WID Policies & Exemptions

Curricular policies regarding all Writing Requirements and exemptions.

For Students & Advisors

UWP and WID administrators and staff strive to assist WID faculty in becoming the best writing instructors they can be. Here you will find information pertinent to faculty teaching WID courses, including information on course requirements, teaching support, deadlines, and teaching awards. General questions can be sent to [email protected].

  • 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 also require disciplinary writing; these 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 at GW

  • Passing 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 WID course in a single semester. They may take more than one WID course simultaneously, but only one will count toward the 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 petition course matches closely with 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 deadlines below. Petitions filed later than these deadlines may be rejeted 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.

  1. All approved exemption requests will receive email confirmation from the WID directors.



  1. What about cross-listed WIDs? Students will not receive WID credit if enrolled under a non-WID course number, even if it’s cross-listed with a WID section.
  2. What about WID and non-WID versions of the same course? If WID and non-WID versions of a course are offered simultaneously, syllabi should clearly articulate the differences between the two courses. Students wanting WID credit should enroll in the WID version. Students will not receive WID credit if enrolled under a non-WID course number.
  3. Can study abroad courses count for WID credit? Study abroad courses do not transfer back to GW as WID equivalents. All WID credit requests submitted through the CATS system will be rejected. A student wishing to count a study abroad course towards a writing requirement must submit a petition through the WID Exemption Process. Approved coursework will be slotted into a student’s DegreeMAP worksheet, but maintain its non-WID notation. 
  4. Can transfer courses count for WID credit? Transfer credits cannot be coded as WID courses. All WID credit requests submitted using a Transfer Credit Approval Form will be rejected. All pre- and post-matriculation transfer credits must first be accepted by GW as electives or department non-WID equivalents. Students who wish to petition for WID credit must do so via the WID Exemption Process. Approved coursework will be slotted into a student’s DegreeMAP worksheet, but maintain its non-WID notation. 

Applying for a WID Exemption

To apply for an exemption for the WID course policy, you will assemble a petition packet of the following items (in list order):

  1. A completed UWP Exemption Request Form, which becomes the cover page to your petition packet
  2. A written personal statement detailing the reasons behind your appeal. 
  3. An acknowledgement that you plan to enroll in (and complete) any outstanding GW degree requirements, in case your petition is denied.
  4. A copy of your Unofficial GW Transcript or, if a transfer student, a copy of the Transfer Credit Worksheet.
  5. A copy of the syllabus of the petitioned course.
  6. A copy of the course calendar for the petitioned course, detailing how writing assignments are staged and prompted throughout the course.
  7. 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 file.
  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.