The Writing Requirement

Working on Your Writing At Least Twice: A Minimum Expectation

Learning to write well is a developmental process that occurs over time. For this reason, all Brown undergraduates must work on their writing at least twice as described below (information for faculty is available here):

Semesters 1-4 | Part I: All students must complete an approved course at Brown University*

Note: the internal academic record will list the writing requirement as completed 24-48 hours after a passing grade has been entered.

* Transfer students who matriculated as sophomores are the only students who may satisfy part I with a non-Brown course. To satisfy the writing requirement, a non-Brown course must have transferred in as an unassigned English, Literary Arts, or Comparative Literature course credit. A course that cannot transfer as an English, Comparative Literature, or Literary Arts course cannot satisfy the writing requirement. Sophomore transfers with no such course must take an approved course at Brown, but they have an additional two terms to do so. 

Transfer students who matriculated at Brown as juniors are exempted from the first part of the writing requirement but must satisfy the second part of the writing requirement. 

Semesters 5-7 (or the penultimate semester)| Part II: Students must complete a second approved course** at Brown

**Approved Alternatives to a Second Writing-Designated Course Allowed in Select Concentrations

Biology (including the AB/SCB, Applied Math-Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, Computational Biology, and Health and Human Biology), German Studies concentrators, and Math concentrators may submit writing completed in the concentration to satisfy the requirement in lieu of a second writing-designated course. Writing must be approved by the end of the 7th (or penultimate) semester and will be reviewed and approved by the concentration advisor or a faculty member that they may designate in ASK. Speak with your concentration advisor for additional information. 

Note: A student who is not listed in one of the above concentrations must complete a writing-designated course or a course in English, Literary Arts, or Comparative Literature. They may not use independent studies courses to satisfy the writing requirement unless the department offers an independent study course that is writing-designated. To make such arrangements, a department must submit a course proposal for a new independent study course in which every section, regardless of the instructor, would meet the criteria for a writing designated course.  

Instructions for students and faculty in participating departments are available in the IT knowledgebase.