Department History

Cal Poly Pomona opened September 15, 1938, with an all-male enrollment of 110 students as the Voorhis Unit of California State Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo. It was located on the 150-acre San Dimas site of the former Voorhis School for Boys. Breakfast cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg deeded 813 acres of land located three miles south of the Voorhis campus to the state of California in 1949. In 1956, 508 students and 44 faculty and staff moved from San Dimas to the Kellogg campus. Soon after, 329 women joined the student body in 1961. The Pomona campus separated from the San Luis Obispo campus in 1966 and became California State Polytechnic College, Kellogg Campus. University status was granted in 1972. Today, the campus covers 1,438 acres and is the second largest in area among California State University’s 23 campuses.


The history of the Architecture Department begins in 1965 when discussions were initiated by the Department of Landscape Architecture to provide a separate Department for those persons seeking an architectural education. At that time approximately 1,400 students were enrolled in architectural courses at the adjacent five community Colleges. During the Fall Quarter 1966, the first courses in architecture were offered within Landscape Architecture, which was then part of the School of Agriculture.  In 1968 a major study headed by Dean Lawrence Anderson from M.I.T. was commissioned by the College to consider the appropriateness of starting an architecture program at Cal Poly Pomona. Architect Ray Kappe and the crew that would eventually form Sci-Arc were brought in to shape the program direction and provide profile. Architect Richard Neutra also joined the faculty to teach across several programs. A year later, in 1969, Architecture became a program option within the Department of Environmental Design.  


In 1971 the School of Environmental Design was officially established giving Department status to Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning. Between fall 1971 and 1979, architecture was offered as a four-plus-two program, a four-year Bachelor of Science degree after which a student could pursue a two-year Master of Architecture degree.  In 1979, the Architecture Department began the process of phasing out the four-plus-two program and phasing in the present five-year program leading to a Bachelor of Architecture degree.