First Year

Welcome New Students!

Hello incoming Cal Poly ARCH and ARCE students!

Welcome to the Cal Poly and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design! We are looking forward to meeting you in the Fall. The Fall 2023 Welcome Letter will answer some of your questions about design studio this year, and provide you with a list of required and recommended supplies and software. 

Below is additional information that may be useful to B.ARCH. Majors as you navigate the flowchart, course descriptions, and catalog.

We look forward to meeting you in person during Week of Welcome.

Architecture Department Faculty and Staff (

Architecture Advising:  Major & Support Courses

It is important to understand the sequential nature of the Architecture curriculum. Many courses are delivered as a series (i.e., ARCH 131, 132, 133). Each course in such a series is offered only once a year and is a prerequisite to the next course. These series are arranged to be taken sequentially over one academic year. 

Cal Poly's Office of the Registrar enroll (Block Schedule) first-time freshmen a full-time schedule in Fall Quarter and a partial schedule in the Winter and Spring Quarters.

Academic Advisors help students to make sense of their schedules.  As well as, understanding the process of making changes or configuring schedules based on individual circumstances.  The Architecture Department highly recommends all Freshman do not change their block schedule.  If you have a special individual circumstance, please email the Architecture Department,

Please visit the Cal Poly Academic Advising Website for all your academic advising needs and resources.

For more information regarding Block schedules, please visit the University Advising website- Academic Advising-Block Schedule

Still have questions? Contact Mustang Success Center

College of Architecture & Environmental Design Advising:

For GE advising, contact CAED Advisors

Additional Architecture advising, contact one of our ARCH Faculty Advisors

ARCH 101 Survey of Architectural Education and Practice (1 unit): This course supplements the objectives of ARCH 131, 132 and 133. Every freshmen architecture student should be enrolled in ARCH 101 during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. It is CR/NC grading.

Arch 131, 132, 133 Design & Visual Communication (4 units each): Every freshmen student should be enrolled in ARCH 131 Fall Quarter. It is the beginning course in the first year design and drawing studio program sequence. You will be enrolled in ARCH 132 winter quarter and ARCH 133 spring quarter.

Math 141 Calculus I & Math 182 Calculus for Architecture & CM Students (4 units each): The two required math courses should be completed during your first year. It is important to enroll in MATH 141 fall quarter. Note that MATH 142 may be taken in place of MATH 182 to meet the second math requirement.

Physics 121, 122 General Physics (4 units each): It is desirable for you to complete both physics courses during your first year. Physics 121 is a prerequisite for the second year structures courses and Physics 122 is required for ARCH 351. Note that PHYS 141 & 132 can be taken in place of PHYS 121 & 122.

General Education & Breadth (GE&B) (4 units each)

  • ENGL 134 should be taken as soon as possible in your first year.
  • COMS 101 or 102 (Speech) may be taken if you cannot enroll in ENGL 134 or have received AP credit for English.
  • Take other GE&B courses as necessary to complete your schedule and graduation requirements.

EDES 123 Introduction to Architecture & Environmental Design (4 units): EDES 123 is offered every quarter and should be taken within the first year.  This is a GE and Support course for the B.ARCH. program.


Updated 07.27.23

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