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Substitution Petition 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 strongly encourage you to petition by the end of your first year of matriculation. You may file a Substitution Petition prior to your first semester at the College. Students who petition later jeopardize their ability to complete academic program requirements on schedule.

Before proceeding, and to increase your chances of submitting a successful petition, take the time to read "What Constitutes a Successful Substitution Petition". Reading the materials will increase the likelihood that your petition will be successful. Click on the button at the upper-right corner of your screen to access these notes.

Submit a Substitution Petition

What Constitutes a Successful Substitution Petition

As we review substitution petitions, we look for a writing background that largely resembles the "exit criteria" of our WRT 105 (and its variations) courses. More specifically, we tend to approve petitions with portfolios that exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Repeated experience writing academic papers, particularly culminating in an extended (7-10 page) argumentative research paper.
  • Experience reading academic sources (not including textbooks).
  • Previous engagement with the writing process (including components like drafting, revision, peer response, instructor feedback, and self reflection), and
  • A cover letter and samples that speak to the criteria above.

More generally, a successful petition is one that would be assessed as A-level work according to the WRT 105 (and its variations) criteria.

The most common reasons for Substitution Petitions not being accepted are as follows:

  • Incomplete portfolio (lacking the cover letter, or substantive enough 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 (and its variations) exit criteria at the level we seek.


Questions about the substitution or transfer petitioning process? Contact the placement coordinator at