Writing Requirements at GW

All undergraduates at GW must complete a literacy requirement consisting of one freshman writing seminar (UW1020) and two WID (Writing in the Disciplines) courses. Students must complete UW1020 before enrolling in a WID course for WID credit.

The two WID courses can be in the student's major, minor, or a related field, and must be completed in separate semesters in order to receive WID credit.

Since effective writing skills take time to develop, the writing requirement is purposely designed to be spread over several semesters. It is not something to be completed as fast as possible. Instead, the recommended sequence is: UW1020 in the first year, one WID course in the sophomore year, and one in the junior year.


All entering freshmen are required to take UW1020, a 4 credit course. Students can take it in either the fall or the spring semester. Neither AP, IB, nor any other test will exempt a student from UW20. Students transferring to GW with fewer than 30 credits will be required to take UW 20 without exception. Please see Exception Requests for all other cases.


All GW undergraduates are required to complete two WID courses to graduate. UW1020 is a prerequisite for all WID courses. Students must complete UW20 before enrolling in a WID course for WID credit. (Students who have not completed UW1020 may enroll in a WID course, but they will not receive WID credit, only the standard credit.) Transfer students with 30 or more credits who have taken 4 credits of English composition and are exempt from UW1020 are still required to take two WID courses. Students should take one WID course in their sophomore year and a second one in their junior year. WID courses may be taken as late as the senior year to satisfy the requirement, but this is not recommended. Students may enroll in more than one WID course at a time, but they will not be permitted to use two WID courses in the same semester to satisfy the WID requirement. Students may take two WID courses in the same year to satisfy the WID requirement, but not in the same semester. WID courses can fulfill more than one requirement simultaneously. For example, a WID course can fulfill part of the literacy requirement and a GCR and/or a major requirement at the same time. Students may take more than two WID courses if they wish; there is no limit. Many students take several, even in the same semester.