Freshman Writing Requirements

Writing Requirements for First-Year Students

All entering first-year students at UCLA must satisfy the following writing requirements.

    • Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR): Satisfying this requirement
      demonstrates readiness for Writing I. It may include an additional ESL Writing
      Requirement
      for multilingual and/or international students whose previous education was
      predominantly in a language other than English.
    • Writing I: This requirement is informally known as “Freshman Composition.”
    • Writing II: While Writing I prepares students for college-level academic writing,
      Writing II introduces you to the ways different disciplines use writing to discover,
      evaluate, and disseminate new knowledge.

For background on the Writing I and II requirements click here.

The chart below outlines the three writing requirements that UCLA undergraduate students are held for:

 

NOTE: The ELWR and Writing I requirements should be met by the end of your first year of study. Writing II may be completed the first year but can be taken later.

Placement Exam – AWPE

First-year students take the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) to determine whether they have satisfied the Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). California students usually take it in May of their last year of high school; others take it during summer orientation or early in their 1st quarter at UCLA. Learn more here.

How To Satisfy the Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)
Before Enrolling at UCLA

You can satisfy the Entry-Level Writing Requirement if you:

      • Score 680 or higher on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT
      • Achieve a score of 30 or better on the ACT, English Language Arts or 63 or better on the ACT, English Plus Reading. The English Language Arts score represents your overall performance on the English, Reading, and Writing sections of the exam.
      • Score 3 or better on the AP English Language or Literature Examination
      • Score 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination in English
      • Score 6 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level Examination in English
      • Achieve a passing score on the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)
      • Complete a UC transferable college course in English composition with a grade of C or better before enrolling at UCLA. Once you have enrolled at UCLA, you must complete your ELWR writing requirement by taking UCLA composition courses only.
After Enrolling at UCLA

If you have not met the ELWR requirement before enrolling at UCLA, you must take the AWPE and complete the required UCLA English Composition course(s) with a grade of C or better as early as possible during your first year in residence. If you are required to take more than one course, you may not take them concurrently—you must pass each course with a C or better before taking the next one. Depending on the placement results of the AWPE, you may be required to take up to 3 courses (= 3 quarters).

For most students, there are up to 2 UCLA English Composition courses you may be required to take to satisfy ELWR: EC 1 and EC 2. However, some students whose first language is not English may be required to take up to 3 courses (EC 1A, 1B and 2i) in order to satisfy an additional ESL Requirement.

Course Sequence

ELWR

ELWR +ESL

EC 1 → EC 2

EC 1A* → EC 1B* → EC 2i*

Up to 2 courses total

Up to 3 courses total

*Courses designed for multilingual writers.

Moreover, you must satisfy the Entry-Level Writing Requirement before you are able to satisfy the next first-year writing requirement: Writing I. In other words, you cannot satisfy the ELWR and Writing I requirements at the same time.

Course descriptions can be found here.

How To Satisfy the Writing I Requirement
Before Enrolling at UCLA

You can satisfy the Writing I Requirement if you:

  • Score 4 or 5 on the AP English Language or Literature Exam
  • Present transfer credit for an acceptable college-level course in English Composition
    (passed with a C or better) at another institution. This course must be completed before
    enrolling at UCLA. Once you have enrolled at UCLA, you must complete your Writing I
    requirement by taking UCLA composition courses only.
After Enrolling at UCLA

If you have not met the Writing I requirement before enrolling at UCLA, you must complete English Composition 3 (or its equivalent shown in the table below) with a grade of C or better as early as possible during your first year in residence.

Course Number

Satisfies Writing I

Satisfies the UCLA Diversity Requirement

Community Engagement Course

Restricted to Engineering Students

EC 3

EC 3D 

EC 3SL

EC 3DS

EC 3E

Course descriptions can be found here.

How To Satisfy the Writing II Requirement

You can satisfy the Writing II Requirement by taking any UCLA course with a ‘W’ designation. These courses are offered in many disciplines. Writing Programs offers English Composition 5W (Literature, Culture, and Critical Inquiry), English Composition 6W (Language, Culture, and Discourse), and English Composition 100W/100WD (Interdisciplinary Academic Writing). Learn more about the Writing II requirement here.

Course descriptions can be found here.