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English Composition

To complete your undergraduate degree, you must take at least one English Composition course. Although these courses have different formats, all of them emphasize how to organize and express your ideas effectively. In most of them, you will refine your skills by rewriting your papers after receiving feedback on them. 

All are 5-credit courses. Some are linked to other courses, and the papers you write in the English Composition course are the papers required by the companion course. Because the vast majority of college courses require writing, you should plan to complete this requirement during your freshman year.

Approved courses

CourseTitleNotes
C LIT 240WRITING IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
ENGL 109-110INTRODUCTORY COMPOSITION

ENGL 109-110 (previously 104-105) is a 10-credit equivalent of the 5-credit ENGL 131 open to EOP students only. You must complete both courses to receive credit. The sequence counts as only 5 credits toward the English composition or additional writing requirement; the other 5 credits count as elective credit.

ENGL 111COMPOSITION: LITERATURE
ENGL 121COMPOSITION: SOCIAL ISSUES

Service-learning component is required

ENGL 131COMPOSITION: EXPOSITION
ENGL 182THE RESEARCH PAPER
ENGL 197INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING/HUMANITIES

linked with a VLPA class

ENGL 198INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING/SOCIAL SCIENCE

linked with an I&S class

ENGL 199INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING/NATURAL SCIENCE

linked with a NW class

ENGL 281INTERMEDIATE EXPOSITORY WRITING
ENGL 297INTERMEDIATE INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING - HUMANITIES

linked with a VLPA class

ENGL 298INTERMEDIATE INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING - SOCIAL SCIENCES

linked with an I&S class

ENGL 299INTERMEDIATE INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING - NATURAL SCIENCES

linked with a NW class

ENGL 381ADVANCED EXPOSITORY WRITING
ENGL 382WRITING FOR THE WEB
HONORS 205WHAT WE KNOW AND HOW WE KNOW IT
HONORS 345INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING SEMINAR

Grade required

Most colleges and schools require you to have at least a 2.00 in your English Composition course, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of the Environment, the Information School, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work. The course may not be taken with the satisfactory/not satisfactory (S/NS) grading option. There are some exceptions for transfer students.

Placement

The UW does not have a placement test for English Composition. The 100-level composition courses listed below 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

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 below count toward the Areas of Knowledge requirement. Your English Composition course may count toward your major, but this is rare.

AP and IB

Starting with students who enter the university in summer 2003 or later, the UW grants credit for English literature, but 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 more details see the AP policies page on the Admissions website.

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 more details see the IB policies page on the Admissions website.

For transfer students

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 below, and is not marked "C," consult an adviser.

If you took your English composition course(s) pass/fail at another college before you were 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 UW Equivalency Guide for Washington Community and Technical Colleges 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."

For postbaccalaureate students

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.

Registration restrictions

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.