Writing & Rhetoric Center

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Graduation Writing Requirement

The Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) is a CSU-mandated program designed to insure 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.


Related Content

Upcoming Events

Writing Consultations 

January 8 - March 21 

Spring Quarter WPE Dates 

April 11, 17, and 21

*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.