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Jul 21 2017

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University Writing Skills Requirement

In addition to the lower-division General Education requirements in writing, the California State University system requires all students to demonstrate writing competency at the university level in order to receive a baccalaureate or master’s degree. This requirement was implemented system-wide in 1977. You must satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) in order to receive a degree from CSUEB unless you are exempt by one of the following criteria:

  1. If you have previously satisfied the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement at CSUEB or at another CSU campus, CSUEB will accept official certification of completion if the entire requirement, as specified by that CSU campus, was satisfied and you were a matriculated student at the time.
  2. If you have graduated from any one of the CSU campuses; unless it is noted on your transcript that your USWR was not satisfied.
  3. If you received an essay score of 4.5 or higher on the GMAT or GRE or an essay score of 53 or higher on the CBEST.
  4. If you pass the Writing Skills Test (WST) at CSU East Bay. See WST (Option One) below for details.
  5. If you pass a first-tier writing course and possibly a second-tier writing course (if needed). See Course (Option Two) below for details.

As soon as you have completed 90 quarter units, you will be required to begin steps to satisfy the University Writing Skills Requirement. DO NOT try to satisfy this requirement before completing 90 units or the UWSR will not be met. Complete ENGL 1001 and 1002, which are graduation degree requirements, before attempting to satisfy the UWSR.

To satisfy the requirement at CSUEB, you may do one of the following:

  • Option One: Register for and pass the Writing Skills Test (WST). See WST (Option One) below.
  • Option Two: Enroll in and pass a first-tier writing course (ENGL 3000 or 3001) and possibly a second-tier course, as well. See Course (Option Two) below.

WST (Option One): The Writing Skills Test consists of an analytic essay that requires you to demonstrate that you can think and write critically. You must pass the WST and satisfy the UWSR with a score of Clear Competence (8) to meet the requirement. If you fail the WST, you have only one opportunity to take it again. If you fail it again, your highest score of the two will determine your placement in courses. If your score is Limited Competence (6), you will be required to take the course option (see below). If your score is Developing Competence (7), you need only take a second-tier course to satisfy the UWSR (see below).

Course (Option Two): English 3000 and 3001 are the first-tier courses, designed to help students meet the University Writing Skills Requirement. Students who have taken the Writing Skills Test (WST) and have received Limited Competence (6) must take either English 3000 or English 3001 and perhaps a second-tier course as well. If you choose to meet this requirement through class work, you do not have to take the WST, although you may take it at any time after achieving junior status, for a total of two attempts, even when enrolled in a writing skills course. Generally speaking, ENGL 3000 is intended for native speakers of English, while ENGL 3001 is intended for non-native speakers. Based on end-of-course portfolio evaluation scores, at the end of the first-tier course you will be advised as to your next step, which will involve one of the following: you may be found to have met the UWSR requirement altogether; you may be directed to enroll in a second-tier course; or, you may be directed to repeat the first tier course.

Two second-tier courses are currently offered: ENGL 3003, and MKTG 3495. If you passed one of these courses prior to fall 2000, it may not meet the UWSR. For more information on these courses, contact the individual department.

For more specific information regarding the completion of this requirement, please refer to the “University Writing Skills Requirement” sections of the current University Catalog

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