General Education Program

Strengthening intellectual, creative and professional lives

GE Requirements and Courses

GE Course Offerings By Area

Courses are currently being updated for the 2017-19 catalog.  

For your convenience, the GE Area courses and descriptions are provided below.  You can link to each of the GE Areas (A-F) and view the full course descriptions.

General Education (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.
  • A minimum of 12 units is required at the upper-division level (8 units upper-division for 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 Lower-Division:  Some majors indicate specific GE courses to fulfill both GE and major & support requirements (These are listed in the major's curriculum display).  Students should consult their academic advisors during freshman year for clarification.
  • Double Counting Upper-Division:  Courses from a student's Major department may not be used to fulfill upper-division Arts & Humanities (C4) or upper-division Society and the Individual (D5).
  • All GE courses are 4 units unless otherwise indicated.
  • X = non-unit requirement

Abbreviations in Table Below

  • CAED = College of Architecture & Environmental Design (except ARCE majors)
  • CAFES = College of Agriculture, Food, & Environmental Sciences (except BRAE majors)
  • CLA = College of Liberal Arts
  • CSM = College of Science & Mathematics (except LS majors)
  • ENGR = Majors in: College of Engineering (CENG), BioResource Engineering (BRAE) and 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 the kinds of skills in writing, speaking, and critical thinking that students will need in their later 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
4 4 4
Oral Communication (A2) 4 4 4
Reasoning, Argumentation, Writing (A3) Writing Intensive 4 4 4
Communication Unit Sub-total 12 12 12
  CLA, LAES, LS CAED, CAFES, CSM, OCOB ENGR
SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS
(AREA B)
     
Mathematics/Statistics (B1) 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 Science and Mathematics (B6)     4
Designated Science and Mathematics Courses     8
Science and Mathematics Unit
Sub-total
20 16 28
  CLA, LAES, LS CAED, CAFES, CSM, OCOB ENGR
ARTS AND HUMANITIES (AREA C)      
Literature (C1)
Writing Intensive
4 4 4
Philosophy (C2)
Writing Intensive
4 4 4
Fine and Performing Arts (C3) 4 4 4
Arts and Humanities Elective (C1-C5)   4  
Arts and Humanities Unit Sub-total 12 16 12
  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
Self Development (D4; CSU Area E) 4 4 4
Society and the Individual Unit
Sub-total
16 16 16

GE INTEGRATED AND APPLIED LEARNING (Upper-Division Requirements)

Synthesis and advanced inquiry across disciplines

Most majors are required to take an one upper-division Arts and Humanities (C4) course, one upper-division Society and the Individual (D5) course and and one upper-division Technology (F) 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      
Arts and Humanities (C4)
Writing Intensive
4 4 4
Society and the Individual (D5)
Writing Intensive
4 4  
Technology (Area F) 4 4  
Upper-division courses unit sub-total 12 12 4
       
GE TOTAL 72 units 72 units 72 units

 

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