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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. Under the revised GWAR Policy, students will follow a GWAR Pathway based on their scores on the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) and will be expected to fulfill the requirement within 1 year of their first WPE attempt..  Students who attempted the WPE prior to Fall 2010 are encouraged to follow the same pathways to avoid delaying their graduation.

Students sitting on grass in courtyardStudents

While most students satisfy the GWAR by scoring 11 or higher on the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) on their first attempt, students for whom English is a second language face special challenges in meeting this CSU requirement. Based on their WPE scores, students who are unsuccessful in their first WPE attempt will be required to enroll in a GWAR course and submit a passing portfolio to fulfill the requirement.  Students should meet with a GWAR Advisor if they need help selecting an appropriate GWAR course.

Advisor working with studentAdvisors

Advisors play an important role in students’ GWAR success.  Review the GWAR pathways and learn about available GWAR resources.


Students in classroom listening to instructorFaculty

Faculty can help students prepare for the GWAR by incorporating writing in course assignments and activities and by referring students to appropriate GWAR resources for help with their writing.  Review the GWAR pathways and learn about the latest GWAR resources.

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Advising and Tutoring

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Student Success Collaborative (SSC)


News & Updates 

Walk-in Appointment for GWAR Advising

>Walk-in appointments have ended. Any students needing GWAR advising during Summer 2016 should contact Cynthia Pastrana by email.


Grad Students Have New Exemptions to the WPE

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


International & Returning Students

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