English Composition

There are many differents composition courses that will fulfill your English Composition (C) Requirement. All are 5-credit courses. Some are linked to other courses, and the papers you write in the English Composition course are the papers required by the companion course. Because the vast majority of college courses require writing, you should plan to complete this requirement during your freshman year.

Grade required

Most colleges and schools require you to have at least a 2.0 in your English Composition course, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of the Environment, the Information School, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work. The course may not be taken with the satisfactory/not satisfactory (S/NS) grading option. There are some exceptions for transfer students.


The UW does not have a placement test for English Composition. The 100-level composition courses are all at the same level; ENGL 198, for example, is not a more advanced course than ENGL 131. The courses vary in topic and in approach to writing instruction. Consult the Course Descriptions or an adviser for more information.

No overlap

The course you use to satisfy the English Composition requirement does not also count toward the additional writing requirement. Nor do any of the courses count toward the Areas of Inquiry requirement. Your English Composition course may count toward your major, but this is rare.

AP and IB

The UW grants general elective credit for AP and IB English, they cannot be used to satisfy either the English Composition or Additional Writing requirement.

For transfer students

English Composition courses that transfer as at least 4.5 credits may be used to satisfy this requirement and should be marked "C" on your transfer evaluation. You can also combine two 3-credit English Composition courses. If you completed an English Composition course that didn't transfer as a UW-designated English Composition course, and is not marked "C," consult an adviser.

If you took your English Composition course(s) pass/fail at another college before you were a UW student, you are allowed to count it toward the requirement. Also, if the course was available only on a non-graded basis, you are allowed to count it toward the requirement no matter when you completed it.

You can check the UW Equivalency Guide for Washington Community and Technical Colleges to determine which courses from Washington community colleges count toward the UW's English Composition requirement; they are marked in the lists with a "C."

For postbaccalaureate students

Postbaccalaureate students are not required to complete the English Composition requirement.

Registration restrictions

Students with composition (“C”) credit in English 111, 121, or 131 (i.e. students who receive a grade of 2.0 or higher in any of these courses) are prevented from enrolling in a second course in this series.

In exceptional cases, students will be able to petition the English department for permission to register for a second 111, 121, or 131 course. Students who have successfully completed ENGL 109/110 or any of the Interdisciplinary Writing Program courses (ENGL 197, 198, 199) will not be similarly restricted from enrolling in ENGL 111, 121, or 131.

Transfer students who have 10 or more credits of courses deemed equivalent to ENGL 111, 121, or 131 will not lose credit as a result of this policy.