General Requirements – Bachelor's Degree

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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

  1. 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).
    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
  2. 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.
  3. U. S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP) Requirement
    Students must complete the USCP requirement. See the separate section on USCP.
  4. 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.
  5. Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
    Students must demonstrate competency in writing skills (as described below).
  6. Senior Project
    A senior project is  required for all Cal Poly students (as described below).
  7. 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.
  8. 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 evaluations@calpoly.edu, 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.

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Final Degree Conferral

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.

Commencement

For a student to be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies, the student must satisfy at least one of the following:

  • shall have completed all degree requirements and not have participated in a commencement ceremony previously;
  • shall currently be enrolled in classes that would complete all of that student's degree requirements; or,
  • shall be registered for classes for the following term that would allow the student to complete all of her/his 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 would like to participate in a commencement ceremony that is different than the one for which they are scheduled and in which they are eligible to participate must complete a Commencement Request Form with the Commencement Office.

Commencement ceremonies are coordinated by the Commencement Office, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and University’s Commencement Operations and Policy Committees, and are held twice annually in June and December. See https://commencement.calpoly.edu/.

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Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)

The Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU) has mandated that all students earning undergraduate or graduate degrees at a CSU campus must demonstrate writing proficiency at the upper-division level. Students earning a degree from Cal Poly do so by satisfying the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) after completing 90 units and before the senior year.

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:

  1. 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 via PASS each quarter.
  2. Pass the GWR Exam.

Upper-division transfer students who completed the requirement at another CSU campus prior to enrollment at Cal Poly may transfer completion of the requirement. Graduate students may substitute alternative criteria for GWR completion.

Further information on pathways to meeting this degree requirement may be obtained from the Office of Academic Support and Achievement, Kennedy Library (35) Room 202A (805-756-2067), or on the GWR webpage, https://writingcenter.calpoly.edu/content/gwr/index.

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Non-GE writing courses:
Corporate Communication
Technical Editing
GE C4 courses:
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
Ethnic American Literature
African American Literature
Asian American Literature
Gender in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature
The Modern Novel
Modern Poetry
Modern Drama
The Bible as Literature and in Literature and the Arts
World Cinema
Film Styles and Genres
Film Directors
Literary Themes
Diversity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century American Literature
LGBT Literature and Media

Senior Project

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.

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General Education Mission Statement

General Education: Strengthening intellectual, creative and professional lives

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.

California State University (CSU) General Education Breadth Requirements

Consistent with 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 General Education program seeks to cultivate graduates who make noteworthy progress toward being 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.

Courses approved for the GE program should be responsive to the need for students to develop knowledge or ability in:

  • civic engagement
  • communication competence
  • environmental systems
  • ethical decision-making
  • global awareness and understanding of human diversity
  • information and technological literacy
  • intellectual inquiry
  • lifelong learning
  • physical and emotional health throughout a lifetime
  • quantitative reasoning
  • self-development

GE Program Learning Outcomes

Adopted Spring 2014 by the General Education Governance Board

After completing Cal Poly's General Education Program, students will be able to:

  1. Construct and critique arguments from a logical perspective.
  2. Use appropriate rhetorical strategies to connect with diverse audiences through oral, written, and visual modes of communication.
  3. Address real world problems by demonstrating broad disciplinary knowledge, skills, and values in arts, humanities, sciences, and technology.
  4. Understand the value of a general education in relation to major course of study.
  5. Collaborate with people of different backgrounds, values, and experience.
  6. Evaluate global and local issues and their impact on society.
  7. Use intention and reflection to develop and improve one's own learning.

GE Course Substitutions

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 General Education Program website https://ge.calpoly.edu/content/petitions. This process may take several weeks.

GE Study Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to submit a GE Study Abroad petition before going abroad in order to determine which courses will be granted GE credit. For assistance with GE Study Abroad petitions, contact the Cal Poly International Center at international@calpoly.edu.

Transfer Credit

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 http://web2.assist.org/web-assist/welcome.html for California Community College both CSU GE lists and specific articulation agreements.

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GE Requirements

  • 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 (Expository Writing), A2 (Oral Communication), A3 (Reasoning, Argumentation, Writing), and B1 (Mathematics/Statistics).
  • 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.
  • X = non-unit requirement

Abbreviations in Table Below

  • CAED = College of Architecture & Environmental Design (except Architectural Engineering majors)
  • CAFES = College of Agriculture, Food, & Environmental Sciences (except BioResource & Agricultural Engineering majors)
  • CLA = College of Liberal Arts
  • CSM = College of Science & Mathematics (except LS majors)
  • ENGR = Majors in: College of Engineering (CENG), BioResource & Agricultural Engineering (BRAE), or Architectural Engineering (ARCE)
  • LS = Liberal Studies Majors
  • LAES = Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies Majors
  • OCOB = Orfalea College of Business

GE FOUNDATIONAL LEARNING (Lower-Division Requirements)

Intellectual and Practical Skills, Knowledge of Human Cultures, and Personal and Social Responsibility

Students are encouraged to complete GE Communication (Area A) classes during their freshman year. The three-course Communication sequence provides instruction and practice in writing, speaking, and critical thinking – foundational knowledge that students will build upon in upper-division courses. Completion of this sequence is a prerequisite for many other GE classes.

Students are also encouraged to complete their lower-division foundational GE classes in Science and Mathematics (Area B), Arts and Humanities (Area C), and Society and the Individual (Area D) by the end of their sophomore year to give them the skills and knowledge to succeed in all their upper-division classes.

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
COMMUNICATION (AREA A)
Expository Writing (A1-Writing Intensive)1 4 4 4
Oral Communication (A2)1 4 4 4
Reasoning, Argumentation, Writing (A3-Writing Intensive)1 4 4 4
Communication Unit Sub-total 12 12 12
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
MATH, SCIENCE, AND QUANTITATIVE REASONING (AREA B)
Mathematics/Statistics (B1)1 8 8 8
Life Science (B2) 4 4 4
Physical Science (B3) 4 4 4
Lab taken with either Life Science or Physical Science (B4) X X X
Science and Mathematics Elective (B1-B5) 4
Upper-Division Math, Science, and Quantitative Reasoning (B6) 4
Upper-division Math, Science, and Quantitative Reasoning (B7) (formerly Area F) 4 4
Designated Science and Mathematics Courses 8
Science and Mathematics Unit Sub-total 24 20 28
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
ARTS AND HUMANITIES (AREA C)
- Language acquisition courses can be counted for C1, C2, and/or the C elective at Cal Poly, up to a maximum total of 8 quarter units in GE Area C.
- The maximum of 8 quarter units in language acquisition holds for any combination of domestic and study-abroad courses.
Literature (C1-Writing Intensive) 4 4 4
Philosophy (C2-Writing Intensive) 4 4 4
Fine and Performing Arts (C3) 4 4 4
Upper-Division Elective (C4-Writing Intensive) 4 4 4
Arts and Humanities Elective (C1-C5) 4
Arts and Humanities Unit Sub-total 16 20 16
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
SOCIETY AND THE INDIVIDUAL (AREA D)
The American Experience (D1-40404) 4 4 4
Political Economy (D2) 4 4 4
Comparative Social Institutions (D3) 4 4 4
Upper-Division Elective (D5-Writing intensive) 4 4
Society and the Individual Unit Sub-total 16 16 12
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
LIFELONG LEARNING AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT (AREA E)
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (E) (formerly Area D4) 4 4 4

GE INTEGRATED AND APPLIED LEARNING (Upper-Division Requirements)

Synthesis and advanced inquiry across disciplines

Most majors are required to take one upper-division Arts and Humanities (C4) course, one upper-division Society and the Individual (D5) course and one upper-division Math, Science and Quantitative Reasoning (B) course. (Note: ENGR follows a slightly different pattern in upper-division.)  These GE courses are integrative in nature and require students to apply knowledge and understanding acquired in lower-division courses.  Courses in these areas achieve depth in an advanced study of a subject to new but related areas of inquiry.

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
UPPER-DIVISION
Math, Science and Quantitative Reasoning (B6) 4
Math, Science and Quantitative Reasoning (B7) (formerly Area F) 4 4
Arts and Humanities (C4-Writing Intensive) 4 4 4
Society and the Individual (D5-Writing Intensive) 4 4
Upper-division courses unit sub-total 12 12 8
GE TOTAL 72 units 72 units 72 units

General Education Courses

COMMUNICATION (AREA A)

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
COMMUNICATION (AREA A) 12 12 12
Expository Writing (A1) 4 4 4
ENGL 130Multilingual Approaches to Academic Writing Stretch (Part II)4
ENGL 132Writing and Rhetoric Stretch (Part II)4
ENGL 133Writing and Rhetoric for Multilingual Students4
ENGL 134Writing and Rhetoric4
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Oral Communication (A2) 4 4 4
Public Speaking
Principles of Oral Communication
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Reasoning, Argumentation, and Writing (A3) 4 4 4
Argument and Advocacy
Reasoning, Argumentation, and Writing
Reasoning, Argumentation and Professional Writing
Technical Writing for Engineers
Logic and Argumentative Writing

MATH, SCIENCE AND QUANTITATIVE REASONING (AREA B)

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS (AREA B) 24 20 28
Mathematics / Statistics (B1) 8 8 8
Nature of Modern Math
Stretch Precalculus Algebra I (3)
Precalculus Algebra I (3)
Precalculus Algebra II (3)
Precalculus Algebra
Precalculus Trigonometry
Calculus I
Calculus II
Calculus III
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
Statistical Reasoning
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
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Life Science (B2) (B2&4=lab course) 4 4 4
People, Pests and Plagues (B2 & B4)
Biological Anthropology
Principles of Animal Science
General Biology (B2 & B4)
Plant Diversity and Ecology (B2 & B4)
Biology of Sex
Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (B2 & B4)
Wildlife Conservation Biology
General Botany (B2 & B4)
Microbiology (B2 & B4)
General Microbiology I (B2 & B4) (5)
Introduction to Marine Biology
For Engineering students only; concurrent enrollment required:
Life Science for Engineers (2)
Bioengineering Fundamentals (2)
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Physical Science (B3) (B3&4=lab course) 4 4 4
Introduction to the Solar System
Introduction to Stars and Galaxies
World of Chemistry (B3 & B4)
General Chemistry for Physical Science and Engineering I (B3 & B4)
General Chemistry for Physical Science and Engineering II (B3 & B4)
General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science I (B3 & B4)
Introduction to Geology
Earthquakes
Introductory Physics
Introduction to Meteorology
Contemporary Physics for Nonscientists
College Physics I
College Physics II (B3 & B4)
General Physics II (B3 & B4)
General Physics III (B3 & B4)
General Physics IA
Matter and Energy (B3 & B4)
Introductory Soil Science (B3 & B4)
Soils in Environmental and Agricultural Systems (B3 & B4)
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
One lab B4 taken with B2 or B3 courses (B4) X X X
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
CLA, LAES, LS students select 1 course from B1-B4 or B5 4 0 0
Area B5
CLA, LAES, and LS students: Select one course from B1-B5.
Environmental Biology and Conservation
Human Genetics
Biology of Cancer
Plants, People and Civilization
Nutrition
Fossils and the History of Life
Landscape Ecology: Concepts, Issues and Interrelationships
Physical Oceanography
Biopsychology
Behavioral Genetics
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Upper-Division Math, Science and Quantitative Reasoningfor ENGR only (B6) 0 0 4
Seismology and Earth Structure
Vector Analysis
Linear Analysis II
Complex Analysis I
Solid State Physics
and Solid State Physics Laboratory
Nonlinear Dynamical Systems
Statistical Methods for Engineers
Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists
Probability and Random Processes for Engineers
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Upper-division Math, Science, and Quantitative Reasoning (B7) (formerly Area F) 4 4 0
Principles of Organic Crop Production
Plants, Food, and Biotechnology
Air and Space
Cal Poly Land: Nature, Technology, and Society
The Global Environment
Holistic Management
Longitude, Navigation, and Timekeeping
Genetic Engineering Technology
Irrigation Water Management
Energy for a Sustainable Society
Chemical and Biological Warfare
Sustainability and the Built Environment
Digital Cities
Computers and Society
Computers for Poets
Computational Art
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
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 Fundamentals
Packaging Polymers and Processing
The World of Spatial Data and Geographic Information Technology
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
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
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Additional Science and Mathematics for ENGR only 0 0 8

ARTS AND HUMANITIES (AREA C)

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
ARTS AND HUMANITIES (AREA C) 16 20 16
Literature (C1) 4 4 4
Note: Each study abroad language course may fulfill only one General Education requirement: GE Area C1, GE Area C2, or GE Area C5.
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
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
Critical Reading in French Literature
Critical Reading in German Literature
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
Introduction to Hispanic Readings
Intermediate Spanish I Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish II Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish III Study Abroad
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Philosophy (C2) 4 4 4
Note: Each study abroad language course may fulfill only one General Education requirement: GE Area C1, GE Area C2, or GE Area C5.
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 III Study Abroad
Philosophical Classics: Knowledge and Reality
Philosophical Classics: Ethics and Political Philosophy
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 III Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish I Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish II Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish III Study Abroad
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Fine and Performing Arts (C3) 4 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
Ceramics I
Beginning Sculpture
Performance of Literature
Dance Appreciation
History of Landscape Architecture: Ancient Civilizations through Colonial America
History of Modern and Contemporary Landscape Architecture
Introduction to Music Theory
Music Appreciation
Jazz Styles (USCP)
Popular Music of the USA (USCP)
Music of the 60's: War and Peace (USCP)
Introduction to Theatre
Theatre History I
Theatre History II
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Arts and Humanities Upper-Division Elective (C4) 4 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
Michelangelo
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
Modern Poetry
Modern Drama
The Bible as Literature and in Literature and the Arts
World Cinema
Film Styles and Genres
Film Directors
Topics on Gender Representations in Film
Literary Themes
Diversity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century American Literature (USCP)
LGBT Literature and Media (USCP)
Creative Nonfiction
Fiction Writing
Poetry Writing
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
Philosophical Topics
Early Greek Philosophy through Plato
Aristotle and Hellenistic Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
Early Modern Rationalism
Early Modern Empiricism
Kant and 19th Century European Philosophy
History of Analytic Philosophy
Phenomenology
Existentialism
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Technology
Ethics, Science and Technology
Robot Ethics
Technologies and Ethics of Warfare
Ethics
History of Ethics
Political Philosophy
Philosophy of Law
Social Ethics (USCP)
Feminist Ethics, Gender, Sexuality and Society (USCP)
Business Ethics
Biomedical Ethics
Environmental Ethics
Professional Ethics
Philosophy of Religion
Power, Alienation, and Political Life
Aesthetics
Philosophy of Literature
Indian Philosophy
Chinese and East Asian Philosophy
Postmodernism
Religions of Asia
Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Judaism
Hinduism
Buddhism
Christianity
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)

CAED, CAFES, CSM and OCOB students:  Select any course from C1 - C5

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Arts and Humanities Elective (C5) 0 4 0
Note: Each study abroad language course may fulfill only one General Education requirement: GE Area C1, GE Area C2, or GE Area C5.
Area C5 Courses
Elementary Mandarin Chinese I Study Abroad
Elementary Mandarin Chinese II Study Abroad
Elementary Mandarin Chinese III Study Abroad
Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I
Intermediate Mandarin Chinese II
Intermediate Mandarin Chinese III
Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I Study Abroad
Intermediate Mandarin Chinese II Study Abroad
Intermediate Mandarin Chinese III Study Abroad
Intermediate French I
Intermediate French II
Intermediate French III
Intermediate German I
Intermediate German II
Intermediate German III
Elementary Italian I Study Abroad
Elementary Italian II Study Abroad
Elementary Italian III Study Abroad
Intermediate Italian I
Intermediate Italian I Study Abroad
Intermediate Japanese I
Elementary Spanish I Study Abroad
Elementary Spanish II Study Abroad
Elementary Spanish III Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish I
Intermediate Spanish II
Intermediate Spanish III
Intermediate Spanish I Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish II Study Abroad
Intermediate Spanish III Study Abroad

SOCIETY & THE INDIVIDUAL (AREA D)

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
SOCIETY AND THE INDIVIDUAL 16 16 12
The American Experience (40404) (D1) 4 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)
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Political Economy (D2) 4 4 4
Survey of Economics
Macroeconomics
Modern Political Economy
Survey of Economics
International Political Economy
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Comparative Social Institutions (D3) 4 4 4
Cultural Anthropology
World Prehistory
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)
Human Geography
World History I
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)
Religion, Dialogue, and Society
Sociocultural Dimensions of Work and Leisure
Comparative Societies
  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
Society and the Individual Upper-Division Elective (D5) 4 4 0
Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
Indigenous South Americans
Sex, Death, and Human Nature
Human Behavioral Ecology
Human Cultural Adaptations
Managing Technology in the International Legal Environment
Housing and Communities
Intercultural Communication (USCP)
Media Effects
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
Global Geography
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
Modern 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
Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Development
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
Intergroup Dialogues
Environmental Psychology
Psychology of Aging
Conflict Resolution: Violent and Nonviolent
Approaches to Religion and Spirituality
Global Race and Ethnic Relations
Migration
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
Sexuality Studies
Language, Technology and Society

LIFELONG LEARNING AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT (AREA E)

  CLA LAES LS CAED CAFES CSM OCOB ENGR
LIFELONG LEARNING AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT (AREA E) (formerly Area D4) 4 4 4
Media, Self and Society
Active Wellness
Principles of Environmental Design
Food and Nutrition: Customs and Culture (USCP)
Healthy Living
Personal Health: A Multicultural Approach (USCP)
Women's Health Issues (USCP)
General Psychology
General Psychology
Leadership and Diverse Groups

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United States Cultural Pluralism (USCP)

United States Cultural Pluralism (USCP) courses must focus on all of the following:

  1. One or more diverse groups, as defined in the Cal Poly Statement on Diversity, whose contributions to contemporary American society have been impeded by conflict or restricted opportunities
  2. Contemporary social issues resulting from conflict or restricted opportunities, including, but not limited to, problems associated with discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, nationality, abilities, religion,  sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or race
  3. Critical thinking skills used by students to approach these contemporary social issues, examine their own attitudes, and consider the diverse perspectives of others
  4. The contributions of people from diverse groups to contemporary American society

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 415Native American Cultures4
ARCH 326Native American Architecture and Place (C4) 14
ART 375Intersectional Feminist Art Histories4
COMS 316Intercultural Communication (D5) 14
CRP 215Planning for and with Multiple Publics4
DANC 321Cultural Influence on Dance in America (C4) 14
ECON 303Economics of Poverty, Discrimination and Immigration (D5) 14
ENGL 345Women Writers of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (C4) 14
ENGL 346Ethnic American Literature (C4) 14
ENGL 347African American Literature (C4) 14
ENGL 348Asian American Literature (C4) 14
ENGL 349Gender in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature (C4) 14
ENGL 381Diversity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century American Literature (C4) 14
ENGL 382LGBT Literature and Media (C4) 14
ES 112Race, Culture and Politics in the United States (D1) 14
ES 114Introduction to Ethnic Studies4
ES 212Global Origins of United States Cultures (D3) 14
ES 215Planning for and with Multiple Publics4
ES 241Survey of Indigenous Studies (D3) 14
ES 242Survey of Africana Studies (D3) 14
ES 243Survey of Latino/a Studies (D3) 14
ES 244Survey of Asian American Studies (D3) 14
ES 300Chicano/a Non-Fiction Literature (C4) 14
ES 301Latina/o Literature of the United States (C4) 14
ES 302Chicana/o Literature (C4) 14
ES 303Latina/o Poetry and Politics (C4) 14
ES 310Hip-Hop, Poetics and Politics (D5) 14
ES 320African Americans in Popular Culture (D5) 14
ES 321Native Americans in Popular Culture (D5) 14
ES 322Asian Americans in Popular Culture (D5) 14
ES 323Latina/os in Popular Culture (D5) 14
ES 324Chicana/o Film (C4) 14
ES 325Sexuality and Gender in African American Communities4
ES 326Native American Architecture and Place (C4) 14
ES 330The Chinese American Experience (D5) 14
ES 335The Filipina/o American Experience (D5) 14
ES 345Queer Ethnic Studies (D5) 14
ES 350Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology (B7) 14
ES 360Ethnicity and the Land (C4) 14
ES 380Critical Race Theory (D5) 14
ES 381The Social Construction of Whiteness (D5) 14
FSN 250Food and Nutrition: Customs and Culture (E) 14
HIST 201United States History to 1865 (D1) 14
HIST 202United States History Since 1865 (D1) 14
HIST 206American Cultures (D1) 14
HIST 207Freedom and Equality in American History (D1) 14
HIST 208Survey of California History4
HIST 406African-American History from 18654
HIST 435American Women's History from 18704
HLTH 255Personal Health: A Multicultural Approach (E) 14
HLTH 260Women's Health Issues (E) 14
HNRS 112Race, Culture and Politics in the United States (D1) 14
HNRS 202United States History Since 1865 (D1) 14
HNRS 203United States History to 1865 (D1) 14
HNRS 204Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies in the United States (D1) 14
HNRS 207Freedom and Equality in American History (D1) 14
HNRS 212Global Origins of United States Cultures (D3) 14
HNRS 303Economics of Poverty, Discrimination and Immigration (D5) 14
HNRS 336Social Ethics (C4) 14
HNRS 345Women Writers of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries (C4) 14
HNRS 347African American Literature (C4) 14
HNRS 353Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology (B7) 14
JOUR 219Multicultural Society and the Mass Media4
KINE 255Personal Health: A Multicultural Approach (E) 14
KINE 260Women's Health Issues (E) 14
KINE 323Sport and Gender (D5) 14
KINE 324Sports, Media and American Popular Culture (D5) 14
MU 221Jazz Styles (C3) 14
MU 227Popular Music of the USA (C3) 14
MU 229Music of the 60's: War and Peace (C3) 14
MU 325America's Music4
MU 328Women in Music (C4) 14
NR 360Ethnicity and the Land (C4) 14
PHIL 335Social Ethics (C4) 14
PHIL 336Feminist Ethics, Gender, Sexuality and Society (C4) 14
POLS 310The Politics of Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality4
POLS 343Civil Rights in America4
POLS 445Voting Rights and Representation4
PSY 260African American Psychology4
PSY 372Multicultural Psychology4
PSY 475The Social Psychology of Prejudice4
RELS 370Religion, Gender, and Society (C4) 14
SOC 316U.S. Ethnic Minorities4
SOC 321Migration (D5) 14
SOC 327Social Change (D5) 14
SOC 423Gender and Work4
SPAN 111Elementary Hispanic Language and Culture4
SPAN 206Spanish for Heritage Speakers4
SPAN 340Chicano/a Authors (C4) 14
SPAN 351Chicano/Latino Writers in the United States (C4) 14
TH 305Topics in Diversity on the American Stage (C4) 14
WGS 201Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies in the United States (D1) 14
WGS 301Contemporary Issues in Women's and Gender Studies (D5) 14
WGS 302Contemporary Issues in Queer Studies (D5) 14
WGS 336Feminist Ethics, Gender, Sexuality and Society (C4) 14
WGS 345Queer Ethnic Studies (D5) 14
WGS 350Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology (B7) 14
WGS 370Religion, Gender, and Society (C4) 14
WGS 375Intersectional Feminist Art Histories4
WGS 423Gender and Work4
WGS 435American Women's History from 18704
WGS 450Feminist Theory4
WLC 312Humanities in Chicano/a Culture (C4) 14

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:

  1. at the term the student began such attendance, or
  2. at the term of entrance to the campus granting the degree, or
  3. at the term of graduation, or
  4. 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.