WID Exemptions

Before submitting an exemption request, please read the following WID course criteria and WID policies:

WID course criteria

While the styles, formats, and lengths of writing will vary, all WID courses will:

  • teach students to write in modes characteristic of the discipline or interdisciplinary field, attending to the discipline's genres, purposes, and audiences.
  • stage writing assignments that build upon each other throughout the course, providing scaffolding support as needed.
  • ask students to draft and revise in response to substantive feedback from faculty and peers; each student should gain practice in providing meaningful peer response.
  • value such disciplinary work by assigning graded writing (excluding timed exams) as at least 40 percent of the course grade.

WID Policies

  1. All GW students–-non-transfer and transfer alike–-must successfully complete two (2) WID courses, in any department or program, preferably in their second and third years. Many majors also have senior capstones that may or may not be WIDs.
  2. Only courses designated with a “W” in the Bulletin are WID courses. A non-WID course cannot fulfil any part of the WID requirement, even if a WID version of that course exists. Only the WID director can approve new WID courses, completed through a WID course approval process.
  3. There are no automatic WID exemptions.
  4. Only the WID directors may grant a WID exemption. Departments, advisors, and faculty do not grant WID exemptions.
  5. Because the goal of WID is to engage students in intensive attention to their writing staged over time:
  • UW1020 is a prerequisite to receiving WID credit for a course. A WID course taken before or simultaneously with UW1020 will not count towards the WID requirement.
  • Students may receive WID credit for only one course in a single semester. They may take more than one WID course simultaneously, but only one will count towards WID requirement.
  • Summer Sessions One and Two count as a single semester. Only one WID taken during a given Summer semester will count towards the WID requirement.
  • Students may take as many WIDs as they wish. Many GW students take more than the two required.
  1. Transfer students or study abroad students who wish to have a writing-intensive course transferred from another school count toward their WID requirement must apply for a WID exemption. In these cases, documentation must be provided that the petitioned course matches closely GW’s criteria for WID courses, and the student’s writing sample must demonstrate successful engagement with those WID values.
  2. All students should file an exemption request as soon as they have successfully completed a course for which they would like WID credit. Exemption requests are considered only after successful completion of the course(s) in question.
  3. Students filing an exemption request must plan to enroll in the required WIDs while awaiting a decision, in case their exemption request is denied.
  4. For seniors planning to graduate, all WID exemption requests must be received by the deadline below. Exemption requests filed later than this point will be rejected out of hand.
    • For Spring and Summer proposed graduation: November 15 of the previous Fall term.
    • For Fall proposed graduation: March 15 of the previous Spring term.
  5. All approved exemption requests will receive email confirmation from the WID directors.


 Applying for an Exemption

To apply for an exemption for the WID course policy, you will need:

  1. A completed Exemption Request Form, which becomes the cover page to your petition packet.
  2. A written personal statement detailing the reasons behind your appeal that includes an acknowledgement that you plan to enroll in (and complete) any outstanding GW degree requirements, in the case that your petition is denied.
  3. A copy of your Unofficial GW Transcript or, if a transfer student, a copy of the Transfer Credit Worksheet.
  4. ​A copy of the syllabus of the petitioned course.
  5. A copy of the course calendar for the petitioned course, detailing how writing assignments are staged and prompted throughout the course.
  6. Your research-based writing sample from the petitioned course, which must include a works-cited page, bibliography, &/or full-citation footnotes/endnotes.


  1. Combine all items above into a single .PDF packet in list order.
  2. Rename your .pdf packet "LASTNAME FIRSTNAME - WID Exemption Request.
  3. Submit your .pdf packet as an attachment to [email protected] with the Subject line: "LASTNAME FIRSTNAME - WID Exemption Request."

No applications will be considered unless all of the required documents are present.