WPE Information

Announcement: Changes to the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

The Academic Senate has approved new GWAR policies for graduate and undergraduate students. Undergraduate students are no longer required to take the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) or UNIV 4000.


How do students meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)?

Undergraduate students satisfy the CSU Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement by passing the Upper-Division Disciplinary Writing Requirement with a grade of C or better. This course emphasizes practices, conventions, and strategies appropriate to writing in the discipline.

Graduate students are exempt from UNIV 4000 or the course alternative, UNIV 4010, if they hold an earned bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university where English is the primary medium of instruction. Graduate students are also exempt from UNIV 4000 if they have a score of 41 or better on the writing portion of the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) or a score of 4 on the analytic writing portion of the GRE or GMAT.

(Undergraduates) Will I need to take an additional course?

No, every major includes an upper-division disciplinary writing course as one of its graduation requirements.

(Undergraduates) How can I enroll in a course that requires the WPE as a pre-requisite?

The WPE is no longer a pre-requisite for any undergraduate courses. Pre-requisites have been lifted.

(Graduate Students) How can a graduate student satisfy the GWAR?

International graduate students who graduate from universities where English is NOT the primary language of instruction and do not meet other exemption criteria identified above must pass the Writing Proficiency UNIV 4000 or UNIV 4010 within their first 12 units. Students may only take the WPE one time only. Graduate students who take but do not pass the WPE should take University 4010 the following semester.

Students who do not satisfy the GWAR requirement within their first 12 units may be subject to a registration hold. Students must satisfy this Graduate Writing Requirement in order to be Advanced to Candidacy.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

The Testing Center will be happy to answer questions about the WPE. They are located in the JFK Library, Palmer Wing, room 2098 and can be reached by phone at 323-343-3160. The Testing Center website also has more information.