Writing, Speaking,
and Argument Program


Substitution Forms

Substitute a University Course to Fulfill the Primary Writing Requirement

Most students satisfy the primary writing requirement by taking WRT 105: Reasoning and Writing in the College. If you believe you are already a proficient college-level writer and you have not already attempted to take WRT 105, you may petition to satisfy the primary writing requirement (PWR) with a University of Rochester course other than WRT 105.

To fulfill the PWR in a timely manner, we encourage you to petition by the end of your first year of matriculation. You may even file a substitution petition prior to your first semester. Students who petition later jeopardize their ability to complete academic program requirements on schedule.

Next steps:

  1. Read “What Constitutes a Successful Substitution Petition” to increase the likelihood of successfully petitioning for a course substitution.
  2. Submit a substitution petition by logging in with your NetID username and password. You must use one of these supported web browsers:
      • Chrome 27.x or higher version
      • Safari 6.1x or higher version
      • Internet Explorer 10 or higher version
  3. For technical help, email wsap@ur.rochester.edu.
What Constitutes a Successful Substitution Petition

Successful substitution petitions demonstrate a writing background that largely resembles the “exit criteria” of our WRT 105 (A&B, E), 104, and 103 courses.

We generally approve petitions with portfolios that exhibit the following characteristics:

  • A writing-intensive background that emphasized principles and strategies of effective writing
  • Repeated experience writing academic/argumentative papers
  • Experience with scholarly research that culminated in an extended (7-10 page) argumentative research paper
  • Previous engagement with the writing process (including components like drafting, revision, peer-review, instructor feedback, and self-assessment)
  • A cover letter and samples that speak to the criteria above

A successful substitution petition is one that would be assessed as A-level work according to the WRT 105/105E criteria (or its variations).

Common reasons for substitution petitions not being accepted include:

  • Incomplete portfolio (lacking the cover letter or substantive writing samples)
  • Too many examples of non-academic and/or non-argumentative writing combined with too few examples of academic writing (e.g., several creative writing samples and no argumentative or research samples)
  • Limited experience with writing (e.g., little experience with the writing process or writing a research paper)
  • Portfolio does not meet the WRT 105/105E exit criteria at the level we seek


Questions about the substitution or transfer petitioning process? Contact the placement coordinator at writingplacement@ur.rochester.edu