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The Writing and Rhetoric Requirement

All instructors at Stanford University expect students to express themselves effectively in writing and speech. The Writing and Rhetoric requirement helps students meet those high expectations.

All candidates for the bachelor's degree, regardless of the date of matriculation, must satisfy the Writing and Rhetoric requirement. Transfer students are individually advised at the time of matriculation by the Office of the University Registrar's External Credit Evaluation section and, if necessary, the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) as to their status with regard to the requirement.

The current Writing and Rhetoric requirement, effective beginning 2003, includes courses at three levels. The first two levels are described in more detail below. Writing-intensive courses that fulfill the third level, the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement, are designated under individual department listings.

All undergraduates must satisfy the first-level Writing and Rhetoric requirement (WR 1) in one of three ways:

  1. PWR 1: a course emphasizing writing and research-based argument.

  2. SLE: writing instruction in connection with the Structured Liberal Education program.

  3. Transfer credit approved by the Registrar's External Credit Evaluation office for this purpose.

All undergraduates must satisfy the first-level Writing and Rhetoric requirement (WR 1) in one of five ways:

  • PWR 1: a course emphasizing writing and research-based argument.

  • SLE: writing instruction in connection with the Structured Liberal Education program.

  • ESF: writing instruction in connection with the Education as Self-Fashioning program.

  • ILEs: writing instruction in connection with either of the Integrated Learning Environment (SIMILE or ITALIC) programs.

  • Transfer credit approved by the Registrar's External Credit Evaluation office for this purpose.”

A complete listing of PWR 1 courses is available each quarter on the PWR web site and at the PWR office in Sweet Hall, Third Floor. Complete listings of PWR 2 courses are available to students on the PWR web site the quarter before they are scheduled to complete the PWR 2 requirement.

For a full description of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR), see the Program in Writing and Rhetoric section of the Stanford Bulletin within Undergraduate Education – Stanford Introductory Studies.

Students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2003 should consult previous issues of the Stanford Bulletin.