Writing and Learning

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GWR Information for Postbaccalaureate Students

A graduate student seeking a Master's Degree or a teaching credential must fulfill the GWR within their first quarter of residency in order to be advanced to candidacy. 

if you are a cal poly student in a blended program 

You should have completed the GWR by the time you submitted your post-baccalaureate Change of Objective form. If you have not, you must be enrolled in the UNIV 401: GWR Portfolio course by the time you submit Change of Objective form. UNIV 401 is offered every term, including summer. Please contact the Writing and Learning Initiatives Office with any questions or for assistance.

If you are a Graduate student who Has earned an undergraduate degree at an institution within the CSU or UC systems
You have fulfilled the GWR by virtue of that degree. Your GWR milestone is updated to complete during your first quarter on campus. 
If you are a Graduate student who Has earned an undergraduate degree at a university outside the CSU or UC systems
You may be eligible for a GWR substitution based on alternate criteria. You should review the alternate criteria for GWR substitution before attempting to satisfy the requirement in case you qualify for a substitution. (Please note: currently we do not accept passing scores on the CBEST, CSET, or TWE as substitution for the GWR.) 
If you have not earned an undergraduate degree from within the CSU or UC systems, or if you do not qualify for a substitution, then you are required to fulfill the GWR.

There are two options for doing so:

  1. Pass a GWR-certified upper-division course with a C or better on a major writing assignment and a final course grade of C or better with at least 35% of the final grade based on the cumulative grade of all writing projects; OR,
  2. Pass the GWR Portfolio. *Graduate students interested in registering for the GWR Portfolio Program should contact the Writing and Learning Initiatives office (writingandlearning@calpoly.edu).


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Academic Preparation and Placement

Cal Poly adheres to the CSU's placement practice, which evaluates multiple measures of pre-college academic performance to determine placement in first-year English and math courses. Cal Poly also offers summer support courses in compliance with the CSU's Early Start Program to help incoming first-year students prepare for a successful college experience. More information is available on the Academic Preparation and Placement webpage

Academic Support

The Writing and Learning Initiatives Office offers a comprehensive menu of academic resources designed to ensure optimal educational opportunities for diverse student populations: peer consultants offer free tutoring in any course or subject, peer-led supplemental workshops and study sessions provide support for STEM-specific courses, and the online Study Strategies Library offers a collection of resources to help you achieve your learning goals. More information is available on the Academic Support Programs webpage

Graduation Writing Requirement

All degree-seeking Cal Poly students, including a Master's degree or teaching credential, must fulfill the GWR. Undergraduate students must complete 90 units before they can attempt to fulfill the requirement and should do so before the senior year. The two pathways to GWR completion are 1) in an approved upper-division course and 2) via the GWR Portfolio. More information is available on the GWR webpage