Writing & Rhetoric Center

Right here. Write now.

Petition for GWR Substitution

How to Petition to Substitute Alternate Criteria for GWR Completion

CSU EO 665 mandates that all students earning an undergraduate degree from Cal Poly must fulfill the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) at Cal Poly. However, GWR completion also is transferable from one CSU to another. As well, GWR milestone completion may be granted to incoming graduate students who have completed a similar undergraduate degree requirement at another U.S.-accredited college or university. 

If you believe you qualify for a GWR substitution, you may submit a petition to substitute alternate criteria for the GWR. Substitutions are granted if you fit into or more 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 are an incoming graduate student who has earned a score of 4.5 or higher on the analytical writing section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Please provide a copy of your GRE scores.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 bachelor’s degree from a U.S.-accredited college or university at which you 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).

To petition for a GWR substitution, collect the documents appropriate based on one of the categories above (it is not the Center’s responsibility to research for you or 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, Kennedy Library, Room 202A. Please allow two weeks for the URWC to process your request.

Related Content

Upcoming Events

Writing Consultations 

Jan. 7 - March 20

Spring Quarter WPE Dates 

April 9, 10, 27

*Click here for WPE preparatory resources.

Writing Consultations

The University Writing & Rhetoric Center offers free writing consultations to all Cal Poly students. Students may visit one of three locations and work with a consultant for thirty or sixty minutes.  *Note: the center is no longer located in Building 10, Room 138; the center's main location is now in Kennedy Library, Room 111C. Click here for more information.

English Placement

The CSU determines four levels of English placement based on multiple measures of students' pre-college performance. Students placed in both Category III and Category IV are required to complete a two-quarter stretch sequence of English composition. Category IV students are also required to complete Early Start English prior to enrolling in the two-quarter stretch sequence. More information is available here.

Graduation Writing Requirement

The GWR must be fulfilled by all Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including a Master's degree or teaching credential.  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.