Cal Poly Pomona’s General Education Program is designed to help students to succeed in their chosen field, adapt to a changing workplace, contribute to their communities, and become lifelong learners. It provides essential skills and knowledge through a framework that enhances students’ understanding of basic disciplines and encourages an appreciation of the complexity of all knowledge.
Questions related to general education requirements should be directed to the Office of Academic Programs, Building 98.
Goals and Measurable Outcomes
I. Acquire foundational skills and capacities.
a. Write and speak effectively to various audiences.
b. Locate, evaluate, and responsibly use and share data employing information and communication technologies.
c. Construct arguments based on sound evidence and reasoning to support an opinion or conclusion.
d. Apply and communicate quantitative arguments using tables, graphs, and equations.
II. Develop an understanding of various branches of knowledge and their interrelationships.
a. Apply scientific methods and models to draw quantitative and qualitative conclusions about the physical and natural world.
b. Analyze major literary, philosophical, historical, or artistic works and describe their aesthetic, historical, and cultural significance in society.
c. Analyze concepts, theories, and methods pertaining to cultural, economic, historical, political, or social institutions.
d. Integrate concepts, theories, and examples from more than one field of study to identify problems, draw conclusions, and construct
III. Develop social and global knowledge.
a. Describe the historical development of diverse cultures and analyze the role that cultural diversity plays in shaping core institutions and
practices of individuals and societies.
b. Apply principles, methods, value systems, and ethics to social issues confronting local and global communities.
IV. Develop capacities for integration and lifelong learning.
a. Analyze the behavior of individuals within the context of the social and natural environment, human sexuality, physical and mental health,
and stages of life.
b. Understand the role that the acquisition of a recreation, avocation, or artistic skill plays in an individual’s physiological and psychological
c. Understand the importance of active engagement in communities for the betterment of personal and public life.
Minimum Grades in General Education
Effective for new and returning students admitted fall 2015 or later, a grade of C- or better is required of each Cal Poly Pomona or transfer student completing courses in written communication in the English language (GE Sub-area A2), oral communication in the English language (GE Sub-area A1), critical thinking (GE Sub-area A3), and mathematics/quantitative reasoning (GE Sub-area B4).
General Education - Approved Coursework and Unit Distribution
Courses are approved by the Campus Academic Senate by area to meet the university general education program requirements. Coursework in General Education should not be taken without a specific curricular goal. Many degree programs recommend specific GE courses which also meet their degree requirements. Such departments will list these courses in their degree curriculum layouts and in their catalog section. Special Topics courses (those numbered 499) are not eligible for GE credit. Students should consult with advisors in their major department. Undeclared students should consult with the staff of the Student Support and Equity Programs office, Building 94, Room 121.
The framework, guidelines, and coursework approved to meet general education requirements may change subsequent to the publication of this catalog. Students who change majors or otherwise have a break in status may find that they are subject to new degree requirements. Careful academic and career planning is essential.
Cal Poly Pomona offers students two curriculum patterns to satisfy GE requirements. In the University General Education pattern, which is open to all undergraduates, students select courses in five areas: Communication and Critical Thinking, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Lifelong Understanding and Self-development. The University General Education pattern gives students an introduction to a wide variety of disciplines and teaching modes.
Students must complete a minimum of twelve quarter units of upper division general education which may be taken no sooner than the quarter in which the student achieves upper division status. Twelve quarter units of the total general education program must be completed in residence at Cal Poly Pomona.
Area A. Communication and Critical Thinking (12 units)
One course from each sub-area:
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
- Critical Thinking
Area B. Mathematics and Natural Sciences (16 units)
At least one course from each sub-area, including at least one lab course from sub-area 1 or 2.
- Physical Science
- Biological Science
- Laboratory Activity
- Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
- Science and Technology Synthesis (upper division)
Area C. Humanities (16 units)
At least one course from each sub-area.
- Visual and Performing Arts
- Philosophy and Civilization
- Literature and Foreign Language
- Humanities Synthesis (upper division)
Area D. Social Sciences (20 units)
Two courses in sub-area 1, and at least one course from each of subareas 2, 3, and 4.
- U.S. History, Constitution, American Ideals
- History, Economics, and Political Science
- Sociology, Anthropology, Ethnic, and Gender Studies
- Social Science Synthesis (upper division)
Area E. Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development (4 units)
Interdisciplinary Synthesis Courses
An interdisciplinary synthesis course integrates two or more of the Areas B, C, and D. Prior to taking one of these courses, students must complete all lower-division courses in Area A and at least two sub-areas from the areas being integrated by an interdisciplinary synthesis course.
Each interdisciplinary synthesis course can be used to satisfy the requirement in any one of the areas integrated. For example, a B4/D4 course satisfies either B4 or D4 (not both areas). Students must fulfill all three synthesis areas (mathematics/natural science, humanities, and social sciences).
Courses listed as a sequence should be taken in order. For example, in the sequence MAT 114 -MAT 115 , MAT 114 should be completed before taking MAT 115 . Each course in the sequence counts as one course toward meeting general education requirements.
Interdisciplinary General Education
First-time freshmen exempt from, or with a score of 147 or greater on, the EPT may choose the Interdisciplinary General Education Program (IGE), an integrated sequence of eight courses that satisfies 32 units of the University GE requirements. The IGE curriculum explores human experience from the multiple perspectives of different disciplines and cultures.
Many courses are team-taught by faculty from complementary fields, providing students with an introduction to the complexities of different academic disciplines as well as exposure to a variety of teaching styles.
The IGE Arts Package offers a set of theater, music, and other experiences that augment the curriculum and build the community.
IGE 120 - Consciousness and Community (4)
IGE 121 - Rationalism and Revelation: The Ancient World (4)
IGE 122 - Authority and Faith: The Medieval and Renaissance Worlds (4)
IGE 220 - Ways of Knowing: Culture and Contact (4)
IGE 221 - Ways of Coexisting: Reform and Revolution (4)
IGE 222 - Ways of Doing: Technology and Human Purpose (4)
IGE 223 - Ways of Living: The Contemporary World (4)
IGE 224 - Connections Seminar: Exploration and Personal Expression (4)
IGE students will take remaining GE courses from the current approved GE list to complete the total units required.
Transfer Students and GE Certification
Community college transfer students should be aware that many courses on the Cal Poly Pomona General Education list are also major department entrance or prerequisite requirements and will still have to be taken to meet degree requirements. Therefore, even if they may be certified by their community colleges as having met all (or most) CSU lower division general education requirements, or have met GE requirements prior to change of major, they may need to take additional courses to satisfy prerequisites for the major. For example, students may have met the quantitative reasoning requirement by taking a trigonometry course at the community college, or at Cal Poly Pomona, and be so certified. This will not meet the calculus requirement for engineering, which also meets the Cal Poly Pomona GE quantitative reasoning requirement. Calculus will still have to be taken. Such “excess” coursework will be given as “elective credit.” Some transfer students without a complete GE certification may be partially certified by their community colleges as having met the CSU General Education quantitative reasoning requirement with coursework which does not meet the Cal Poly Pomona Mathematics proficiency requirement. Such students will also have to take coursework to meet this graduation requirement.
Transfer students may satisfy CSU lower division General Education requirements through certification of courses that satisfy the CSU General Education-Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Contact your community college counselor for more details.