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Petition for GWR Substitution

How to Petition to Substitute Alternate Criteria for GWR Completion

Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) milestone completion may be granted to students who have completed a similar requirement at another college or university.  You may submit a petition to substitute alternate criteria for the GWR if you fit into one of the following categories: 

  • You are a transfer student with 90 or more units and you completed your GWR at another California State University (CSU) campus.  Please submit official documentation from your previous CSU that confirms completion of the requirement.
  • You have earned a bachelor’s degree from a CSU or University of California (UC) campus.  Please submit an unofficial copy of your transcript with degree conferral date.
  • You have earned a bachelor’s degree from a U.S.-accredited college or university that has an upper-division writing requirement. Please provide an unofficial copy of your transcripts with degree conferral date. If your transcripts do not specify that you have fulfilled an upper-division writing requirement, you must also provide evidence, such as a catalog excerpt, to indicate that the school has the requirement for all of its students.
  • You have earned a grade of C or better in an upper-division, writing intensive course at another U.S.- accredited, four-year college or university with work equivalent to that in one of Cal Poly’s GWR-approved courses. Note: If you petition to substitute coursework for GWR completion, then that coursework must meet the same standards that Cal Poly applies to its own students in GWR-approved courses. To petition for substitution based on coursework, please complete the following steps:
  1. Indicate on a copy of your transcript (official or unofficial) which upper-division course meets the requirements for the waiver. Remember that you must have enrolled in this course after you reached junior status.
  2. Indicate the grade that you earned in the course.  Remember that you must have earned at least a C in the course.
  3. Provide an official description of the course from the course catalog.
  4. Provide evidence of in-class writing of at least 500 words on a single unannounced topic (either by providing a syllabus indicating the writing or providing a graded copy of the writing itself).
  • You have earned a score of 5 or higher on the analytical writing section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Please provide a copy of your GRE scores.
  • You have earned a master’s or higher-level graduate degree at a U.S.-accredited college or university. Please provide an unofficial copy of your final transcript with degree conferral date.

To petition for a GWR substitution, collect the appropriate documents (it is not the Center’s responsibility to research/contact your former institution for information) and submit them along with the completed Petition for GWR Substitution Form either electronically to writingcenter@calpoly.edu or in person at the University Writing & Rhetoric Center (UWRC) office, Building 10, Room 130. Please allow two weeks for the URWC to process your request.

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Writing Consultations

The University Writing & Rhetoric Center offers free writing consultations to all Cal Poly students.  Students may visit one of four locations and work with a consultant for thirty or sixty minutes.  Plan ahead and visit with a writing consultant before a writing project due date to make the most of your visit!

English Placement Test (EPT)

On the basis of pre-college exam scores, students are deemed ready, conditionally ready, or not ready for college-level coursework.  The CSU requires conditionally ready first-year students to show that they are exempt from English remediation before they can enroll in ENGL 133 or 34. Any student who does not clear a conditional status is placed in writing courses to prepare them for academic success on campus. If developmental coursework is required, students must fulfill the yearlong stretch course by the end of the first year or risk disqualification. 

Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)

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