Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

Graduate students will follow a two-step process to meet the GWAR: in the first step, your writing will be assessed to determine your readiness for graduate-level writing tasks. The second step is the completion of the culminating experience.

There will be three methods by which graduate students may take this first step in the graduate GWAR process. All graduate students must complete one of these options before they may advance to candidacy. Then, the Graduate GWAR requirement ultimately is met through completion of your graduate program requirements.

Choose one of the three options below:

Option A:   

If you meet one of the equivalency standards below upon entry to the university, you do not need to take a GWI course or take the WPG:

  • Have an M.A./M.S., Ph.D., or J.D. from a US-Accredited University or equivalent degree with coursework in the English language as evaluated by the Office of the Graduate Dean (attach copy of school transcript with degree noted).
  • Published a refereed first- or single-authored academic journal article in the English language (attach a copy of the journal/publication cover and first page of the article with your name).
  • Graduated with a baccalaureate degree or equivalent from a US-accredited University with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or above (attach copy of school transcript).
  • Received 4.5 or higher on the analytical writing portion of the GRE/GMAT (attach verification).
  • Have been Instructor of record of a college-level writing course taught in the English language at a US-accredited University approved by the Office of the Graduate Dean.

Click here for the Writing Placement for Graduates (WPG) Waiver Form

Option B:

If you do not meet one of the equivalency standards, then you may complete the first step of the Graduate GWAR by earning a grade of B or higher in a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in your graduate program.

Option C:

If you do not meet one of the equivalency standards and your graduate program does not offer a GWI course, then you will need to take the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG), a timed essay examination or retake the GRE/GMAT and obtain a score of 4.5 or better on the analytical writing section.

The WPG will ask writers to compose two essays, after reading a selection of brief texts, which represent a variety of genres typical in scholarly and professional writing, such as graphs, charts, tables, bullet lists, and scholarly prose. Those students who are identified as needing additional help in order to complete graduate-level writing tasks after taking the WPG exam will be required to satisfy this requirement via one of the following options before they can advance to candidacy:

  1. Take a GWI course in their program (if program offers a GWI course) and earn a grade of B or better;
  2. Take ENGL 220W (offered through CCE) and earn a grade of B or better;
  3. or Retake the GRE/GMAT and obtain a score of 4.5 or better on the analytical writing section.

For general information on the WPG Exam, visit

Please note:
  • The next exam date is January 19, 2019.
  • Registration will be available from December 31, 2018 to 12:00pm on January 11, 2019. The following link will take you to the registration page:
  • There is a $20 fee for the exam. Please read instructions on the registration website for how to pay this fee, as payment will no longer be accepted on the day of the exam.  Note: This fee is Non-Refundable and Non-Transferable.