Writing, Speaking,
and Argument Program


Primary Writing Requirement

The primary writing requirement (PWR) at Rochester is the first step in drawing students into our community of researchers and writers. We aim to help you become an effective academic communicator.

All University of Rochester students are expected to satisfy the PWR. We recommend that you satisfy the PWR by the end of your first year of study at Rochester. That way, you will be prepared for the upper-level writing requirement in your major(s).

Fulfilling the PWR

There are three ways to fulfill the University’s PWR:

Take one of the following first-year writing courses

Most entering students fulfill the PWR by earning a “C” or higher in:

All sections of WRT 105, 105E, and 105A&B aim to help you become an effective academic writer. Sections are taught by instructors from across the disciplines and offer diverse topics for students to pursue well-established or new interests.

See WRT course offerings.

Not sure which course is right for you?

Take the Writing Self-Placement Survey.* Complete parts one and two of the survey. If you are an international student or are still unsure what course is right for you, you should continue on to part three. After completing part three, you will have an opportunity to speak with a writing placement advisor.

Log in to the my.rochester portal. On the right-hand side of the screen, find the link marked "Writing Self-Placement Survey" under "Courses.” Click that link to complete the survey.

*Note: Students entering through the Early Connection Opportunity (ECO) program or EAPP do not need to take the Writing Self-Placement Survey. ECO students work with ECO summer writing instructors and OMSA counselors to select their writing course, while EAPP students are enrolled in their courses through EAPP itself.

Repeating the First-Year Writing Course

If you pass WRT 105, 105E, or 105A/B, but earn a grade lower than the minimum “C” required for the PWR, you may choose to take the course a second time for four additional credit hours.

Both grades are counted in your GPA as long as you submit the appropriate form to CCAS by the end of the fourth week of the semester. Alternatively, you may apply the standard repeat policy.