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.


(Undergraduate Students) Will I need to take an additional course?

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


(Undergraduate Students) 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 Exam (WPE), UNIV 4000, or a writing course, UNIV 4010, within their first 12 units. Students may attempt 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 Graduate Writing Requirement within their first 12 units may be subject to a registration hold. Students must satisfy this Graduate Writing Requirement to Advance to Candidacy.


Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact Dr. Christopher Sean Harris, Director of Writing Across the Curriculum, located at Library South, Palmer Wing, Rm 1061 [email protected]


How can I register for the exam?

WPE Payment Information:
International Graduate Students are earnestly advised to register for the UNIV 4000 (WPE) prior to paying the non-refundable $25.00 fee at the Cashiers Office. Only payments by cash, check, or money order are accepted at the Cashier’s Office. Credit Card, debit card, and electronic check payments can be made online through CASHNet Smartpay. It is strongly advised that students register into UNIV 4000 (WPE) prior to paying the non-refundable $25 fee.

For more information on registering for the WPE exam, contact The Testing Center, located in Library South, Palmer Wing, Rm 2098. (323) 343-3160.