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Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program

Freedom to Choose / Freedom to Create / Freedom to Travel

LAES Change of Major Procedure

LAES is supported by both the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts, and requires majors to complete a combination of courses from both colleges, including calculus, physics, and courses specific to either an Engineering or Liberal Arts concentration.  LAES majors are also strongly encouraged to work and/or study abroad for 1-2 quarters.

Important Note: The BA:LAES program is currently a change of major program only and cannot accept first-year Cal Poly students (whether freshmen or upper-division transfer students). This means students must declare another major during the Cal Poly admission process or already be enrolled at Cal Poly in a degree program that has the ability to meet LAES entrance criteria. In order to meet program requirements, it may be helpful to pick a major that will track with one of the pre-approved LAES concentrations. Once on campus, we recommend all prospective LAES students meet with Sabrina Canady in the CLA Advising Center to create an academic plan.

Minimum Entrance Requirements

  • Completed Calculus 1 (MATH 141), Calculus II (MATH 142), and General Physics (PHYS 141) with a minimum grade of “C” in each class.
  • Completed General Education Area A OR have completed three lower-division courses in Area A, C, or D with a minimum grade of “C” in each class.
  • Third- and Fourth-year students will only be accepted if they can show they will complete the degree in five years or 15 quarters. Transfer students must show they can complete the degree in three years or 9 quarters.

Steps to Initiate Change of Major

Optional Steps:

  • Make an appointment with Laura Hunkler or Tammy Martin in Career Services to discuss suitable career path options.
  • If you are an Engineering major and are unsure if LAES is the best place for you, make an appointment with Jamey Stamets in the College of Engineering Advising Center to explore all your options.

Step 1:

Review the LAES Curriculum Sheet and Degree Flowchart,  then make an appointment to meet with Sabrina Canady in the CLA Advising Center to determine whether you meet minimum change of major requirements. She can also answer any curriculum or change of major-related questions.

Step 2:

Download the LAES Concentration/Study Abroad Declaration form and contact to request an appointment to discuss how the LAES curriculum can match your interests and career goals. Bring the concentration form to your appointment.

Step 3:

If you wish to move forward with the change of major, fulfill the pre-ICMA advisor suggested tasks, complete all required calculus and physics courses, and make your Engineering and Liberal Arts concentration selections.

Step 4:

Read Cal Poly's Change of Major (ICMA) Policy to understand that students who enter into an ICMA contract and are not accepted into the LAES major within two quarters are NOT eligible to reapply to the major.  If you agree to these terms and have completed everything in Step 3, then contact to schedule an appointment with an LAES Program Co-Director to create your Individualized Change of Major Agreement (ICMA) Contract. Bring your completed LAES concentration form to the appointment for review and approval.

Close of the ICMA period

  • You must have completed all ICMA courses and have received a grade of “C” or better in each.
  • You must be in good standing and not be on academic probation.
  • You must have a 2.5 GPA in the current term, CPSLO cumulative, and Higher Ed cumulative.
  • You must have sophomore standing (45+ units completed).


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