GWAR Guidelines for Students
In order to obtain a degree from CSULB, all students must demonstrate upper-division competence in academic writing in English by satisfying the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). Undergraduate students must attempt to fulfill the GWAR before filing a request to graduate, and graduate students must satisfy the GWAR before advancement to candidacy*. To satisfy the GWAR at CSULB, students are required to first complete a writing placement test (GPE) and then follow the appropriate GWAR course(s) pathway based on the score they receive on that test.
Beginning in Fall 2016, the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE) replaces the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE). All students, regardless of their enrollment dates, who have not taken the placement test prior to Fall 2016, will be required to take the GPE. WPE scores attained by students who took the test prior to fall 2016 will continue to be used for placement purposes, and students who completed the WPE are not required to complete the GPE. Students are permitted to take the GPE only once. Students can view their GPE scores by logging in to the MyCSULB homepage, and then opening the Test Score Summary link. For information about the GPE writing placement test go to the Testing website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing students are required to attempt the writing placement test when they have earned between 30 and 50 units. Transfer students are urged to attempt the placement test in the summer prior to their enrollment at CSULB but are required to take the GPE in their first semester of enrollment. Undergraduate students must attempt to fulfill the GWAR before filing a request to graduate.
Students who enroll or reenroll at CSULB in Fall 2016 or in a subsequent semester fulfill the GWAR by one of the following pathways, based on their score on the placement test:
- Students receiving scores of 11 or higher on the placement test are required to complete a Writing Intensive (WI) course with a grade of “C” or better.
- Students receiving scores of 8, 9, or 10 on the placement test are required to complete a GWAR portfolio course, including submission of a portfolio that earns a passing score, and to subsequently complete a Writing Intensive course with a grade of "C" or better.
- Students receiving scores of 7 or lower on the placement test are required to successfully complete English 301A with a grade of “C” or better; to then complete a GWAR portfolio course, including submission of a portfolio that earns a passing score, and to subsequently complete a Writing Intensive course with a grade of "C" or better.
Students enrolled or reenrolled at CSULB prior to Fall 2016 are not required to take a Writing Intensive class. They must, however satisfy the GWAR by one of the course pathways specified above.
Per order of the Chancellor’s Office:
As of June 2022, GWAR is still required for undergraduates, but it is no longer required for graduate students.
It is imperative for timely degree completion that students make steady progress toward fulfilling the GWAR. Therefore, undergraduate students with scores lower than 11 on the writing placement test are required to begin the appropriate GWAR pathway within two semesters after their GPE test date. Undergraduate students must complete an appropriate course(s) pathway before they are permitted to take their Writing Intensive course. Registration may be prevented for students not complying with timely completion of the GWAR requirement by placing a hold on their registration.
Students must contact GWAR eAdvising by email at GWAR-Advisor@csulb.edu to have a GWAR Requirement registration hold released.
English 301B classes for international students through CCPE are no longer available because of CSU policy.
- All graduate students (M.A., M.S., M.B.A) who have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. university or college, or earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited university from an English-speaking country, have satisfied the GWAR at CSULB.
- List of Approved English Speaking Countries
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Grand Cayman Islands
- Ireland and Northern Ireland
- New Zealand
- Sierra Leone
- St. Christopher - Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and Grenadines
- Saint Kitts
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Virgin Islands
GWAR Placement Exam (GPE) Waiver
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the CSULB campus will not offer the GPE during Spring 2021. To avoid roadblocks or delays to graduation, impacted student groups are waived from the exam and allowed to progress to their required Writing Intensive course once they have completed 60 units. This waiver includes undergraduate students who were registered for the cancelled April 2020 GPE.
Impacted Students Waived from GPE
- New transfers for Fall 2020, Spring 2021 as well as returners and returning transfer students
- Continuing undergraduate students who earned 30 or more units by the end of Winter 2021
If you are an impacted student as listed above, you received a waiver from the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE) requirement. You should receive a letter detailing your waiver. This waiver carries with you throughout your time enrolled at CSULB. You must still fulfill the GWAR by earning a C or better in a Writing Intensive (WI) Course.
If you are not an impacted student as listed above, you need to take the GPE exam when it is offered again. Future GPE testing information will be posted as available. You must still fulfill the GWAR by earning a C or better in a Writing Intensive (WI) Course.
If you have questions or concerns about this information, please contact email@example.com
For more information, please visit the GWAR FAQ. If you have additional concerns or questions, email GWAR eAdvising at GWAR-Advisor@csulb.edu