The University requires all students to complete one 5-credit composition course from the list below.
- C LIT 240 — Writing in Comparative Literature
- ENGL 109-1101 — Introductory Composition
- ENGL 111 — Composition: Literature
- ENGL 121 — Composition: Social Issues
- ENGL 131 — Composition: Exposition
- ENGL 197 — Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities (linked with a VLPA class)
- ENGL 198 — Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Science (linked with an I&S class)
- ENGL 199 — Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Science (linked with an NW class)
- ENGL 281 — Intermediate Expository Writing
- ENGL 297 — Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities (linked with a VLPA class)
- ENGL 298 — Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing/Social Sciences (linked with an I&S class)
- ENGL 299 — Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Sciences (linked with an NW class)
- HONORS 205 — What We Know and How We Know It
- HONORS 345 — Interdisciplinary Writing Seminar
- Junior- and senior-level expository writing courses are also acceptable
Most of UW's Colleges and Schools2 require you have at least a 2.00 in your English composition course. No colleges allow the course to be taken on the satisfactory/not satisfactory (S/NS) grading option. (Transfer students, see below.)
UW doesn’t have a placement test for English composition. The 100-level composition courses listed above are all at the same level; ENGL 198, for example, is not a more advanced course than ENGL 131. The courses vary in topic and in approach to writing instruction. Consult the Course Descriptions or an adviser for more information.
No Overlap with Other Requirements
The course you use to satisfy the English composition requirement does not also count toward the additional writing requirement. Nor do any of the courses listed above count toward Areas of Knowledge. Your English composition course may count toward your major, if applicable, but this is rare.
AP and IB
Starting with students who enter the UW in summer 2003 or later, UW grants credit for English literature, not composition, for AP scores of 4 or 5. If you entered the UW before summer 2003 you will receive English composition credit for your AP score of 4 or 5. For details see the chart of AP policies.
Starting with students who submit their IB scores in summer 2003 or later, UW grants 5 credits of English literature, not composition, for IB scores of 5 or above on the higher level exam. If you submitted your IB score before summer 2003 you will receive 5 credits of ENGL 999 for your IB score of 5 or higher, and the credits can be counted toward either the composition requirement, or toward both VLPA and the additional writing requirement. For details see the chart of IB policies.
English composition courses that transfer as at least 4.5 credits may be used to satisfy this requirement and should be marked "C" on your transfer evaluation. You can also combine two 3-credit English composition courses. If you completed an English composition course that didn't transfer as one of the courses listed above, and is not marked "C," consult an adviser.
If you took your English composition course(s) pass/fail at another college before you were ever a UW student, you are allowed to count it toward the requirement. Also, if the course was available only on a non-graded basis, you are allowed to count it toward the requirement no matter when you completed it.
You can check the course equivalency tables to determine which courses from Washington community colleges count toward the UW's English composition requirement; they are marked in the lists with a "C."
Postbaccalaureate students are not required to complete the English composition requirement.
Making up an admission deficiency
The University requires four high school units (years) of English and other language arts for admission. If you lack this admission requirement, normally you must make it up with college coursework before transferring to the UW.
If you take an English composition course to remove an admission deficiency (a UW course, or a transfer course the UW accepts for credit), you can also count the course toward the English composition requirement. Although courses taken pass/fail can be used to make up an admission deficiency, any UW course must be taken for a grade if you plan to count it toward any graduation requirement such as the English composition requirement.
Starting in Spring 2009, students with composition (“C”) credit in English 111, 121, or 131 (i.e., students who receive a grade of 2.0 or higher in any of these courses) are prevented from enrolling in a second course in this series.
In exceptional cases, students will be able to petition the English department for permission to register for a second 111, 121, or 131 course. Students who have successfully completed ENGL 109/110 or any of the Interdisciplinary Writing Program courses (ENGL 197, 198, 199) will not be similarly restricted from enrolling in ENGL 111, 121, or 131.
Transfer students who have 10 or more credits of courses deemed equivalent to ENGL 111, 121, or 131 will not "lose" credit as a result of this change.
Although the composition courses listed above have different formats, all emphasize how to organize ideas into an essay. In some, you will improve by rewriting your papers after receiving comments on them. ENGL 197, 198, 199, 287, 298, and 299 are "linked" to other courses, and the papers you write are the papers required by the companion course.
Because the vast majority of college courses require some writing, you should plan to complete the English composition requirement during your freshman year.
2 College of Arts and Sciences, College of the Environment, Information School, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Social Work require a 2.00 minimum grade in your English composition course.