First Year


Hello incoming 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 2020 welcome letter will answer some of your questions about design studio this year, and provide you with a list of required supplies and software. 

Also, to help us plan for our 1st year architecture studio classes, we request that you complete this very short survey.  


Emily White and Angela Bracco

Architecture Faculty and First Year Studio Coordinators

See Computer Requirements for more information on computing hardware and software.


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 the prerequisite to the next course. These series are arranged to be taken sequentially in one academic year. 

If you have difficulty registering for any major or support course, contact the Architecture Department right away for advice and assistance. If all design studios are full, go to the Current Students page and fill out the Design Studio Request Form

ARCH 101 Survey of Architectural Education and Practice (1 unit): This course supplements the objectives of ARCH 131, 132 and 133. Every freshmen student should be enrolled in ARCH 101 Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter. 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 207. 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 BARCH program.


General information

For assistance with using the Catalog or Degree Flowchart, please contact the Architecture department for Advising.

Updated 07.30.20

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