English Composition Pathway

English Composition Pathway Information 

There are several different courses you can take at UC Davis to fulfill the lower-division English Composition requirement. This page describes them so you can make an informed decision. 

What is the English Composition Pathway?

The English Composition Pathway is for students who have already satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR).* Courses in the English Composition Pathway fulfill the lower-division portion of the English Composition Requirement.

*ELWR may be satisfied prior to enrolling at UC Davis through test scores, transcripts, or through a PATH4 placement result after completing the Writing Placement Survey.

Writing Requirements at UC Davis

UC Davis undergraduate students have to complete several writing requirements: 

  1. Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)
  2. English Composition (as specified by your college): 8 units
  3. Writing Experience: 6 units

ELWR is a prerequisite for both English Composition and Writing Experience. The Writing Experience requirement can be satisfied with any course in the UC Davis Course Catalog that specifies credit for Writing Experience (WE). Read more about the Core Literacies General Education Requirements here.

The English Composition Requirement (8 units) varies by college:

  1. College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Degree Requirements
  2. College of Biological Sciences Degree Requirements
  3. College of Engineering Degree Requirements
  4. College of Letters & Science Degree Requirements

Earning credit toward the English Composition Requirement prior to enrolling in classes at UC Davis

Students may be able to satisfy at least 4 units of their English Composition Requirement prior to enrolling in classes at UC Davis in one of the following ways:

  1. AP Exams: A score of 4 or 5 on either AP English Language and Composition or AP English Literature and Composition provides credit for UWP 001 and ENL 003. Note: while a score of 4 or 5 does provide credit for both UWP 001 and ENL 003, only one of these course equivalencies may be applied to the English Composition Requirement.
  2. Community College Courses: Courses that are listed in an Assist.org articulation agreement as equivalent to UCD composition courses may also satisfy the English Composition Requirement.
    1. If you have taken a composition course at a college that is not listed in Assist, you will need to send an official transcript from your college. After your transcript is processed and the course is listed in your Academic Record in OASIS, you will need to fill out the English Composition Equivalency Request petition in OASIS (a course description and syllabus is required for the petition).
  3. International Baccalaureate: A score of 5 or higher on the Higher Level (HL) English A: Literature or English A: Language and Literature exam provides equivalent credit for ENL 003. While you may receive equivalent credit for ENL 003, not every college will allow this score to be applied to the English Composition Requirement. 

Since each college has different criteria for the English Composition Requirement, you should confirm with an academic advisor within your college whether your test score or community college course may be applied to this requirement:

  1. Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Advising
  2. Biological Sciences Advising
  3. Engineering Advising
  4. Letters & Science Advising

NOTE: You must submit official documentation of any test scores or transcripts to satisfy either ELWR or the English Composition Requirement. Self-reported scores are not sufficient to satisfy degree requirements or provide equivalency credit.

What course can you take?

There are several courses that students in the English Composition Pathway can take and you will choose one of them to start. These courses are offered by the University Writing Program (UWP), English (ENL), Native American Studies (NAS), and Comparative Literature (COM). 

NOTE: Before choosing an English Composition course, it’s important to consult with your advisor. Some majors will only allow a specific English Composition course to satisfy the lower-division writing requirement.

English Comp. (Updated V3)

What will you learn?

Courses in the English Composition pathway are meant to prepare you for rigorous college-level reading and writing tasks and increase your confidence to succeed as an academic writer and critical thinker. 

In English Composition courses, you will…

  • read challenging texts from a variety of genres
  • practice substantial revision based on feedback from peers and the instructor
  • write for a variety of audiences across genres
  • develop awareness of disciplinary differences in conventions of style, citation, organization, etc.
  • evaluate sources for academic arguments
  • use texts to support your own arguments and analysis

How will you learn?

An example assignment from an English Composition course is the academic research article from UWP 1. In the academic research article assignment, students choose a topic related to college reading and writing and investigate that topic using extensive research. Students come up with research questions to explore the topic, conduct primary research (interviews or surveys) and secondary research (finding academic research articles on their topic by searching library databases), and report on the results of their research in an academic article of 1,500-2,000 words. 

In order to complete this assignment, students need to…

  • develop their own research questions
  • conduct their own primary research through an interview or survey 
  • conduct their own secondary research using library databases to find academic articles
  • integrate these primary and secondary sources to support their own analyses and arguments 
  • organize their findings in an extended research article with multiple sections (introduction, research methods, results, discussion, conclusion)