What are the 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 have been done?

Each group is required to create a website documenting the process they went through designing their project. Check out theirwebsitesto see what work has been done! 

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

Come Visit UNIV 391!

Get an inside look at the appropriate technology design process and types of projects we are working on. We welcome visitors any time! 
When: Mondays and Wednesdays 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Where: Building 38 Room 133
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.

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