarter units of extension credit may be counted toward the bachelor's degree.
- Disciplinary Condition
When an allegation has been made that a student has violated Executive Order 1096, 1097, or any of the Standards for Student Conduct (Title 5, section 41301 of the California Code of Regulations), and the student is under inquiry and/or investigation or a sanction has been applied for a violation, degree conferral may be impacted. If a student is expelled from the University, regardless of academic progress, including when a student has completed all academic requirements at the time of the expulsion, the student will not receive a degree. Expulsion means permanent separation from the University and no degree will be conferred.
- Graduation Application Process
When undergraduate students reach 72% or more of degree completion (78% for Architecture and Landscape Architecture majors) as indicated on their Academic Progress gauge on Poly Profile, the Office of the Registrar will assign an expected graduation term for them that is the greater of either: one year away or four years from their first admit term (five years for students in Architecture and Landscape Architecture). Transfer students will be given no less than three years from their admit term. This process occurs each quarter except summer.
Students will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, informing them that their graduation term has been set for them, and that they are expected to graduate by that term.
The expected graduation term can be viewed in the Student Center and Poly Profile.
Students are not able to register beyond their expected graduation term.
However, there may be legitimate reasons why some students need to extend their graduation term beyond the one that is automatically set for them.
Students with such academically or personally justifiable reasons to extend their graduation term can fill out the Change of Degree Completion Term form and see their advisor for possible approval of the request to extend. The form can be found at: https://registrar.calpoly.edu/registrar_forms.
This form should also be used by students who wish to move their graduation term earlier than the one assigned for them by the university. Advisor approval is not needed to move to an earlier graduation term.
Once notified that their graduation term has been set, students should access their Degree Progress Report each time they register, to ensure that they are fulfilling the requirements for their degree.Students are encouraged to submit any and all paperwork (substitutions, transcripts for requirements completed elsewhere, etc.) in a timely fashion in order to expedite conferral of degrees.
If a student breaks enrollment prior to completion of degree requirements, she or he may be required to re-enroll and may be held to catalog requirements in effect at that time.
When undergraduate students reach 72% or more of degree completion, as indicated on their Academic Progress Gauge on Poly Profile, the Office of the Registrar will assign an expected graduation term for them that is a full four years after their initial admit term, or one year away, whichever is greater. Transfer students will be given an expected graduation term that is three years after their initial admit term. Students will receive an email from the Evaluations Unit of the Office of the Registrar informing them that their expected grad term has been set. The expected graduation term can be viewed in the Student Center and Poly Profile.
Graduate (Master's) students must submit a Graduate Application for Graduation Form to the Graduate Education Office at least two quarters prior to the anticipated term of degree completion.
The actual date of graduation (degree conferral) is the end of the quarter in which all requirements have been met. This date may differ from the student’s last quarter of enrollment (for example, a student who completes the Graduation Writing Requirement [GWR] or submits Senior Project for final grading after the last term of enrollment).
Graduating students receive one complimentary diploma. Additional diplomas may be ordered through The University Store. The diploma is not ordered until all degree requirements have been completed. The diploma is mailed to the student’s mailing address by the Evaluations Unit in the Office of the Registrar approximately three to four weeks after the degree has been conferred. It is the student’s responsibility to update her/his mailing address on the Cal Poly Portal prior to the end of the final quarter of enrollment, to ensure the receipt of their diploma.
Concentrations and minors are not noted on the diploma; they are noted on the transcript. Latin honors are noted on both the diploma and the transcript; the Distinction notation for Master's students is noted on both the diploma and the transcript.
Once a degree has been awarded, subsequent revision or alteration of any transcript entry is permitted only for correction of proven error as certified by the appropriate academic dean and the Registrar. No changes are made to the academic record 60 days following the degree conferral date.
The Commencement Office provides graduates and guests with a memorable and meaningful graduation experience that symbolizes the culmination of their academic achievements. Commencement ceremonies are coordinated in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the university’s Commencement Operations and Policy Committees, which are held twice annually in June and December.
To be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies, students must satisfy at least one of the following:
- Completed all degree requirements and have not participated in a previous commencement ceremony;
- Be currently enrolled in classes that will complete all of that student's degree requirements; or,
- Be registered for classes for the following term that will allow the student to complete all of their degree requirements.
Students completing all degree requirements in the Winter, Spring or Summer terms are automatically eligible to participate in the Spring (June) Commencement. Students completing all degree requirements in the Fall term are eligible for Fall (December) Commencement. Graduate (Masters) students must submit a Request for Graduation Evaluation Form to the Graduate Education Office at least two quarters prior to the anticipated term of degree completion.
Students who wish to participate in a commencement ceremony other than the one for which they are scheduled and in which they are eligible to participate must complete a Commencement Request Form.
Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
The Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) is a CSU Board of Trustees mandate designed to ensure that students can write proficiently before they enter the professional workforce. All Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including Master's degrees and teaching credentials, must fulfill the GWR before a diploma can be awarded.
- Graduate and postbaccalaureate students must attempt to fulfill the GWR during their first quarter in residence at Cal Poly if they do not qualify for a GWR substitution.
- Undergraduate students with 90 or more completed units should attempt to fulfill the requirement before their senior year. Upper-division transfer students who completed the requirement at another CSU campus prior to enrollment at Cal Poly may transfer completion of the requirement.
Students should review the requirements of their major program of study to determine which of the following options is the appropriate pathway for GWR completion:
- Pass a GWR-certified course with a grade of C or better (C- or below does not qualify). The course may be taken on a credit/no credit basis, but the student must earn a minimum grade of C in order to satisfy the GWR component of the class. Available sections of GWR-certified courses are searchable in the class schedule.
- Pass the Writing Proficiency Exam.
Further information on pathways to meeting this degree requirement may be obtained from the Office of Writing and Learning Initiatives, Kennedy Library (35) Room 202A (805-756-2067), or on the GWR webpage, https://writingandlearning.calpoly.edu/gwr.
All Cal Poly undergraduate students shall complete a senior project as part of their baccalaureate degree program requirements.
Definition: A capstone experience is a high-impact educational practice in which students (a) integrate and evaluate the knowledge and skills gained in both the General Education (GE) and major curricula and (b) demonstrate career or postgraduate readiness.
As a bridge from college to career/postgraduate success, the senior project at Cal Poly is a capstone experience with achievable outcomes that culminates in a self-directed final production or product carried out under faculty direction. Senior projects analyze, evaluate, and synthesize a student's general and discipline-specific educational experiences; relate to a student's field of study, future employment, and/or postgraduate scholastic goals; and include an element of critical, self-reflectiveness to facilitate student development and promote the metacognitive awareness that leads to lifelong learning.
Expected Outcomes: While major programs of study are responsible for designing specific senior project learning outcomes, all senior projects at Cal Poly provide an opportunity for holistic, competency-based assessment that demonstrates a strong foundation in general and discipline-specific knowledge as well as an advanced proficiency in the core competencies of critical thinking, written and oral communication, information literacy, and quantitative reasoning.
Furthermore, senior projects broadly address program learning objectives, which align with one or more University Learning Objectives.
Forms & Examples: Senior projects may be research-, project-, and/or portfolio-based; individually supervised or course-based; independently completed or team-based; discipline-specific and/or interdisciplinary. They may take forms including, but not limited to, the following:
- an experiment;
- a self-guided study;
- a student-generated research project;
- participation in a faculty-generated research project;
- engagement in an industry-driven project;
- a report based on a prior or concurrent co-op/internship or service learning experience;
- a design or construction project;
- a portfolio of work documenting the results of creative practices, and/or
- a public presentation or performance.
Requirements: Each academic department determines specific senior project requirements, yet all senior projects and senior project policies adhere to the following requirements.
Senior projects shall
- commence when, or after, a student has earned senior standing, though completion of preparatory courses and/or research may precede senior standing;
- serve as a bridge from the college experience to professional/postgraduate readiness;
- include clearly defined student learning outcomes that are aligned with program learning objectives;
- have faculty oversight with scheduled meetings for which specific timelines/outcomes are defined;
- include a formal proposal and/or statement of intent to be submitted to the faculty advisor;
- involve inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and creation;
- demonstrate core competencies in critical thinking, written and/or oral communication, information literacy, and quantitative and/or qualitative reasoning;
- require a process/production and culminate in a final product as defined at the program level;
- include an explicit element of self-reflection;
- adhere to discipline-specific norms of academic integrity and ethical practices;
- be individually and formally assessed;
- include a minimum count of 3 units, or 90 hours of work, with no maximum;
- take no more than three quarters to complete;
- be assigned grades consistent with Cal Poly's policy.
Note: Senior projects shall neither consist solely of a co-op/internship experience nor solely of a test/exam of any kind, and senior projects shall not be unsupervised.
Archiving: Each academic department determines a process for archiving senior projects, whether at the department or college level and/or in collaboration with Kennedy Library. Policies and procedures governing submissions to Kennedy Library's institutional repository are based on University policies pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), intellectual property rights, and CSU accessibility requirements. Senior projects submitted to Digital Commons, the institutional repository hosted by Kennedy Library, become part of university's scholarly record.
California State University (CSU) General Education Breadth Requirements
GE Program Learning Outcomes
GE Course Substitutions
GE Study Abroad
GE 2020 Standard and High-Unit Templates
General Education Courses
The General Education program is one of the primary sites for realizing Cal Poly's vision of a comprehensive polytechnic education. The program promotes an understanding and appreciation of the foundational disciplines that ground all intellectual inquiry. It enriches the specialized knowledge acquired in a major program with an understanding of its scientific, humanistic, artistic, and technological contexts. The program imparts knowledge and transferable skills, fosters critical thinking and ethical decision making, supports integrative learning, and prepares students for civic engagement and leadership.
Consistent with the California State University (CSU) Executive Order 1100, Cal Poly's General Education (GE) program has been designed to complement major courses and electives completed by each baccalaureate candidate. The GE program seeks to cultivate well-rounded and informed persons. GE requirements are designed to provide CSU students with the knowledge, skills, experiences, and perspectives that will enable them to expand their capacities to take part in a wide range of human interests and activities; confront personal, cultural, moral, and social problems that are an inevitable part of human life; and develop an enthusiasm for lifelong learning. Faculty are encouraged to assist students in making connections among disciplines to achieve coherence in the undergraduate educational experience.
Adopted Spring 2014 by the General Education Governance Board
After completing Cal Poly's General Education Program, students will be able to:
- Construct and critique arguments from a logical perspective.
- Use appropriate rhetorical strategies to connect with diverse audiences through oral, written, and visual modes of communication.
- Address real world problems by demonstrating broad disciplinary knowledge, skills, and values in arts, humanities, sciences, and technology.
- Understand the value of a general education in relation to major course of study.
- Collaborate with people of different backgrounds, values, and experience.
- Evaluate global and local issues and their impact on society.
- Use intention and reflection to develop and improve one's own learning.
Students are expected to complete the GE courses published for their degree program. Cal Poly GE courses must be selected from the approved GE list. Substitutions are not permitted except in extraordinary circumstances. Students requesting exceptions must follow petition procedures, outlined on the GE website https://ge.calpoly.edu/students/petitions. This process may take several weeks.
Students are should first review the list of study abroad courses that have already been pre-approved for Cal Poly GE credit (https://ge.calpoly.edu/study-abroad). If the course is not listed here, students are strongly encouraged to submit a GE study abroad petition before going abroad in order to determine if the course will be granted GE credit. For assistance with GE study abroad petitions, contact the Cal Poly International Center at email@example.com.
Transfer credit for GE courses is accepted from California institutions, as approved by the Chancellor’s Office. The GE Area designators at Cal Poly (e.g., GE A1, D4) may be different at other colleges or universities. For more information, go to How to Use Assist located on the Office of the Registrar’s website. Some Cal Poly programs specify particular GE courses for major or support; these courses must be met with articulated equivalencies. Refer to https://assist.org/ for California Community College both CSU GE lists and specific articulation agreements.
- All Cal Poly students are required to take 72 quarter units of General Education.
- A minimum of 12 units is required in residence (i.e., Cal Poly enrollment).
- A minimum of 12 units is required at the upper-division level (8 units upper-division for ABET-accredited engineering programs)
- For students admitted in Fall 2016 or later, a grade of C- or better is required in one course in each of the following GE Areas: A1 (Oral Communication), A2 (Written Communication), A3 (Critical Thinking), and B4 (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning).
- Double Counting: Some majors indicate specific GE courses to fulfill both GE and major requirements. (These are listed in the major's curriculum display.) Students should consult their academic advisors during freshman year for clarification.
- All GE courses are 4 units unless otherwise indicated.
All General Education courses must have an appropriate writing component. In achieving this objective, writing in most courses should be viewed primarily as a tool of learning (rather than a goal in itself as in a composition course), and faculty should determine the appropriate ways to integrate writing into coursework. The writing component may take different forms according to the subject matter and the purpose of a course. Outside of the GE areas specified below, at least 10% of the grade in all GE courses must be based on appropriate written work (e.g., lab reports, math proofs, essay questions, word problems, exam questions).
Writing Intensive Policy
GE areas A2, A3, Upper-Division C, and Upper-Division D are designated as Writing Intensive. All courses in these areas must include a minimum of 3,000 words of writing and base 50% or more of a student’s grade on written work. GE area C2 is also designated as Writing Intensive, but all courses in this area must include a minimum of 2,000 words of writing and base 50% or more of a student’s grade on written work. All Writing Intensive courses must include process-oriented writing instruction in which faculty provide ongoing feedback to students to help them grasp the effectiveness of their writing in various disciplinary contexts. The kind and amount of writing must be a factor in determining class sizes.
The “Golden Four” classes are a set of foundational learning classes that set the stage for future learning within GE and within the major programs. As such, students are encouraged to complete these four courses within the first year. These courses are all three courses within Area A plus B4: Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning. The three courses within Area A provide instruction and practice in writing, speaking, and critical thinking. Completion of one or more courses within this area is often a prerequisite for other GE courses. All Golden Four subareas require students to earn a grade of C- or better. (Other GE courses require a passing grade of D- or better.)
Intellectual and Practical Skills, Knowledge of Human Cultures, and Personal and Social Responsibility
Cal Poly’s GE program includes two templates: the Standard Template and the High-Unit Template. A “high-unit” program, as it relates to the GE template, refers to all programs within the College of Engineering along with the other ABET-accredited programs of ARCE and BRAE. Only these programs are considered high-unit degree programs and, as such, only students within those degrees will follow the High-Unit Template.
Majors In Templates in Table Below
High-Unit: ARCE, BRAE, and College of Engineering majors
Standard: All other majors
X = non-unit requirement
|ENGLISH LANGUAGE COMMUNICATION AND CRITICAL THINKING (AREA A)|
|Oral Communication (A1)1||4||4|
|Written Communication (A2-Writing Intensive)1||4||4|
|Critical Thinking (A3-Writing Intensive)1||4||4|
For students admitted in Fall 2016 or later, a grade of C- or better is required in one course in this GE Area.
|SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY AND QUANTITATIVE REASONING (AREA B)|
|Physical Science (B1)||4||4|
|Life Science (B2)||4||4|
|Laboratory Activity (B3)||(in B1 or B2)||(in B1 or B2)|
|Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (B4)1||4||8|
|Area B Electives 2||X||8|
For students admitted in Fall 2016 or later, a grade of C- or better is required in one course in this GE Area.
See GE Electives In Area B, C, and D section below. An Area B course may be taken in partial fulfillment of GE Electives.
|ARTS AND HUMANITIES (AREA C)|
Lower-division courses in Area C must come from three different prefixes
|Arts: Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theatre (C1)||4||4|
|Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English (C2-Writing Intensive)||4||4|
|Lower-Division C Elective - Select a course from either C1 or C2||4||4|
|Upper-Division C (Writing Intensive)||4||4|
|SOCIAL SCIENCES (AREA D)|
|American Institutions (D1 - Title 5, Section 40404 Requirement)||4||4|
Standard: courses must be from two different prefixes
|Upper-Division D (Writing Intensive)||4||X|
|Area D Elective|
Select either an additional lower-division D2 or an upper-division D course
|LIFELONG LEARNING AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT (AREA E)|
|GE ELECTIVES IN AREA B, C, AND D|
|GE Electives - Select courses from two different areas; may be either lower- or upper-division levels (Standard)||8||X|
|GE TOTAL||72 units||72 units|
- ENGLISH LANGUAGE COMMUNICATION AND CRITICAL THINKING (AREA A)
- SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY AND QUANTITATIVE REASONING (AREA B)
- ARTS AND HUMANITIES (AREA C)
- SOCIAL SCIENCES (AREA D)
- LIFELONG LEARNING AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT (AREA E)
|ENGLISH LANGUAGE COMMUNICATION AND CRITICAL THINKING (AREA A)||12||12|
|Oral Communication (A1)||4||4|
|Principles of Oral Communication|
|Written Communication (A2)||4||4|
|Multilingual Approaches to Academic Writing Stretch (Part II)|
|Writing and Rhetoric Stretch (Part II)|
|Writing and Rhetoric for Multilingual Students|
|Writing and Rhetoric|
|Critical Thinking (A3)||4||4|
|Argument and Advocacy|
|Reasoning, Argumentation, and Writing|
|Reasoning, Argumentation and Professional Writing|
|Technical Writing for Engineers|
|Logic and Argumentative Writing|
|SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY AND QUANTITATIVE REASONING (AREA B)||16||28|
|Physical Science (B1) (B1 & B3=lab course)||4||4|
|Introduction to the Solar System|
|Introduction to Stars and Galaxies|
|World of Chemistry (B1 & B3)|
|General Chemistry for Physical Science and Engineering I (B1 & B3)|
|General Chemistry for Physical Science and Engineering II (B1 & B3)|
|General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science I (B1 & B3)|
|Introduction to Geology|
|Introduction to Meteorology|
|Contemporary Physics for Nonscientists|
|College Physics I|
|College Physics II (B1 & B3)|
|General Physics II (B1 & B3)|
|General Physics III (B1 & B3)|
|General Physics IA|
|Matter and Energy (B1 & B3)|
|Introductory Soil Science (B1 & B3)|
|Soils in Environmental and Agricultural Systems (B1 & B3)|
|Life Science (B2) (B2 & B3=lab course)||4||4|
|People, Pests and Plagues (B2 & B3)|
|Principles of Animal Science|
|General Biology (B2 & B3)|
|Plant Diversity and Ecology (B2 & B3)|
|Biology of Sex|
|Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (B2 & B3)|
|Wildlife Conservation Biology|
|General Botany (B2 & B3)|
|Microbiology (B2 & B3)|
|General Microbiology I (B2 & B3) (5)|
|Introduction to Marine Biology|
For Engineering students only; concurrent enrollment required:
|Life Science for Engineers (2)|
|Bioengineering Fundamentals (2)|
|Laboratory Activity (B3) – to be taken with a course in B1 or B2||X||X|
|Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (B4)||4||8|
|Nature of Modern Math|
|Stretch Precalculus Algebra I (3)|
|Precalculus Algebra I (3)|
|Precalculus Algebra II (3)|
|Calculus for the Life Sciences I|
|Calculus for the Life Sciences II|
|Calculus for Architecture and Construction Management|
|Calculus for Business and Economics|
|Mathematics for Elementary Teaching I|
|Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods|
|Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences|
|Statistical Inference for Management I|
|Statistical Inference for Management II (5)|
|Applied Experimental Design and Regression Models|
|Principles of Organic Crop Production|
|Plants, Food, and Biotechnology|
|Air and Space|
|Cal Poly Land: Nature, Technology, and Society|
|The Global Environment|
|Longitude, Navigation, and Timekeeping|
|Biology of Cancer|
|Genetic Engineering Technology|
|Plants, People and Civilization|
|Irrigation Water Management|
|Energy for a Sustainable Society|
|Chemical and Biological Warfare|
|Sustainability and the Built Environment|
|Computers and Society|
|Computers for Poets|
|Practical Computer Security for Everyone|
|Microcontrollers for Everyone|
|Transportation and Manufacturing in the Twenty-First Century|
|Engineering for the Environment|
|Introduction to Air Pollution|
|Soil, Water, and Civilization|
|Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology|
|Food Technology for the Consumer|
|Seismology and Earth Structure|
|Web and Print Publishing|
|History of Network and Information Technologies|
|Living in a Material World|
|Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Design|
|Human Factors and Technology|
|Topics in Public Engagements with STEM|
|Packaging Polymers and Processing|
|The World of Spatial Data and Geographic Information Technology|
|Linear Analysis II|
|Complex Analysis I|
|Consumer Energy Guide|
|Everything is Designed: The Invention and Evolution of Products|
|World Aquaculture: Applications, Methodologies and Trends|
|Technologies for Ocean Discovery|
|Technology of Wildland Fire Management|
|Water Systems Technology, Issues and Impacts|
|Solid State Physics|
and Solid State Physics Laboratory
|Nonlinear Dynamical Systems|
|World Food Systems|
|Nuclear Weapons in the Post-9/11 World|
|Energy, Society and the Environment|
|Religion, Science and Technology|
|Technology in London|
|Nuclear Science and Society|
|Selected Environmental Issues of California's Central Coast|
|Statistical Methods for Engineers|
|Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists|
|Probability and Random Processes for Engineers|
|High Unit students select 2 courses from B1-B4||X||8|
|ARTS AND HUMANITIES (AREA C)|
Lower-division courses in Area C must come from three different prefixes
|Arts: Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theatre (C1)||4||4|
|History of Structures|
|History of World Architecture: Prehistory - Middle Ages|
|History of World Architecture: Middle Ages - 18th Century|
|History of World Architecture: 18th Century - Present|
|The Fundamentals of Drawing|
|Introduction to Art|
|Survey of Western Art|
|Basic Digital Photography|
|Performance of Literature|
|History of Landscape Architecture: Ancient Civilizations through Colonial America|
|History of Modern and Contemporary Landscape Architecture|
|Introduction to Music Theory|
|Popular Music of the USA|
|Music of the 60's: War and Peace|
|Introduction to Theatre|
|Theatre History I|
|Theatre History II|
|Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English (C2)||4||4|
|British Literature: Beginnings to 1789|
|British Literature: 1789 to the Present|
|American Literature: Beginnings to 1865|
|American Literature: 1830 to the Present|
|Introduction to Classical Literature|
|Introduction to Medieval through Enlightenment Literature|
|Introduction to Romanticist through Modernist Literature|
|Children's Literature in a Diverse Society|
|Critical Reading in French Literature|
|Critical Reading in German Literature|
|Philosophical Classics: Knowledge and Reality|
|Philosophical Classics: Ethics and Political Philosophy|
|Introduction to Hispanic Readings|
Study Abroad C2 courses
|Elementary Mandarin Chinese I Study Abroad|
|Elementary Mandarin Chinese II Study Abroad|
|Elementary Mandarin Chinese III Study Abroad|
|Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I Study Abroad|
|Intermediate Mandarin Chinese II Study Abroad|
|Intermediate Mandarin Chinese III Study Abroad|
|Elementary Italian I Study Abroad|
|Elementary Italian II Study Abroad|
|Elementary Italian III Study Abroad|
|Intermediate Italian I Study Abroad|
|Elementary Spanish I Study Abroad|
|Elementary Spanish II Study Abroad|
|Elementary Spanish III Study Abroad|
|Intermediate Spanish I Study Abroad|
|Intermediate Spanish II Study Abroad|
|Intermediate Spanish III Study Abroad|
|Lower-Division C Elective - Select a course from either C1 or C2.||4||4|
|Topics in Architectural History|
|Native American Architecture and Place (USCP)|
|Art History - Nineteenth Century Art|
|History of Photography|
|Asian Art Topics: National, Religious, and Intellectual Movements|
|Topics in Renaissance Art|
|Group Performance of Literature|
|Cultural Influence on Dance in America (USCP)|
|Advanced Rhetorical Inquiry and Composing|
|Translingual Rhetorical Inquiry and Writing|
|British Literature: Beginnings to 1485|
|British Literature: 1485-1660|
|British Literature: 1660-1798|
|British Literature: 1798-1832|
|British Literature: 1832-1914|
|British Literature: 1914-Present|
|Introduction to Shakespeare|
|American Literature: Beginnings-1865|
|American Literature: 1865-1914|
|American Literature: 1914-1956|
|American Literature: 1956-Present|
|Women Writers of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (USCP)|
|Ethnic American Literature (USCP)|
|African American Literature (USCP)|
|Asian American Literature|
|Gender in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature (USCP)|
|The Modern Novel|
|The Bible as Literature and in Literature and the Arts|
|Film Styles and Genres|
|Topics on Gender Representations in Film|
|Diversity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century American Literature (USCP)|
|LGBT Literature and Media (USCP)|
|Chicano/a Non-Fiction Literature (USCP)|
|Latina/o Literature of the United States (USCP)|
|Chicana/o Literature (USCP)|
|Latina/o Poetry and Politics (USCP)|
|Chicana/o Film (USCP)|
|Cultural Production and Ethnicity|
|Ethnicity and the Land (USCP)|
|Significant Works in French|
|French Literature in English Translation|
|Significant Works in German|
|German Literature in English Translation|
|Values and Technology|
|Topics and Issues in Values, Media and Culture|
|Music and Society|
|Women in Music|
|Early Greek Philosophy through Plato|
|Aristotle and Hellenistic Philosophy|
|Early Modern Rationalism|
|Early Modern Empiricism|
|Kant and 19th Century European Philosophy|
|History of Analytic Philosophy|
|Philosophy of Science|
|Philosophy of Technology|
|Ethics, Science and Technology|
|Technologies and Ethics of Warfare|
|History of Ethics|
|Philosophy of Law|
|Social Ethics (USCP)|
|Feminist Ethics, Gender, Sexuality and Society (USCP)|
|Philosophy of Religion|
|Power, Alienation, and Political Life|
|Philosophy of Literature|
|Chinese and East Asian Philosophy|
|Religions of Asia|
|Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam|
|Religion, Gender, and Society (USCP)|
|Spiritual Extremism: Asceticism, Mysticism, and Madness|
|Religion and Violence|
|Religion and Contemporary Values|
|Significant Works in Spanish|
|Spanish and Latin American Film|
|Chicano/a Authors (USCP)|
|Hispanic Literature in English Translation|
|Chicano/Latino Writers in the United States (USCP)|
|Topics in Diversity on the American Stage (USCP)|
|Theatre in the United States|
|Global Theatre and Performance|
|Humanities in World Cultures|
|Humanities in Chicano/a Culture (USCP)|
|SOCIAL SCIENCES (Area D)||16||12|
|American Institutions (D1 - Title 5, Section 40404 Requirement)||4||4|
|Race, Culture and Politics in the United States (USCP)|
|United States History to 1865 (USCP)|
|United States History Since 1865 (USCP)|
|American Cultures (USCP)|
|Freedom and Equality in American History (USCP)|
|American and California Government|
|Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies in the United States (USCP)|
Standard: courses must be from two different prefixes
|Survey of Economics|
|Global Origins of United States Cultures (USCP)|
|Survey of Indigenous Studies (USCP)|
|Survey of Africana Studies (USCP)|
|Survey of Latino/a Studies (USCP)|
|Survey of Asian American Studies (USCP)|
|World History I|
|Modern Political Economy|
|Comparative Social Movements|
|World History, Beginnings to 1000|
|World History, 1000 - 1800|
|World History, 1800 - Present|
|The World at War|
|Creating Sustainable Communities I (2)|
|Creating Sustainable Communities II (2)|
|Survey of Economics|
|Religion, Dialogue, and Society|
|Sociocultural Dimensions of Work and Leisure|
|International Political Economy|
|Area D Elective|
Select either an additional lower-division D2 or an upper-division D course
|Indigenous South Americans|
|Sex, Death, and Human Nature|
|Human Behavioral Ecology|
|Human Cultural Adaptations|
|Water for a Sustainable Society|
|Managing Technology in the International Legal Environment|
|Housing and Communities|
|Intercultural Communication (USCP)|
|Communication, Media, and Politics|
|Reflections on Biking, Walking and the City|
|Cities in a Global World|
|Economics of Poverty, Discrimination and Immigration (USCP)|
|Comparative Economic Systems|
|Fire and Society|
|Hip-Hop, Poetics and Politics (USCP)|
|African Americans in Popular Culture (USCP)|
|Native Americans in Popular Culture (USCP)|
|Asian Americans in Popular Culture (USCP)|
|Latina/os in Popular Culture (USCP)|
|The Chinese American Experience (USCP)|
|The Filipina/o American Experience (USCP)|
|Queer Ethnic Studies (USCP)|
|Gender, Race, Class, Nation in Global Engineering, Technology & International Development|
|Critical Race Theory (USCP)|
|The Social Construction of Whiteness (USCP)|
|Geography of United States|
|Geography of Latin America|
|Geography of the Caribbean|
|The Witch-Hunts in Europe, 1400-1800|
|European Thought 1800-2000|
|The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade|
|Cultures of West Africa and the African Diaspora|
|East Asian Culture and Civilization|
|Comparative World Environmental History & Sustainability Since 1492|
|Modern Middle East|
|Modern East Asia|
|The Lure of the Sea|
|The City in the Modern World|
|Modern South and Southeast Asia|
|Colonial and Revolutionary America|
|Civil War America|
|United States Foreign Relations since 1898|
|Modern Europe, 1789-1914|
|Modern Europe, 1914-Present|
|Britain at War: The British, the Americans and the Struggle for Freedom, 1939-1945|
|Colonial Latin America|
|Modern Latin America|
|The Scientific Revolution, c. 1500-1800|
|Critical Issues in Latin American Studies|
|London: From Roman Colony to World Capital|
|Sport and Gender (USCP)|
|Sports, Media and American Popular Culture (USCP)|
|Human Dimensions in Natural Resources Management|
|Social Dimensions of Sustainable Food and Fiber Systems|
|Environmental Leadership and Community Engagement|
|Global Political Issues|
|U.S. and China in the Contemporary World|
|Critical Issues in American Politics|
|Authoritarian and Democratic Rule|
|Early American Political Thought|
|Contemporary American Political Thought|
|Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Development|
|Psychology of Aging|
|Conflict Resolution: Violent and Nonviolent|
|Approaches to Religion and Spirituality|
|Global Race and Ethnic Relations|
|Sociology of the Life Cycle|
|Social Change (USCP)|
|Contemporary Societies of the Developing World|
|Sociology of Religion|
|Contemporary Issues in Women's and Gender Studies (USCP)|
|Contemporary Issues in Queer Studies (USCP)|
|Women, Gender and Sexuality in Global Perspective|
|Language, Technology and Society|
|Media, Self and Society|
|Principles of Environmental Design|
|Food and Nutrition: Customs and Culture (USCP)|
|Personal Health: A Multicultural Approach (USCP)|
|Women's Health Issues (USCP)|
|Leadership and Diverse Groups|
|GE ELECTIVES (AREAS B, C, and D)|
Select any Area B, C, or D course listed above; courses must be from two different areas; may be either lower-division or upper-division. In addition to the courses listed above, the following courses can be used in fulfillment of the GE Electives.
Area B Electives
|Environmental Biology and Conservation|
|Fossils and the History of Life|
|Landscape Ecology: Concepts, Issues and Interrelationships|
Area C Electives
|Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I|
|Intermediate Mandarin Chinese II|
|Intermediate Mandarin Chinese III|
|Intermediate French I|
|Intermediate French II|
|Intermediate French III|
|Intermediate German I|
|Intermediate German II|
|Intermediate German III|
|Intermediate Italian I|
|Intermediate Japanese I|
|Intermediate Spanish I|
|Intermediate Spanish II|
|Intermediate Spanish III|
United States Cultural Pluralism (USCP)
USCP courses must fulfill all of the following criteria; and, according to AS-836-17, they must also address the Diversity Learning Objectives (DLOs). USCP courses must:
- Focus on one or more diverse groups (identified in the Cal Poly Statement on Diversity) whose contributions to American society have been impeded by social, cultural, legal, economic, and political conflict or whose social, cultural, legal, economic, and political opportunities have been restricted in the United States;
- Cover the historical and/or contemporary social issues resulting from conflict or restricted opportunities that include but are not limited to problems associated with discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, nationality, abilities, religion, sexual orientation; socioeconomic status, or race in the United States;
- Address the diverse intellectual, philosophical, and cultural perspectives of historically marginalized people in the United States;
- Emphasize the voices and contributions of historically marginalized groups in the United States such that the course content must prominently include sources written and/or produced by historically marginalized people;
- Foster critical thinking skills by using intersectional frameworks of analyses that are necessary for adequately understanding and analyzing various social issues related to diversity and equity in the United States;
- Require students to examine critically their own beliefs, attitudes, and potential biases related to historically marginalized people in the United States.
In addition to satisfying these criteria, USCP courses must also address the Diversity Learning Objectives.
Students are required to complete one USCP course. This course also fulfills a requirement for Major, Support, General Education, or Free Elective category.
The following courses fulfill the United States Cultural Pluralism requirement.
|ANT 415||Native American Cultures||4|
|ARCH 326||Native American Architecture and Place (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ART 375||Intersectional Feminist Art Histories||4|
|COMS 316||Intercultural Communication (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|CRP 215||Planning for and with Multiple Publics||4|
|DANC 321||Cultural Influence on Dance in America (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ECON 303||Economics of Poverty, Discrimination and Immigration (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ENGL 345||Women Writers of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ENGL 346||Ethnic American Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ENGL 347||African American Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ENGL 348||Asian American Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ENGL 349||Gender in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ENGL 381||Diversity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century American Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ENGL 382||LGBT Literature and Media (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 112||Race, Culture and Politics in the United States (D1) 1||4|
|ES 114||Introduction to Ethnic Studies||4|
|ES 212||Global Origins of United States Cultures (D2) 1||4|
|ES 215||Planning for and with Multiple Publics||4|
|ES 241||Survey of Indigenous Studies (D2) 1||4|
|ES 242||Survey of Africana Studies (D2) 1||4|
|ES 243||Survey of Latino/a Studies (D2) 1||4|
|ES 244||Survey of Asian American Studies (D2) 1||4|
|ES 300||Chicano/a Non-Fiction Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 301||Latina/o Literature of the United States (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 302||Chicana/o Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 303||Latina/o Poetry and Politics (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 310||Hip-Hop, Poetics and Politics (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 320||African Americans in Popular Culture (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 321||Native Americans in Popular Culture (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 322||Asian Americans in Popular Culture (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 323||Latina/os in Popular Culture (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 324||Chicana/o Film (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 325||Sexuality and Gender in African American Communities||4|
|ES 326||Native American Architecture and Place (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 330||The Chinese American Experience (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 335||The Filipina/o American Experience (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 345||Queer Ethnic Studies (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 350||Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology (Upper-Division B) 1||4|
|ES 360||Ethnicity and the Land (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|ES 380||Critical Race Theory (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|ES 381||The Social Construction of Whiteness (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|FSN 250||Food and Nutrition: Customs and Culture (E) 1||4|
|HIST 201||United States History to 1865 (D1) 1||4|
|HIST 202||United States History Since 1865 (D1) 1||4|
|HIST 206||American Cultures (D1) 1||4|
|HIST 207||Freedom and Equality in American History (D1) 1||4|
|HIST 208||Survey of California History||4|
|HIST 406||African-American History from 1865||4|
|HIST 435||American Women's History from 1870||4|
|HLTH 255||Personal Health: A Multicultural Approach (E) 1||4|
|HLTH 260||Women's Health Issues (E) 1||4|
|HNRS 112||Race, Culture and Politics in the United States (D1) 1||4|
|HNRS 202||United States History Since 1865 (D1) 1||4|
|HNRS 203||United States History to 1865 (D1) 1||4|
|HNRS 204||Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies in the United States (D1) 1||4|
|HNRS 207||Freedom and Equality in American History (D1) 1||4|
|HNRS 212||Global Origins of United States Cultures (D2) 1||4|
|HNRS 303||Economics of Poverty, Discrimination and Immigration (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|HNRS 336||Social Ethics (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|HNRS 345||Women Writers of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|HNRS 347||African American Literature (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|HNRS 353||Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology (Upper-Division B) 1||4|
|JOUR 219||Multicultural Society and the Mass Media||4|
|KINE 255||Personal Health: A Multicultural Approach (E) 1||4|
|KINE 260||Women's Health Issues (E) 1||4|
|KINE 323||Sport and Gender (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|KINE 324||Sports, Media and American Popular Culture (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|MU 221||Jazz Styles (C1) 1||4|
|MU 227||Popular Music of the USA (C1) 1||4|
|MU 229||Music of the 60's: War and Peace (C1) 1||4|
|MU 325||America's Music||4|
|MU 328||Women in Music (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|NR 360||Ethnicity and the Land (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|PHIL 335||Social Ethics (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|PHIL 336||Feminist Ethics, Gender, Sexuality and Society (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|POLS 310||The Politics of Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality||4|
|POLS 343||Civil Rights in America||4|
|POLS 445||Voting Rights and Representation||4|
|PSY 260||African American Psychology||4|
|PSY 372||Multicultural Psychology||4|
|PSY 475||The Social Psychology of Prejudice||4|
|RELS 370||Religion, Gender, and Society (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|SOC 316||U.S. Ethnic Minorities||4|
|SOC 321||Migration (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|SOC 327||Social Change (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|SOC 423||Gender and Work||4|
|SPAN 111||Elementary Hispanic Language and Culture||4|
|SPAN 206||Spanish for Heritage Speakers||4|
|SPAN 340||Chicano/a Authors (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|SPAN 351||Chicano/Latino Writers in the United States (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|TH 305||Topics in Diversity on the American Stage (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|WGS 201||Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies in the United States (D1) 1||4|
|WGS 301||Contemporary Issues in Women's and Gender Studies (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|WGS 302||Contemporary Issues in Queer Studies (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|WGS 336||Feminist Ethics, Gender, Sexuality and Society (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|WGS 345||Queer Ethnic Studies (Upper-Division D) 1||4|
|WGS 350||Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology (Upper-Division B) 1||4|
|WGS 370||Religion, Gender, and Society (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
|WGS 375||Intersectional Feminist Art Histories||4|
|WGS 423||Gender and Work||4|
|WGS 435||American Women's History from 1870||4|
|WGS 450||Feminist Theory||4|
|WLC 312||Humanities in Chicano/a Culture (Upper-Division C) 1||4|
Course also satisfies GE requirement
Choice of Catalog / Catalog Rights
Cal Poly typically issues a new catalog every one or two years, and the requirements for degree programs may change from one catalog to the next. Students have the right to choose the catalog they will use, as described in Section 40401 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
An undergraduate student remaining in attendance in regular sessions at any California State University campus, at any California Community College, or any combination of California community colleges and campuses of the California State University may, for purposes of meeting graduation requirements, elect to meet the catalog requirements in effect at the campus from which the student will graduate either:
- at the term the student began such attendance, or
- at the term of entrance to the campus granting the degree, or
- at the term of graduation, or
- as allowed by campus policy: Cal Poly also allows students to elect the requirements of any catalog in effect during their regular attendance.
Campus authorities may authorize or require substitutions for discontinued courses. A campus may require a student changing his or her major or any minor field of study to complete the major or minor requirements in effect at the time of the change.
For purposes of this section, “attendance” means attendance in at least one semester or two quarters each university year. Absence due to an approved leave of absence or for attendance at another accredited institution of higher learning shall not be considered an interruption in attendance, if the absence does not exceed two years.
Choice of Catalog Older than 10 years for Returning Students
Returning students may request to complete their degrees on a catalog older than 10 years only if all remaining degree requirements at the time they left Cal Poly do not exceed 16 units. The decision to approve or disapprove a student's request is based on: (1) her/his willingness to complete the remaining degree requirements within a specified timeframe, and (2) her/his ability to demonstrate, with written documentation, reasonable currency of knowledge and skills in her/his degree field to the satisfaction of the faculty in the applicable major, as certified by the department chair. Both the college dean and the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Programs must give approval.
Currency in the degree field may be demonstrated by additional coursework, in addition to the remaining degree requirements on the student's original catalog, and/or by relevant work experience, to be determined by the department chair. Because Cal Poly degrees are always granted for the term in which requirements are completed, additional requirements may vary, depending on the amount of time elapsed and on the major field, in order to reconcile the curriculum of an older catalog with current trends in the academic discipline.
The expiration of a catalog is determined by adding 10 years to the last term in which that catalog was in effect (e.g., the 2017-19 catalog will be “older than 10 years” after Spring Quarter 2029).
Students are not allowed to complete a degree that is no longer offered by the University.
Note: In addition to the remaining degree requirements on the student’s catalog, s/he may also be required to complete the GWR. Check with the Evaluations Unit in the Office of the Registrar.