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The Writing Program Undergraduate Studies

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Graduation 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.

Graduate GWAR Process

Graduate students will follow a two-step process to meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

  1. Your writing will be assessed to determine your readiness for graduate-level writing tasks.
  2. The second step is the completion of the culminating experience.

To complete the first step of the Graduate GWAR, all graduate students must earn a grade of B or higher in the required Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course within your graduate program.

To complete the second step of the Graduate GWAR, all graduate students must successfully pass their culminating experience (e.g. thesis, project, dissertation, doctoral project, comprehensive exam).

The Graduate GWAR requirement ultimately is met through completion of your graduate program requirements. For more information please visit

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:

  1. Understand the major research and/or professional conventions, practices, and methods of inquiry of the discipline;
  2. Understand the major formats, genres, and styles of writing used in the discipline;
  3. Practice reading and writing within the discipline;
  4. Practice reading and writing as a learning process that involves peer and instructor feedback, revision, critical reflection, and self-editing.

WPG Exam

As of 2020, the WPG exam is no longer offered and is not a requirement of the Graduate GWAR at Sacramento State.

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