- When am I eligible to meet the GWR?
- When is the best time to meet the GWR?
- What do I have to do to be GWR-certified in a course?
- May I take a GWR course Credit/No Credit?
- What if I don’t meet the GWR before graduation?
Questions for Transfer Students
- What if I have fulfilled the GWR at another CSU campus before I transferred to Cal Poly?
- May I transfer GWR credits previously earned at a Non-CSU campus?
- If I was GE-certified at my community college, does that cover the GWR requirement?
- May I take courses at another CSU campus to meet the GWR?
- What if I am a returning student—after some years out of school?
Questions for Credential Candidates
Questions for Graduate Students
- When do I need to satisfy the GWR?
- Can I satisfy the GWR by fulfilling a similar requirement at another CSU campus?
- Can I satisfy the GWR by fulfilling a similar requirement at a non-CSU campus?
- Are there any other circumstances in which I can have the GWR waived?
- Can passing scores on the GMAT, CBEST, CSET or TWE be used to satisfy the GWR?
When am I eligible to meet the GWR?
Undergraduate students can satisfy the GWR after completing ninety units of course work—usually your junior year. When students become eligible, they receive an email explaining the Graduation Writing Requirement and how to satisfy it by coursework or by taking the Writing Proficiency Exam.
Graduate students should meet the GWR during the first quarter in residence.
When is the best time to meet the GWR?
Students should attempt to satisfy the requirement immediately after completing ninety units of coursework. If writing/reading skills have diminished, students will then have time to brush up before graduation. Graduate students should meet the GWR during the first quarter of residence; you may not be advanced to candidacy without the completion of the GWR.
What do I have to do to be GWR-certified in a course?
GWR-approved courses are offered every quarter. You must inform your instructor of your wish to fulfill the GWR through his or her class. While the writing proficiency certification is based on an in-class essay on an unannounced topic, it is not the same as the WPE. Essays in GWR courses are most likely related to course material. In a class, the instructor evaluates the essay and then submits it to the University Writing and Rhetoric Center Office for review and credit. In addition, you must received a C or better in the class.
Please verify your GWR certification on your PolyProfile page after grades are posted. Your GWR status appears in the Career Program Plans section under Milestones Completed.
May I take a GWR course Credit/No Credit?
Yes, GWR-approved courses may be taken credit/no credit, but the earned, or input, grade must be a C or better and students must be certified writing proficient by the instructor.
What if I don’t meet the GWR before graduation?
The GWR is a degree requirement and your diploma will be withheld until you have fulfilled the GWR. You can participate in the graduation ceremonies, but you won’t receive your diploma.
We do not send exams off-site, so you will have to return to Cal Poly to take the WPE if you leave the University without fulfilling the requirement. You may not take a course at another university to fulfill Cal Poly’s requirement.
What if I have fulfilled the GWR at another CSU campus before I transferred to Cal Poly?
You may receive GWR credit. Bring a copy of your transcript or evidence that you have fulfilled the requirement at another CSU to the University Writing and Rhetoric Center Office (10-130).
May I transfer GWR credits previously earned at a Non-CSU campus?
We will be happy to review courses from a non-CSU campus. It may be difficult to make an assessment, especially since our requirement is so specific to Cal Poly. Term papers are not sufficient to meet the GWR. Please talk with Marikay Pannone in the University Writing and Rhetoric CenterU Office (Building 10, Room 130, 805-756-2067) if you wish to pursue this avenue.
If I was GE-certified at my community college, does that cover the GWR requirement?
No. The GWR is an upper-division requirement. Therefore, community college coursework may not be used to meet this requirement.
What if I am a returning student—after some years out of school?
Previous certification for all degree programs, including the GWR, is valid only if it has been awarded within seven years of matriculation at Cal Poly. If you have been out of school for more than seven years, you will need to fulfill Cal Poly’s requirement.
Should I talk with my advisor before completing my GWR requirement?
Yes. You need to meet and discuss your requirements with your department advisor before enrolling in a GWR-approved course or taking the WPE. If you fulfilled the GWR at Cal Poly or another CSU before transferring (within 7 years), you do not need to fulfill the requirement again.
Graduate student seeking a Master's Degree, must fulfill the GWR within their first quarter of residency in order to be advanced to candidacy.
How can I fulfill the GWR?
There are three options to satisfy the GWR.
-Pass the Writing Proficiency Exam, WPE
-Enroll in an approved upper-division English course and earn a B grade or better, GWR-approved upper-division courses
-Waive the requirement
How can I waive the GWR?
-Graduate students who earned an undergraduate degre at another CSU campus within the past seven years may bring a copy of the transcripts, official or unofficial, showing the graduation date, to the University Writing and Rhetoric Center Office, bldg 10, room 130.
-Graduate students who earned their undergraduate degree at a university outside the CSU system may submit a request to waive the GWR. Students must complete the Application Process and Checklist for a GWR Waiver at Cal Poly.pdf before presenting their documentation to the University Writing and Rhetoric Center Office, bldg,10, room 130. The application and documentation must be completed fully by the student and then reviewed by the WPE Coordinator to determine whether or not credit for the GWR will be extended. Submitting a transcript to Records or a department is not sufficient to be granted credit for a previously earned writing requirement.
Are there any other circumstances where the GWR may be waived?
The Graduation Writing Requirement may be waived, at the discretion of the WPE Coordinator, if the student has earned an advanced degree at least equivalent to the Master's. Bring a copy of an official or unofficial transcript, showing the graduation date, to the University Writing and Rhetoric Center Office, 10/130.