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Options for Meeting GWAR

All students subject to degree requirements listed in the 1979-80 and all subsequent general catalogs must demonstrate competency in writing skills through one of the options (A-D) listed below. 

  1. Graduation Writing Examination (GWE)

The Graduation Writing Examination, a voluntary test for which a $35 fee is charged, is available to students five times per academic year, in September, November, February, April, and June or July. Students may take the test only twice. After two attempts at the test, students must then take a certifying course. Information on test dates and registration procedures is available in each semester's Class Schedule, in the Testing Center, Welch Hall A-210, (310) 243-3635,, or on the GWE webpage

Provisions are made for students majoring in distance learning programs and other off-campus programs. Although students majoring in these programs can take the GWE on-campus, students have the option of taking it via a proctor at a location of their choosing. There are three off-campus administrations per academic year, in the fall, spring, and summer. Students exercising this option will register directly with their Program Advisors, who will then provide them with any necessary information and materials.

A provision is made for students who are not native speakers of English. The GWE registration form asks students to indicate whether or not they are native speakers of English. Students who so declare and check "no" may elect to write their essay in two hours instead of one, though this choice must be made at the time of registration. The essays are scored along with those of native speakers with respect to overall considerations of focus, critical understanding, content, organization, and grammar.

Provisions are made for students who are disabled. Arrangements are made on an individual basis by the Office of Disabled Students, Welch Hall B-250, (310) 243-3660, in conjunction with the Testing Office. Students must contact the Office of Disabled Students at least 10 working days prior to the GWE test date and after registering for the GWE. Contact the Testing Center for details: (310) 243-3635, or

Provisions are made for students who, for religious or other compelling reasons, cannot be tested on Saturdays, the usual day of the test. If students can demonstrate a legitimate reason (e.g., religious belief or travel associated with CSUDH intercollegiate sports programs) for inability to take the GWE on Saturday, an alternative day will be found. They should contact the Testing Center, (310) 243-3635, or

  1. Certifying Courses

Advanced Composition Course (offered by the English Department). The English Department regularly offers an advanced composition course (ENG 350, 3 units, A-C/NC). A Composition Cooperative exam is administered at the end of the course and counts for 25% of the grade. 

Upper Division Writing Adjunct (offered by the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies). The Writing Adjunct (IDS 397, 2 units, and IDS 398, 2 units, CR/NC), provides individualized instruction in composition that is adjunctive to writing for other courses. Students must complete both IDS 397 and IDS 398. A Composition Cooperative exam is administered at the end of IDS 398 and counts for 50% of the grade.

  1. Transfer Certification

Petition for Fulfillment of GWAR form

Students who have satisfied the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) at another CSU campus in 1984 or later but prior to matriculation at CSU Dominguez Hills may petition for exemption from repeating the requirement at CSUDH.  Students must complete Petition for Fulfillment of GWAR at the Testing Office, attaching a copy of the certifying test score or a copy of an official transcript and the catalog description of the pertinent coursework.

  1. Additional Options at the Graduate Level: See Graduate Writing Competency.