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Graduation Writing Requirement


The Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) is a CSU Board of Trustees mandate designed to ensure that students can write proficiently before they enter the professional workforce. All Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including Master's degrees and teaching credentials, must fulfill the GWR before a diploma can be awarded. 

  • Graduate and postbaccalaureate students must attempt to fulfill the GWR during their first quarter in residence at Cal Poly if they do not qualify for a GWR substitution

  • Undergraduate students with 90 or more completed units should attempt to fulfill the requirement before their senior year. Upper-division transfer students who completed the requirement at another CSU campus prior to enrollment at Cal Poly may transfer completion of the requirement. 


Students should review the requirements of their major program of study to determine which of the following options is the appropriate pathway for GWR completion:

  1. Pass a GWR-certified course with a grade of C or better (C- or below does not qualify). The course may be taken on a credit/no credit basis, but the student must earn a minimum grade of C in order to satisfy the GWR component of the class. Available sections of GWR-certified courses are searchable via PASS each quarter.

  2. Pass the Writing Proficiency Exam.


Further information on pathways to meeting this degree requirement may be obtained from the Office of Writing and Learning Initiatives, Kennedy Library (35) Room 202A (805-756-2067), or on the GWR webpage,


In the Catalog: This graduation requirement is cited in the Cal Poly catalog here, which may also include additional procedural considerations and a list of pre-approved GWR-certified courses.

Academic Senate Resolution: AS-858-18 "Resolution on Course Criteria for GWR-certified Upper-Division Courses across the Curriculum"

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