UW 1020 Exemptions

I’ve taken a writing course elsewhere. Do I still need to take UW 1020 at GW?

UW 1020 is a 4-credit course with an expanded focus on research and is specifically designed to establish a foundation for later writing experiences at the university. Thus, most first-year composition courses offered by other colleges will not satisfy UW 1020. At the same time, some students may have taken a nearly comparable course that can replace UW 1020 at GW.

If you took a first-year composition course that involved substantial academic research and use of scholarly sources to produce an original research project that was frequently revised, then you may qualify for an exemption. Please carefully follow the exemption request instructions. Incomplete applications or requests submitted using a Transfer Credit Approval Form will be rejected.

WID Exemptions

Students who are looking to apply for an exemption for a WID course must complete the WID Exemption Request process.

How to Request a UW 1020 Exemption

If you took a writing course at another institution but GW Undergraduate Admissions did not transfer it in as satisfying UW 1020, consider the work you did in your previous writing course, paying particular attention to the objectives and assignments of that course. If you believe your previous course had similarly stringent requirements—especially in regards to conducting academic research, substantially engaging with relevant scholarship, developing an original, scholarly research question and thesis, and frequently revising your writing—then you may submit an exemption request and UWP will determine whether or not the course is eligible.

Be sure to include all materials in the following checklist order:

  1. A completed UWP Exemption Request Form (PDF), which will act as the cover page to your petition packet
  2. A typed cover letter (not to exceed a single page) explaining the reasons behind your appeal. (In your statement, you must acknowledge your plans to enroll in and complete any outstanding GW degree requirements if your petition is denied).
  3. A copy of your unofficial GW transcript or, if you are a transfer student, a copy of the Transfer Credit Worksheet available from the Transfer Credit Coordinator (CCAS).
  4. A copy of the course syllabus that includes a calendar of assignments detailing how assignments are staged and prompted on the semester calendar.
  5. A single, substantial research-based writing sample from the petitioned course, which must include a substantive bibliography/works cited page. This sample should show familiarity with engaging with and citing academic sources.
    • Optionally, we encourage you to include drafts or other preliminary materials that were completed in working towards your final revised paper and which document your research and writing process.
  6. The assignment prompt to which your writing sample responds.

How to Submit Your UW 1020 Exemption Request

  • Name your PDF packet "LAST NAME, FIRST NAME - UW 1020 Exemption Request”
    • e.g. "Smith, Jane - UW 1020 Exemption Request"
  • Submit the form and all requested attachments combined into a single PDF file to [email protected] with the subject line "LAST NAME, FIRST NAME - UW 1020 Exemption Request”
    • e.g. "Smith, Jane - UW 1020 Exemption Request"

UW 1020 Exemption Processing Timeline

Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for your petition to be evaluated. Our office staff will email both you and your advisor with the decision. If more documentation or information is needed, we will reach out via email from [email protected].