California State University, Long Beach Policy Statement
August 9, 1999

Writing Proficiency of Master's and Doctoral Candidates

(Supersedes Policy Statements 80-10 and 94-12)
This policy was recommended by the Academic Senate on May 13, 1999
and approved by the President on July 7, 1999

Demonstration of Writing Skills Competency as a Requirement for Advancement to Candidacy for a Master's or Doctoral Degree:

1. To qualify for advancement to candidacy for a master's or doctorate,
each student must be certified proficient in written composition in
English. Proficiency must be demonstrated by passing the University's
Writing Proficiency Examination, or the approved equivalent as
determined by the College. The responsibility for developing the skills
necessary to pass the examination is the student's.

a) Students who are certified as having met this requirement previously
in their baccalaureate program are exempt. There is no expiration for
the prior certification.

b) The writing proficiency test, or the approved equivalent, shall be
used for candidates at the graduate level.

c) The required achievement level shall be at least the same for
graduate students as it is for baccalaureate candidates.

d) Every master's or doctoral candidate must attempt the examination
during the first semester in residence at CSULB, unless a graduate
student has been previously certified as having satisfactorily met the
writing proficiency requirement.

e) The examination may be attempted as many times as necessary, but no
more than once a semester or three times a year (including the Summer

2. The University Committee on Writing Proficiency shall have the
responsibility of approving examinations to be used to demonstrate
writing proficiency, of overseeing the administration and grading of
the examinations, and of certifying to the Office of Enrollment
services that a student has met this requirement for advancement to

3. Use of the test shall be consistent with the approved Policy Statement
on "Writing Proficiency."

Implementing Procedure

1. For the details of implementation of the general University Writing
Proficiency Examination, see the approved Policy Statement on "Writing

2. The disciplines shall counsel students about ways to develop the
necessary writing skills, including:

a. enrolling in regular university courses in writing on a voluntary

b. enrolling in courses in the discipline which develop writing skills;

c. enrolling in special courses offered through University College and
Extension Services;

d. getting tutorial help from student organizations which provide

e. securing tutorial help from the Learning Assistance Center;

f. enrolling in writing courses in a community college.

3. Graduate students entering the University beginning in Spring 1995 will
not be permitted to enroll in a second or subsequent semester unless
they have previously satisfied the approved Writing Proficiency
requirement or attempted the University Writing Proficiency Examination
during their first semester of enrollment.

EFFECTIVE: Fall 1999