About Cal Poly's General Education Program


    Mission Statement

    The General Education (GE) program is one of the primary means for realizing Cal Poly’s vision of a comprehensive polytechnic education. GE integrates all disciplines in a program of liberal education accessible to all Cal Poly students. GE complements the major and promotes an understanding and appreciation of the foundational disciplines that ground all intellectual inquiry. The program affords students the opportunity to contextualize the knowledge from their major programs by presenting relevant scientific, humanistic, artistic, and technological perspectives. Because Cal Poly students declare their major upon matriculation, their experience of GE develops side-by-side with the major. Through the university’s distinctive commitment to Learn by Doing, GE imparts transferable skills, nurtures creativity, fosters critical thinking and ethical decision making, supports integrative learning, and prepares students for civic engagement and leadership. In GE, students work inclusively with peers from diverse intellectual, disciplinary, and social backgrounds. Cal Poly’s GE program also provides an opportunity for students to develop intellectual humility, an interdisciplinary mindset, and lifelong habits of mind.


    Adopted by the General Education Governance Board on April 7, 2021.



    Cal Poly's General Education (GE) program has been designed to complement major courses and electives completed by each baccalaureate candidate and in compliance with state and CSU requirements.


    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



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