English Composition (C)

To learn more about English Composition General Education requirements, please see UAA advising's page on English Composition.


English Composition courses reflect not just the drafting process of writing but also the skills of organization and utilization of feedback through revision.

Students can take their Composition course during any quarter of their academic time at the University of Washington, however, Composition credit is a requirement for all students at the University of Washington for degree completion. As students register for courses, it is important to note that a variety of courses are offered throughout the academic year which fulfill the English Composition requirement. 

FAQs: English Composition

  • The Writing requirement defines the overall category within the General Education requirement which students fulfill. This Writing requirement is divided into two parts: Composition (C) and Additional Writing (W).

    Writing, or "W" courses as they are commonly referred to, are taught all across many different departments and involve writing connected to a theme or field tightly connected both to the learning goals and assessments of a course. Writing classes can involve different languages and forms of English. Further, W courses can incorporate various forms of writing, including print-based and multimodal genres, as well as academic, informal, and public forms of writing. The form should follow the desired function and support learning goals.

    Writing credit is not awarded based on the amount (i.e., page count) of writing involved in a course, but rather for courses that have writing as a staged, supported process that emphasizes students' development. Further course guidelines can be found on the UW Writing Site.

    Composition focuses on the study and practice of good writing technique; this is different to W courses that seek to develop student skills in writing through the lens of a specific field or discipline. Composition courses emphasize the value of feedback and revision on writing skills development, and represent excellent general preparation for writing academic papers. Lastly, Composition courses involve the study and practice of strategies/skills for effective writing and argument. As a result, it's most common to find Composition courses offered through the UW's Department of English.

  • Add Codes for Composition courses are always given by the instructor. If you do not hear back immediately from a faculty member, please know that they can get very busy so give them a 2 day window to hear back from them. Instructors will not give Add Codes to students if the course is already full and/or if the class has already begun.

    Humanities Academic Services does not administer Add Codes. 

  • AP and IB English does not qualify for the Composition or Additional Writing requirements. However, these scores can be granted for general elective credit.

  • The Admissions department will evaluate your transcript and will mark your transferrable course as a "C" in your transcript to represent that it has been designated for UW-designated Composition credit. These English Composition courses from previous institutions must be valued at 4.5 credits or you may combine two 3 credit English Composition courses.

    If you did not receive Composition credit an English Composition course from a previous institution, you can submit a request to have your transfer coursework here.

  • Unfortunately, you cannot receive Composition credit for a course from an institution which was located in a Non-Anglophone speaking country even if it was taught in English.

  • The seat availability represents how big the classroom space is, however, the faculty teaching the course will set the class capacity in order to be able to attend to the student community's needs, therefore you cannot register for a course which has closed.

    You can sign up for Seat Availability Notifications in case a student drops the course and then you can be notified if a student drops the course and register. 

Have more questions regarding Composition?

If you have a question regarding a course from a previous institution, we recommend emailing the syllabus from that course to our central inbox: has-center@uw.edu

If you have more questions or want to discuss this in a bit more detail, you can make an appointment with us!