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Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program

Freedom to Choose / Freedom to Create / Freedom to Travel

Prospective Students

Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Program

The Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies (LAES) degree is a hybrid B.S. program that combines the study of Engineering with the study of the Arts and Humanities.  Students in this program will be able to take courses in both the College of Engineering (CENG) and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). The LAES program is designed to be flexible and is centered around the slogans: "Freedom to Choose," "Freedom to Create," and "Freedom to Travel." Students who transfer into the program work with the Program Directors to create a curriculum best suited to their goals and interests.

The curriculum allows Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies students, in collaboration with students from all other Cal Poly majors, to participate in development teams working on national and international technology and cultural projects. To further prepare students for work with diverse teams that include participants from across the globe, the program strongly encourages students to spend three to six months studying and/or working abroad. Graduates of the LAES Program receive a Bachelor of Science Degree.

The BS in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies can lead to careers in fields such as:

  • Animatronics 
  • Audio Engineering
  • Digital Media Production and Management
  • Environmental Technology Education
  • Film and Television Production
  • Game Design
  • Government Policy Making / Analysis
  • International Technology Management
  • STEM Education in School and Out-of-School Contexts
  • Sustainable Community Development
  • Technical Communications
  • Technology Services and Management
  • Web Design
  • UI/UX Design

Read about how the LAES program has helped out alumni's careers here!

Check out project collaborations our students have worked on!

Official Degree Requirements

Note: This page only gives summary information. For accurate, detailed degree requirements, curriculum sheets, degree flowcharts, and learning objectives, please consult the current catalog.

LAES Coursework

The elements of coursework that make up the LAES major, include the major's core curriculumconcentrationsstudy abroad / global perspectives courses, free electives, and general education courses, for a total of 180 units.

 

MAJOR COURSES

UNITS

English

4

LAES Project-based Learning

16

Science & Mathematics

40

Engineering Concentration (minimum 12 units at 300-400 level)

34-35

Liberal Arts Concentration (minimum 12 units at 300-400 level)

24

Study Abroad or Global Perspectives Courses (required at the 300-400 level)

8

Total Major Units

126-127

Total General Education Units

40-52

Free Electives

1-14

Total BS Degree Units

180

Concentrations

A concentration is a group of courses designed to provide specialized knowledge within a degree program. If you are interested in changing your major, visit the advising page for more details. 

2019-2020 LAES Concentration and Study Abroad Declaration form (SAMPLE only)

LAES students select one concentration from Engineering and one from Liberal Arts. Students may choose to follow an individualized course of study in Engineering or/and in the Liberal Arts, constructed in consultation with LAES advisors. 

Engineering Concentrations (select one)

Liberal Arts Concentrations (select one)

Individualized Course of Study

An Individualized course of study may be selected instead of a pre-defined Engineering or Liberal Arts concentration for certain catalog years. Sample course combinations for specific areas of focus are listed below.

The selection of courses must be made with LAES advisor approval and must complete the total units required for the Liberal Arts concentration. Students should seek advising assistance as early as possible for help in selecting/developing a suitable concentration. Sample courses listed below are based off past student choices. Enrollment in courses is not guaranteed. 

AREA OF FOCUS

combinations

Sample Courses

Audio

Engineering

Engineering: Electrical Engineering

 

Liberal Arts: Sound Design 

 
Electrical Engineering: 
Intro to Electrical Engineering, Electric Circuit Analysis, Energy Conversion Electromagnetics, Electromagnetic Fields and Transmission, Power Systems
 
Music:
Music Theory, Sound Design: Technologies, Recording, Synthesis, Composition & Production

 

Game Design

Engineering: Game Design

 

Liberal Arts: Student's Choice (Typically Art & Design or Theatre)

 

Computer Science: 

Game Design, Intro to Mixed Reality, Interactive Entertainment Engineering

 

Art:

Figure Drawing, Illustration I & II, Collaborative Studio: Storyboarding, Modeling, Animation and Rendering

 

English:
New Media Arts I & II

 

Interdisciplinary Studies:

Intro to Media Arts and Technologies, Media Arts and Technologies: Storytelling & Cinematic Process

 

Theatre: 

Intro to Theatre, Stagecraft, Script Analysis, Seminar in Playwriting

 

Industrial Design

 

Engineering: Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering or Materials Engineering

 

Liberal Arts: Art & Design

 

 

Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering:

Intro to IME, Process Improvement Fundamentals, Industrial Costs and Controls, Project Organization and Management, Engineering Economics, Test Design and Analysis

 

Art: 

Foundation in Digital Art, Digital 3D Modeling and Design, Animation, Video, and Interactive Design

 

 

Sustainability

 

Engineering: Environmental Engineering

 

Liberal Arts: Student's Choice (Typically Interdisciplinary Studies)

 

 
Environmental Engineering:
Intro to Air Pollution, Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering, Industrial Pollution Prevention, Environmental Health and Safety
 

Environmental Design: 

Sustainable Environments, Implementing Sustainable Principles

 

Interdisciplinary Studies: 

Intro to Science, Technology & Society, Values and Technology

 
Product Design

Engineering: Mechanical Engineering

 

Liberal Arts: Student's Choice (Typically Art & Design, Communications, or Graphic Communication)

 

Mechanical Engineering:

Engineering Statics & Dynamics, Intro to Detailed Design with Solid Modeling, Philosophy of Design, Design for Strength and Stiffness, Mechanical Systems Design, Experimental Methods in Mechanical Design
 

Civil Engineering:
Mechanics of Materials I & II

 

Art:

Foundation in Digital Art I & II, Figure Drawing, Illustration I & II, Collaborative Studio: Storyboarding, Modeling, Animation and Rendering

 

Communications: 

Organizational Communication, Business and Professional Communication

 

Graphic Communication:

Intro to Graphic Communication, Digital Publishing Systems, Materials for Graphic Communication Applications

 

Interdisciplinary Studies: 

Intro to Science, Technology & Society, Values and Technology

 

Project Management

Engineering: Industrial Manufacturing Engineering

 

Liberal Arts: Student's Choice (Typically Technical Communication or Psychology)

 

Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering:

Intro to IME, Process Improvement Fundamentals, Industrial Costs and Controls, Project Organization and Management, Engineering Economics, Test Design and Analysis

 

Communications: 

Organizational Communication, Business and Professional Communication

 

English: 

Technical Editing, Information Design and Production

 

Psychology:

General Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology

 

UI/UX

Engineering: Usability Studies

 

Liberal Arts: Student's Choice (Typically Art & Design, Graphic Communication, or Technical Communication)

 

Usability Studies:
Fundamentals of Computer Science, Computer Organization, Intro to Software Engineering, Systems Programming, User-Centered Interface Design and Development, Human-Computer Interaction Theory and Design 

 

Art:

Foundation in Digital Art I & II, Figure Drawing, Illustration I & II, Collaborative Studio: Storyboarding, Modeling, Animation and Rendering

 

Communications: 

Organizational Communication, Business and Professional Communication

 

Graphic Communication:

Intro to Graphic Communication, Digital Publishing Systems, Materials for Graphic Communication Applications

 

English:
Technical Editing, Information Design and Production

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I apply to Cal Poly as a LAES major? What major should I apply to if I plan to change my major to LAES?

At this time, students cannot apply directly into LAES when they apply to Cal Poly. Students can only change into LAES after their first year. We recommend applying to another major which you would equally enjoy while at Cal Poly! New first year students can work with an Advisor in the Mustang Success Center to see how Calculus and Physics can fit into their block schedule. During your first quarter, you should plan to meet with a LAES Change of Major Advisor. New Transfers should reach out to a LAES Change of Major Advisor after they have received an email that their transfer evaluation has been completed (usually mid July to late Aug).

How do I change my major to LAES?

You can find change of major requirements at: https://cla.calpoly.edu/student-resources/change-major

Is LAES ABET accredited?

No. LAES is not specifically ABET accredited. However, this has not slowed our graduates from getting amazing job in exciting and creative areas that blend engineering and liberal arts.

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