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The Writing Program Undergraduate Studies

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Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

The Graduate GWAR is a CSU wide requirement that should be completed by graduate students before advancing to candidacy.The purpose of the GWAR is for students to demonstrate their proficiency at writing in an academic setting at a graduate-level.

WPG Exam (updated 2020)

2020 WPG Exam Update: In accordance with the CSU COVID-19 directive, the WPG in person exam will not be offered for the 2020-2021 academic year. The CSU Chancellor’s Office has suspended the graduate level GWAR requirement for AY 2020-2021. As such, all current graduate students in programs that do NOT have a GWI course will not have to take the WPG. Programs that have a GWI course that is required for the degree will continue to require that course as it is part of your program as reported in the catalog

Graduate students should contact their Graduate Program Coordinators for specific information about this requirement in your program.

Graduate GWAR Process

Graduate students must choose one of the three options below to complete the requirement:

  • Meet Equivalency Standard
  • Successfully Pass a GWI in Graduate Program
  • Take the Writing Placement for Graduates (WPG). Please see WPG 2020 update.

Meet Equivalency Standard

If students meet one of the equivalency standards listed below, they must complete the waiver form and attach relevant documentation.

  • 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.
  • Published a refereed first-or single-authored academic journal article in the English language.
  • Graduated with a baccalaureate degree or equivalent from a US-accredited university with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or above.
  • Received 4.5 or higher on the analytical writing portion of the GRE/GMAT.
  • Have been Instructor of record of a college-level writing course taught in the English language.

Download WPG Waiver Form

Successfully Pass a GWI in Graduate Program

Students must earn a grade of B or higher in a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in the student’s graduate program.

The GWI course immerses graduate students in the discourse of their academic or professional discipline and prepares them to participate effectively in that discourse. The general learning goals of the GWI courses are: