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General Education Coursework

Writing cultivates self-expression and it fosters your ability to explain complex ideas.

To that end, you must complete at least seven credits of writing-intensive ("W") courses.

This is in addition to the 5-credit English Composition requirement.

As the purpose of the W requirement is to build upon the English Composition courses, all writing for these credits must be done in the English language.

One of the most valuable skills you will develop at the University is the ability to communicate effectively through writing.

It is a skill that is universally valued by employers as well as graduate and professional programs, not to mention the instructors of your undergraduate courses.

Professors can award Ws to individual students in a course; there is a place to mark Ws on the grade sheet they submit for the class at the end of the quarter.Coursework falls into one of three categories General Core (liberal arts and science e.g.humanities,) course work requirements Content core (subject e.g.Whether or not a course qualifies as a W course depends on how the course is taught that particular quarter, so there is no permanent list of W courses, and W courses are not indicated in the General Catalog.Each W course is indicated in the quarterly Time Schedule with the notation "Writing" or "Optional Writing Course." You can generate a complete list of W courses with space still available with the My Plan Course Search.In the Foster School of Business, one of the two writing courses can be additional composition or any W-course, but the other must be chosen from a short list of largely business communication classes (e.g., B CMU 301).The easiest way to look for W courses is to use the General Education Requirement Course Search offered by the Office of the Registrar. Courses may not be taken on the satisfactory/not satisfactory (S/NS) grading option.Many students make special arrangements to have a UW course count toward the W course requirement, even though it is not designated as a W course in the Time Schedule.If you are taking a course that requires extensive writing, you can discuss with the professor the possibility of earning a W for the course.In fact, much of your university education will occur in the research and writing of papers required by your courses.As you write, you will practice organizing your thoughts into logical, persuasive arguments. Review the comments instructors write on your papers and use what you've learned in your next paper.


  1. If you claim the General Education Prerequisites Exemption then only your Math and Science prerequisite coursework will be included in the GPA calculation.

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