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California State University, Long Beach
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
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Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)

Because writing is important in every academic discipline, in the professions, and in public life, CSULB is committed to developing the writing abilities of its students at all levels and in all areas.  To further this goal, the CSU adopted the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), an assessment of upper-division academic writing in English that students must satisfy to obtain a degree or certificate from any CSU.  The GWAR Policy specifies how students can satisfy this requirement at CSULB.

The CSULB GWAR program has been developed to help students fulfill this requirement promptly and avoid delays in graduation. All students are required to first complete the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE), which beginning Fall 2016 replaces the previous placement test, the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE). Students' GPE scores determine the GWAR Pathway best suited for them. Students who took the WPE are not required to complete the GPE; their scores are still valid for determining their GWAR Pathway.

Click here for the most common questions and answers about the GWAR and GPE, or click the link below for a printable copy:

FAQ for the Most Common Student Questions and Answers about GWAR and GPE


Students sitting on grass in courtyardStudents

Beginning in Fall 2016, the GWAR pathways include completion of a General Education Writing Intensive (WI) capstone course to satisfy the GWAR. Students should go to the Students page for detailed information about the requirements for students who were admitted or readmitted either before or after Fall 2016.

Advisor working with studentAdvisors

Because advisors play an important role in students’ GWAR success, please review the GWAR pathways and learn about available GWAR resources.


Students in classroom listening to instructorFaculty

Faculty can help students prepare for all GWAR requirements by incorporating informed writing projects and pedagogy into their courses throughout their students' careers, from freshman to senior. To learn more please review the GWAR pathways and visit the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) website for ideas and hands on guidance.

For GWAR eAdvising,
contact a GWAR Advisor by email:


News & Updates 

For summer GWAR Advising, please email

Grad Students Have Three Exemptions to the GPE

>Grad students have three new exemptions to the GPE.  See the Students page for details.


International & Returning Students

 >The Department of English offers sections of English 301B for international students and for non-matriculated students through CCPE.  See Approved GWAR Courses for information and schedules.