Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

English General Education Requirements

First-Year Writing Requirement

ENGW 103: First-Year Writing equips students to grow as writers in the Wheaton College classroom and beyond. The course is designed to prepare students to write effectively in a variety of contexts and to improve student learning and performance in many other areas of their undergraduate education. Since the course introduces students to ideas and practices that are central to a liberal arts education, students should fulfill this requirement during the freshman year. Students are also strongly encouraged to take additional writing courses beyond the general education requirement. Successful completion of the requirement is a prerequisite for enrollment in any upper division writing course.

Meeting the Writing Requirement

You may satisfy the writing requirement by taking ENGW 103 (4 hours) and earning a grade of C or higher.

Options to Waive the Requirement with Academic Credit

  1. Score a 4 or 5 on the LANGUAGE/Composition Advanced Placement exam.
  2. Score a 32 or higher on the ELA result (an average of your English, Reading, and Writing scores) of an ACT exam taken on or after September 1, 2015.
  3. Score a minimum of 6 on each category (reading, analysis, and writing) of the SAT Essay Exam taken on or after March 1, 2016.

Option to Waive the Requirement without Academic Credit

The Writing Competency Exam is given each semester (on a date to be announced through email) and is open only to freshmen and transfer students. Students have one opportunity to take the exam in the fall or spring of their first year at Wheaton. The cost of the exam is $30.

If students do not qualify to waive the requirement, they will be placed in ENGW 103. Students who have not taken the exam during their first year at Wheaton MUST take ENGW 103.

The writing competency exam is only administered on campus. First-year students and transfers who are attending school remotely in the fall of 2020 will have another opportunity to take the exam on campus in January of 2021; first-year students studying remotely for the entire year may request to take the exam online by emailing english@wheaton.edu. That said, the English Department strongly recommends that you take ENGW 103: First-Year Writing. The course prepares you to write in your college classes and beyond, teaching you concepts and practices that will improve your ability to communicate in a variety of academic and professional discourse communities.