Writing is a foundational skill that is essential for your success at UConn and beyond. Employers in virtually all industries seek candidates who are adaptable writers, close readers, and effective communicators.

General Education Requirements and the Writing (W) Competency

UConn prioritizes writing as one of the core competencies of its General Education Requirements. The Writing Competency consists of two parts:

The First-Year Writing (FYW) Program oversees all prerequisite writing courses for the Writing Competency. Learn more about our courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take a first-year writing course?

UConn first-year writing courses are designed to help you:

  • Develop core composing skills across technologies.
  • Become critical consumers and producers of knowledge.
  • Experiment with new approaches to writing using text, images, sound, and video.
  • Enhance your teamwork and communication skills through group projects.

As a first-year UConn student, you will be asked to engage with many different kinds of texts from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines. You will practice pursuing your own questions, engaging with others’ work, and composing original materials for a variety of media.

Which course should I take?

The First-Year Writing Program offers courses each semester at all UConn campuses. Learn more about our courses.

Students are encouraged to complete the Guided Placement Survey to decide which writing course they should take first at UConn. All international students must complete this survey.

Am I required to take a first-year writing course?

Yes. All students must satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement of the Writing Competency.

However, you may have fulfilled the First-Year Writing Requirement prior to enrolling at UConn. If so, you do not need to take a first-year writing course at UConn.

Continue reading to learn about exceptions to the First-Year Writing Requirement. If you have questions, please complete the Guided Placement Survey.

Exceptions to the First-Year Writing Requirement

Advanced Placement (AP) Tests

If you scored a 4 or 5 on an AP test in Language and Composition or Literature and Composition, you will receive four credits of ENGL 1011 on your transcript. This will satisfy the general education requirement for first-year writing, meaning you can begin taking W courses.

Students who wish to receive AP credit must submit their scores to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Concurrent Enrollment Courses and Early College Experience

Your high school may offer concurrent enrollment courses that allow you to simultaneously earn high school and college credit. If you completed a concurrent enrollment English course while you were in high school, then you may meet the First-Year Writing Requirement of the Writing Competency.

The concurrent enrollment course must be affiliated with an accredited college or university writing program. The college or university generates a transcript with those credits.

In Connecticut, the UConn Early College Experience program partners with high schools to provide concurrent enrollment English courses. Certified high school teachers instruct the courses. Students who complete the course earn both high school and UConn credit that they can apply toward the First-Year Writing Requirement. Learn more on the UConn Early College Experience website.

Transfer Credits

Writing credits from another college or university may also satisfy UConn’s First-Year Writing Requirement.

If you have transfer credits from another institution and you would like to receive a first-year writing waiver, you can submit a petition for a course equivalency review.

Please note that you will need at least three credits in either ENGL-91002 or ENGL-91003 in order to begin a petition for a course equivalency review, and you ultimately must have six credits that the University can classify as coursework in writing. The State of Connecticut has set the six-credit threshold for transferred writing courses.