Writing Proficiency

All California State University (CSU) undergraduate or graduate students must be certified as proficient in writing at the upper-division level. There are three ways to meet the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)

  1. Pass the writing proficiency exam (this is offered each quarter, on a Saturday, and involves a fee)
  2. Provide evidence (ie. certification of proficiency in writing) of having passed an approved upper-division course with a grade of C (not C-) or better
  3. Provide documentation of having passed the GWR as an undergraduate at Cal Poly
  4. Provide documentation (including date of satisfaction) of having passed the GWR as an undergraduate at another CSU campus in the last seven years

The GWR may be waived, at the discretion of campus authorities, in the following circumstances:

  • Provide evidence (i.e., official transcripts, catalogue description) of having satisfied an equivalent upper-division, graduation writing requirement, at another 4-year college or university, in the last seven years
  • Provide evidence (i.e., official transcripts) of having earned an advanced degree at least equivalent to the Master of Arts

Students should present documentation to the Writing and Rhetoric Center (Kennedy Library, Room 111C) in their first quarter of study.

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