Writing & Rhetoric Center

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Graduation Writing Requirement

The Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) is a CSU-mandated program designed to ensure that students can write proficiently before they enter the professional work force. All Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including Master's degrees and teaching credentials, must fulfill the GWR. This degree requirement must be fulfilled before a diploma can be awarded.
  • Undergraduate students with 90 or more completed units must attempt to fulfill the GWR during the junior year and should do so before their senior year.
  • Graduate student in master's degree and credential programs must attempt to fulfill the requirement during their first quarter in residence at Cal Poly.

There are two ways to fulfill the GWR:

  1. Pass the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) OR
  2. Pass a GWR-approved upper-division course with a grade of C or better AND receive certification of proficiency in writing based on a 500-word in-class essay. Students must inform the instructor teaching the course that they are taking it to fulfill the GWR.

For additional questions about the GWR in general, please visit the GWR FAQ page. For additional questions about the WPE, please visit the WPE page.


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Upcoming Events

Tutors Available  

January 17 - March 22

Winter WPE Dates 

January 25, 28, & 31

WPE Workshops

January, 24, 26, & 27


Writing Consultations

The University Writing & Rhetoric Center, a division of the College of Liberal Arts, offers free writing consultations to all Cal Poly students.  The Center also oversees the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) and the English Placement Test (EPT). The GWR and the EPT are CSU Trustee-mandated programs.

English Placement Test (EPT)

The CSU requires first year students to take the EPT or show that they are exempt from it before they can enroll in classes. On the basis of their EPT scores, students are placed in writing courses that prepare them for academic success on campus. If developmental coursework is necessary, students must fulfill requirements by the end of the first year or risk disqualification from the University. Visit the EPT page for more information.

Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)

The GWR must be fulfilled by all Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including Masters degree and teaching credentials.  Undergraduate students must complete 90 units before they can fulfill the requirement.  Visit the GWR page for more information on how to complete this requirement.