Writing Requirements


Lower Level Communication General University Requirement (GUR), Block A

Students need to complete English 101, Writing and Critical Inquiry, with a minimum grade of C- prior to the accumulation of 45 credits.  Requirement will be waived for students demonstrating high English competency on Advanced Placement (CEEB English score of 4). For more information, contact Jeremy.Cushman@wwu.edu, Department of English.

Upper- Level Writing Proficiency Course(s)

Students need to complete a minimum of three writing proficiency (WP) points in designated WP courses, taken at WWU, with a minimum grade of C-. For more information, contact the Director of Writing Instruction Support.

WP courses are upper-division classes emphasizing researching and writing in a particular discipline. Students learn the writing style and conventions of their disciplines, as well as the techniques for integrating evidence into academic writing. 

Writing Proficiency Points Fulfilling the Writing Proficiency Requirements

(Minimum 3 points required)

Writing Proficiency Points Course Credit Hours % of Grade Based on Writing Assignments
WP1 1 Credit 75%
WP1 2 Credits 50%
WP1 3 Credits 25%
WP1 4 Credits 20% (18.75%)
WP1 5 Credits 15%
WP2 2 Credits 75%
WP2 3 Credits 50%
WP2 4 Credits 40% (37.5%)
WP2 5 Credits 30%
WP3 3 Credits 75%
WP3 4 Credits 55%
WP3 5 Credits 45%

All Western Writing Proficiency courses should follow these University-wide guidelines:

  • Students have opportunities for receiving feedback
  • Instructors provide expectations for revision
  • Instructors assign course grades based on writing (refer to the writing proficiency table above)
  • Upper-division course taken at WWU.

Since most departments offer WP courses, students typically register for them in their majors. To search for WP courses in current and future quarters or to view open sections, times, or instructors for these courses, use Classfinder's search feature to select the "WP" designation for that quarter.

Alternative WP Courses: If students are unable to satisfy the WP requirement with a regularly scheduled WP course, they might be able to arrange an alternative. For more information on the process, see the Alternative Writing Proficiency Credit Course Agreement.

Other Designated Writing Courses at WWU

Communication GUR, Block C: 

While not a requirement for graduation, students may elect to satisfy the second part of the GUR in Communication by taking a Block C writing course.  

To see current Block C course offerings, use Classfinder.

Block C writing courses need to abide by the following criteria (from 2006-08 ACC Handbook, p. 20):

  • Has prerequisites of English 101 and 30 credits
  • Caps enrollment at 25
  • Carries a minimum of 3 credits  
  • Includes instruction in how to write academic discourse about a particular academic topic or domain such as the sciences, humanities, arts, etc. 
  • Includes writing as at least 75% of the final letter grade, including both formal and informal writing products
  • Needs to provide opportunities for revising
  • May be a stand-alone course or offered as part of a link or sequence of courses

For any questions regarding the Writing Proficiency courses or requirements please contact the Director of Writing Instruction Support.