Proposing a Writing Intensive Course

The Writing Program is chartered to oversee the development of WI courses, ensure accountability, and to cooperate with the Registrar's Office to publish a list of WI courses. The program is also chartered to cooperate with departments, and to act as a clearinghouse, collecting and keeping WI course syllabi and other documentation. In order for the Writing Program to fulfill these administrative and collaborative charters, and to provide consistency across the WI infrastructure, non-Discovery WI course designations are processed using the course proposal system below.


WI proposals for Non-Discovery Courses should be submitted the semester before the course is desired to be WI-designated in accordance with the following windows: 

  • Fall course: Start of the Spring Semester through March 31st.
  • Spring course: Start of the Fall Semester through October 1st. 

Proposals received outside of these timeframes will be processed during the next window.

Applications for the WI Faculty Retreat are due December 1st. 

Proposing a course consists of the following steps:

Step 1. Determine the appropriate WI course proposal process.

  • Inquiry or Discovery WI Course: WI Courses in the Discovery Curriculum are submitted via the Discovery Course Proposal Process.  The Writing Program consults with the Discovery Committee, as needed, in this process. Please see the Discovery Course Proposal Process Page for more.
  • Non Discovery WI Courses Form [PDF].  Courses that are not part of Discovery (or the old Gen Ed) follow the non-Discovery/GenEd course proposal form (download the form here). Proposals will be reviewed by the Director of the Writing Program on behalf of the Writing Committee. Special cases may be brought to the Writing Committee's attention. The Writing Program forwards course information to the Registrar.  

Step 2. Complete the form.

  • A. Course Information:  Be sure to provide complete course information. Let us know whether all sections will be WI or not. Please let us know the start date (semester) and an end date (if there is one). Courses without an end date would be tagged "always." All WI courses must run for a minimum of 8 weeks, regardless of modality (online, in person, or hybrid), as per faculty senate motion. Please include Department Chair endorsement.
  • B.  Rationale:   Although a syllabus is an important component of the proposal, it may not explain course methods in detail nor may it be organized to highlight components of interest to the Writing Program. In order to assist us in better understanding  the course, and to allow us to provide better feedback, we ask that the instructor submit a memo to accompany the syllabus. The memo need not be extensive, but it should explain how the course meets each of the three WI guidelines and give a sense of the instructor's  approach to using writing in the course. The bulleted points on the form should provide a reference.

    Writing Program personnel are available to consult and assist faculty on any point of WI course design in support of proposals.  We are a resource for you.  Please contact the Director of the University Writing Programs.

  • C. Supporting Documentation:  Please attach a syllabus along with any other supporting documentation you may have or would like to include, like specific assignments. The syllabus should include the instructor's name, the first semester the course will be offered, course requirements, content, organization, and  required reading and writing assignments. It should also identify the course as WI and briefly describe the features of the course that make it Writing Intensive. 

Step 3. Feedback and processing.

The Director of the Writing Program will review the proposal and provide feedback, as appropriate, to the faculty member and/or department chair via e-mail or letter, and will inform the Registrar's Office of the course designation. Once a course is designated as WI, the course will be listed as such on the Registrar's website. The University Writing Program will keep a copy of the syllabus and proposal on file.  

Further Support for WI Faculty

The Writing Program provides faculty with multiple avenues of support in integrating writing into their courses. Please see our Faculty Development and Support page for more information, including details on the annual WI Faculty Retreat