Every undergraduate student at UC Davis must demonstrate college-level proficiency in writing by satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). Satisfaction of the ELWR is a prerequisite to undergraduate writing courses that fulfill the English Composition Requirement and General Education requirements for writing experience.
The ELWR timeline begins with the first quarter of enrollment at UC Davis and continues each quarter. Students who do not satisfy the ELWR within the time limit (by the end of the third quarter of enrollment) will be subject to disenrollment from the University per UC Davis Senate Regulation 521.
* Some multilingual UC Davis students who complete Writing Placement 2020 will be placed into one or more UWP courses (UWP 021 and/or UWP 022) for English language and writing support. These students will have the standard three quarters to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) plus one quarter per English intensive course (UWP 021-022).
Fulfilling ELWR Before Entering UC Davis
Students can fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) before they begin at UC Davis with tests and coursework including:
- 680 or better on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test, Writing (last administration January 2016); or
- 680 or better on the SAT, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing** (beginning with Fall 2018 admits on a pilot basis); or
*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.
AP (Advanced Placement) Scores
- 3 or above on either Advanced Placement Examination in English; or
- 30 or better on the ACT, English Language Arts; or
- 30 or better on the ACT, Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015); or
IB (International Baccalaureate) Scores
- 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 the 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
Analytical Writing Placement Exam
Passing the University of California’s Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE); or
Earning a grade of C or higher in an acceptable 3 semester-unit or 4 quarter-unit college level composition course.
California High School Students
Every May*, the University of California's Office of the President (UCOP) offers a writing placement exam for California high school seniors who have not met ELWR and plan to attend a UC campus the next fall. The exam—called the UC Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE)—is administered the second Saturday of May at testing centers throughout the state of California. The exam lasts for two hours. The AWPE instructs test-takers to read a short passage provided by a proctor and then write a response to the passage by hand within the two-hour exam. The AWPE may only be taken once. Learn more about the AWPE at the UCOP website, including registration information, sample exams, sample responses, and the scoring guide.
* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the May 2020 statewide AWPE was cancelled. All first-year students who enroll at UC Davis for fall quarter 2020 and have not yet satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) should complete Writing Placement 2020 to begin their writing education at UC Davis.
Fulfilling ELWR After Entering UC Davis
Undergraduate students who enter UC Davis and have not satisfied the ELWR in one of the ways described above can complete the requirement by:
Writing Placement 2020 can be used to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement if the student places into a lower division English composition course. This new writing placement mechanism replaces the ELPE and campus AWPE. Writing Placement 2020 can be taken only once; https://elw.ucdavis.edu/writingplacement
Enrolling in UWP 007 and receiving a C or higher. UWP 7 is a 4 unit UC Davis writing course that carries units toward graduation credit; or
Enrolling in UWP 007M and receiving a C or higher. UWP 7M is a 4 unit UC Davis writing course that carries units toward graduation credit; or
Enrolling in UWP 001A (must be taken concurrently with UWP 001) and receiving a C or higher. UWP 001A is a 2 unit UC Davis writing course that carries units toward graduation credit; or
Enrolling in ENL 003A (must be taken concurrently with ENL 003) and receiving a C or higher. ENL 003A is a 2 unit UC Davis writing course that carries units toward graduation credit; or
Enrolling in NAS 005A (must be taken concurrently with NAS 005) and receiving a C or higher. NAS 005A is a 2 unit UC Davis writing course that carries units toward graduation credit; or
Enrolling in WR 039A, an online course, and receiving a C or higher. WR 039A is a 4 unit writing course offered by UC Online that carries units toward graduation credit; or
Enrolling in Workload 057 and receiving a C or higher. WLD 057 is a 4.5 unit writing course offered by Sacramento City College on the UC Davis campus that counts toward minimum progress but carries no units toward graduation; or
NOTE: Currently, P/NP grade mode is not permitted if the course will be used for satisfaction of the ELWR. Students must take the course for a letter grade and receive a C or higher to fulfill ELWR.
UWP 007 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 007M is a face-to-face, 4 unit credit-bearing course taught by writing faculty at UC Davis. Students arrive at this course through campus placement or after successful completion of UWP 022. The small class size of 18 students allows for the development of multilingual writers' composition and English language skills across genres and disciplines. The course integrates college-level reading, critical thinking, and written communication, using texts from across the curriculum.
UWP 001A is a face-to-face 2 unit credit-bearing course taught by writing instructors at UC Davis that fulfills ELWR if passed with a C or higher. Concurrent enrollment in UWP 001 or UWP 001Y (a 4 unit credit-bearing course that fulfills the lower division writing requirement) is required for UWP 001A students. The course uses a writing studio approach; each section of UWP 001A 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 003A is a 2-unit, credit-bearing course that fulfills ELWR when passed with a C or higher. It is taught by instructors from the English Department at UC Davis. Students must be enrolled in ENL 003 (a 4 unit credit-bearing course that fulfills the lower division writing requirement) in order to be enrolled in ENL 003A. Each section of ENL 003A enrolls 14 students to work in small groups with an instructor to support them as they complete writing assignments from ENL 003. Those assignments include literary analysis of poetry, drama, and fiction.
NAS 005A is a face-to-face 2 unit credit bearing course that fulfills ELWR if passed with a C or higher, taught by Native American Studies instructors at UC Davis. Concurrent enrollment in NAS 005 is required for NAS 005A students. Each section of NAS 005A enrolls 14 students who work in small groups and an instructor mentor who supports them as they complete disciplinary writing tasks assigned in NAS 005, including literary analysis of poetry, drama, and fiction.
WR 039A is an online Cross-Campus course taught by 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. Students must meet certain eligibility criteria to enroll through Cross-Campus enrollment and should check in with the advisors in their Dean’s Office prior to enrollment.
Workload 057 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.