Cal Poly Classes

Cal Poly Appropriate Technology Classes:

Since 2008, Dr. Pete Schwartz and Cal Poly students have explored the causes of poverty (UNIV-391) and innovated prototypes to address technical needs (UNIV-392) through a series of project-based classes. The classes are lead by an interdisciplinary team of faculty and guest instructors, and are open to students across all majors. Based on MIT’s D-Lab, the UNIV classes give a broad overview of international development and appropriate design for sustainability. Theory is applied as students choose real-life challenges, both local and international, to address in project groups over the course of the quarter.

What kind of projects do we work on?

Each group is required to create a website documenting the process they went through designing their project. Follow any of the links below to see what they worked on!

Appropriate Technology for the World’s People: Design – W2012

Appropriate Technology for the World’s People: Develop – F2011

Appropriate Technology for the World’s People: Design – W2011

Academic year 2010-11 Website

Academic year 2009-10 Website

What are the requirements to enroll?

In order to enroll in either of these UNIV classes, you must have Junior standing. In addition, there are other requirements that are class specific.

UNIV 391: Completion of GE Area A, two courses from GE D1 – D5, and consent of instructor.
UNIV 392: Completion of GE Area B, or graduate standing. Recommended: UNIV 392, GE Area D2, and GE Area D3.

However, if you don’t meet these requirements, but are still interested in joining the class, please send an email to

Come Visit!

Get an inside look at the appropriate technology design process and types of projects we are working on. We gladly welcome visitors!

When: Mondays and Wednesdays 4:10pm – 6:00pm
Note: Before coming to visit, please give us a heads up by emailing Jamie at

When will the next UNIV class be offered?

More information coming soon.