The Entry Level Writing Requirement

The University of California requires every undergraduate student to demonstrate college-level proficiency in English composition by satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). Satisfaction of the ELWR is a prerequisite to all other undergraduate writing courses.

Students can meet this requirement by earning:

  • 30 or better on the ACT, English Language Arts; or
  • 30 or better on the ACT, Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015); or
  • 680 or better on the SAT, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing* (beginning with Fall 2018 admits); or
  • 680 or better on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test, Writing (last administration January 2016); or
  • 3 or above on either Advanced Placement Examination in English (Language and Composition or Literature and Composition); or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Higher Level English A1 exam); or
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Standard Level English A1 exam); or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
  • a grade of C or higher in an acceptable English composition course offered by a college or university (must be completed prior to entering UC); or
  • a passing score on the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)

 

* UC is accepting a score of 680 or better on the SAT, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement on a pilot basis, beginning with new students entering UC in Fall 2018. The pilot will remain in effect until a new policy is adopted by the Academic Senate.


THE ANALYTICAL WRITING PLACEMENT EXAM

The University-wide Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) is administered in May during a student’s high school senior year. Out-of-state students and national students admitted late may take the AWPE the first day of fall quarter at UCD. The AWPE is typically offered once per quarter during the academic year. As per UC policy, students may take the AWPE only once.

 

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PLACEMENT EXAM

International students and some national students with a multilingual background will take the English Language Placement Exam (ELPE) to determine whether they need multilingual coursework in the University Writing Program (UWP) BEFORE enrolling in UWP 7, UWP 1A, ENL 3A, WR 39A or WLD 57.


FULFILLING ELWR THROUGH COURSEWORK

At UC Davis, new students who have not satisfied the ELWR prior to enrollment may take any of the following courses and earn a grade of C or higher to fulfill the ELWR:

  • WLD 57: 4.5 workload unit course taught by Sacramento City College instructors

  • WR 39A: 4 unit UC Online course

  • UWP 7: 4 unit UCD course (two sections piloting winter and spring 2019)

  • A co-course:

    • UWP 1A: 2 unit UCD course (Must be taken concurrently with UWP 1. Two sections piloting winter and spring 2019)

    • ENL 3A: 2 unit UCD course (Must be taken concurrently with ENL 3. Two sections piloting winter and spring 2019)

    • NAS 5A: 2 unit UCD course (Must be taken concurrently with NAS 5. One section piloting winter and spring 2019)

 

WLD 57

Workload 57 is a face-to-face course taught by Sacramento City College faculty on the UC Davis campus; the 4.5 units of the course count toward the minimum progress requirement but does not carry units toward graduation credit nor does it factor into a student’s GPA. To satisfy the requirement, students must earn a course grade of C or higher; students who receive a grade lower than C must repeat an ELWR fulfilling course to fulfill ELWR.

WR 39A

WR 39A is an online Cross-Campus course taught out of UC Irvine. Students in the Intro to Writing & Rhetoric course will develop their writing through language-intensive exercises, participation in community based writing in blogs and forums, and completion of a writing portfolio. Students will also have the opportunity to experiment with various writing forms, ranging from the personal narrative to a thesis-driven essay project. 

UWP 7

UWP 7 is a face-to-face, 4 unit credit-bearing course taught by writing faculty at UC Davis. The small class size of 18 students allows for intense mentorship and collaboration as students focus on academic literacy strategies including understanding scholarly texts, contextualizing information, developing source-based academic writing projects, and learning how to implement feedback and revision plans.

UWP 1A

UWP 1A is a face-to-face 2 unit credit-bearing course taught by writing faculty at UC Davis that fulfills ELWR. Concurrent enrollment in UWP 1 (a 4 unit credit-bearing course that fulfills the lower division writing requirement) is required for UWP 1A students. The course uses a writing studio approach; each section of UWP 1A enrolls 14 students who work intensively on analyzing writing tasks, developing drafts of writing, providing and implementing feedback, and identifying useful strategies for academic writing across the curriculum.  

ENL 3A

ENL 3A is a face-to-face 2 unit credit-bearing course that fulfills ELWR, taught by English department faculty at UC Davis. Concurrent enrollment in ENL 3 (a 4 unit credit-bearing course that fulfills the lower division writing requirement) is required for ENL 3A students. The course uses a writing studio approach; each section of ENL 3A enrolls 14 students who work in small groups and an instructor mentor who supports them as they complete disciplinary writing tasks assigned in ENL3, including literary analysis of poetry, drama, and fiction.

NAS 5A

NAS 5A is a face-to-face 2 unit credit bearing course that fulfills ELWR, taught by Native American Studies instructors at UC Davis. Concurrent enrollment in NAS 5 is required for NAS 5A students. The course uses a writing studio approach; each section of NAS 5A enrolls 14 students who work in small groups and an instructor mentor who supports them as they complete disciplinary writing tasks assigned in NAS 5, including literary analysis of poetry, drama, and fiction.

UC Senate Regulation 636 states that all UC students must satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement as soon as possible during their first year (or as soon as possible after completing their UWP multilingual coursework.) If the requirement has not been satisfied by the end of a student's third quarter, and the student was not required to take UWP multilingual coursework, the student will face disenrollment from the University.