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Writing and Rhetoric Requirement

All instructors at Stanford University expect students to express themselves effectively in writing and speech. The Writing and Rhetoric requirement helps students meet those high expectations.

All candidates for the bachelor's degree, regardless of the date of matriculation, must satisfy the Writing and Rhetoric requirement. Transfer students are individually reviewed at the time of matriculation by the Office of the University Registrar's Degree Progress section and, if necessary, the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) as to their status with regard to the requirement.

The current Writing and Rhetoric requirement, effective beginning 2003, includes courses at three levels. The first two levels are described in more detail below. Writing-intensive courses that fulfill the third level, the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement, are designated under individual department listings.

All undergraduates must satisfy the first-level Writing and Rhetoric requirement (WR 1) in one of three ways:

  1. PWR 1: a course emphasizing writing and research-based argument.
  2. SLE: writing instruction in connection with the Structured Liberal Education program.
  3. Transfer credit approved by the Office of the University Registrar's Degree Progress section for this purpose.

All undergraduates must satisfy the second-level Writing and Rhetoric Requirement (WR 2) in one of four ways:

  1. PWR 2, a course emphasizing writing, research, and oral presentation of research.
  2. SLE: writing and oral presentation instruction in connection with the Structured Liberal Education program.
  3. A course offered through a department or program certified as meeting the WR 2 requirement by the Writing and Rhetoric Governance Board. These courses are designated as Write-2.
  4. Transfer credit approved by the Office of the University Registrar for this purpose.

A complete listing of PWR 1 courses is available each quarter on the UAL web site at http://ual.stanford.edu/AP/univ_req/PWR/Courses, and at the PWR office in Sweet Hall, Third Floor. Complete listings of PWR 2 and Write-2 courses are available to students on the UAL web site the quarter before they are scheduled to complete the WR 2 requirement.

For a full description of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR), see the "Writing and Rhetoric" section of this bulletin under the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.

Students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2003 should consult previous issues of the Stanford Bulletin or the PWR office to determine what requirements apply.

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