Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) for Graduate Students


Writing proficiency at the graduate level will be demonstrated by successful completion of the graduate program requirements.

Students’ preparedness for graduate level writing may be demonstrated by meeting one of the standards specified on the WPG Equivalency Standards form. Students who do not meet one or more of these standards must either take the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or take a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within their first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento. Students whose performance on the WPG indicates that they do not need additional writing preparation may advance to candidacy when appropriate. Students whose WPG performance indicates they need additional preparation may elect either to take a GWI course within their program (if available) or via the College of Continuing Education. In either case, students must earn a B or above in the course in order to advance to candidacy.

Title 5 requires that applicants for graduate programs who have not completed a baccalaureate degree from a postsecondary educational institution where English is the principal language of instruction to possess a minimum score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) prior to admission to CSUS as follows: 550 on the paper-based TOEFL; or 213 on the computer-based TOEFL; or 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT). Students may also demonstrate English language proficiency by possessing an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0.


The WPG Equivalency Standards were adapted from standards currently used to allow waivers of the WPE (included below for informational purposes.) It should be noted, however, that the WPG Equivalency Standards serve a different purpose from the WPE Waiver Standards. Currently, a student who meets one of the WPE Waiver Standards has fulfilled the GWAR requirement for graduate students on this campus. A student who meets one of the WPG Equivalency Standards, on the other hand, will not have met the GWAR requirement, which will be met by completion of the culminating experience. Instead, meeting one of the WPG Equivalency Standards means that a student has clearly demonstrated sufficient preparation for graduate-level writing that there is no need for further assessment of their preparedness.