Writing and Learning Initiatives

Optimizing academic support and achievement

Graduation Writing Requirement

The Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) is a CSU-mandated program designed to ensure that students can write proficiently before they enter the professional work force. All Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including those seeking Master's degrees and teaching credentials, must fulfill the GWR before a diploma can be awarded.

  • Undergraduate students with 90 or more completed units should attempt to fulfill the GWR before their senior year.
  • Graduate and postbaccalaureate students should attempt to fulfill the requirement during their first quarter in residence at Cal Poly.

There are two ways to fulfill the GWR:

  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. Earn a passing score on a GWR portfolio (*Note: the GWR portfolio replaces the Writing Proficiency Exam for academic year 20-21).


    Notice: Students with a winter 2021 expected graduation term will be added to the GWR Portfolio Canvas site, which provides instructions on submitting the portfolio. 



    If you are you not scheduled to graduate in winter quarter, then you should consider enrolling in a GWR-designated course before your final term or check back for more information on how to prepare  for the GWR portfolio. 

For answers to general questions about the GWR, click here.  

Related Content

Winter Quarter Updates

Writing and Learning Online Support 

January 4 - March 17

*Study Sessions, supplemental workshops, and tutoring are virtual for winter quarter; for more information, click here.

Graduation Writing Requirement

*A GWR Portfolio has replaced the WPE; for more information, click here

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. For more information, click here.

Academic Resources

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. For more information, click here.

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. For more information, click here.