Dear Campus Community,

On April 11, 2022, the CSU Chancellor’s Office issued a new systemwide update to the GWAR policy (PolicStatID #11516578), which:

  1. Mandates the elimination of high-stakes, timed examinations such as the GWE to satisfy GWAR, even for students with catalog rights to such tests;
  2. Requires that students complete 3 units of upper-division coursework designed to teach and assess writing at the upper-division undergraduate level with a grade of C or higher in an approved GWAR-certifying course to satisfy the GWAR; and 
  3. Eliminates the GWAR at the graduate level.

Fortunately for us, CSUDH anticipated this systemwide change in policy with its own new GWAR policy, eliminating the GWE and requiring students with catalog rights or a “requirement term” of Fall 2021 or later to take a GWAR-certifying course (see below for more details on GWAR-certifying courses at CSUDH). We will update it to address the elimination of GWAR at the graduate level as soon as possible.

On April 25, 2022, the Chancellor’s Office issued a subsequent “Clarification on the CSU Policy on the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)” (see attached), which:

  1. Extends the suspension of and GWAR for students with catalog rights to a high-stakes exam until Fall 2023; and
  2. Allows for the GWAR to be waived beyond Fall 2023 for students who have catalog rights to the high-stakes exam (in our case, the GWE) and taking a GWAR-certifying course would delay their graduation.

This means that students who will graduate Fall ’23 and after will be required to satisfy GWAR by taking an approved GWAR-certifying course. However, students can petition to have the GWAR waived IF:

  1. Completion of the course-based GWAR will cause a student to exceed 120 units, OR
  2. Completion of the course-based GWAR will delay a student’s graduation 

Please contact the Writing Across the Curriculum Coordinator, Siskanna Naynaha (, if you have any questions.

GWAR-Certifying Courses

CSUDH has spent the past year supporting faculty in the development of GWAR-certifying courses in the majors, and, to date, several courses have been approved for GWAR-certification by the University Writing Committee (UWC).

CSUDH currently offers 1 option for GWAR-certification that is available to undergraduate students in any major: English 350: Advanced Composition (1 semester, 3 units). Students may also take an approved GWAR-certifying course in their major or a closely related major as defined by the major departmentPLEASE NOTE: GWAR-certifying courses in the majors typically carry prerequisites, which students must complete to enroll in GWAR courses in the majors. The complete list of currently approved GWAR courses is as follows:

  • ENG 350: Advanced Composition (1 semester, 3 units; all matriculated students who have completed their Area A2 Written Communication requirement eligible)
  • LBS 370: Multicultural Studies (1 semester, 3 units; Liberal Studies majors and closely related majors eligible)
  • WMS 490: Senior Capstone (1 semester, 3 units; Women’s Studies majors, minors, and closely related majors eligible)
  • CHS 300: Critical Issues in Chicana/Chicano Studies (1 semester, 3 units; Chicana/o Studies majors and closely related majors eligible)
  • IDS 490: Senior Seminar (1 semester, 3 units; Interdisciplinary Studies majors and closely related majors eligible)
  • HIS 400: Prose seminar in History (1 semester, 3 units; History majors and closely related majors eligible)
  • BIO 490: Senior Project (1 semester, 3 units; Biology majors, and closely related majors eligible)
  • ENG 490: Seminar in Literature (1 semester, 3 units; English majors and closely related majors eligible)

Again, PLEASE NOTE: The student’s major department defines what qualifies as a “closely related major.”