University Writing Requirement and WI Checklist


In 1995, the Academic Senate passed a motion that established the University of New Hampshire's current University Writing Requirement [PDF]. This requirement rests on the broad belief that academic and disciplinary literacy represent the cornerstone of a university curriculum; it is an expression of the university's commitment to the following broad goals for student writing and learning.

  • Students should use writing as an intellectual process to learn material, to discover, construct, and order meaning.
  • Students should learn to write effectively in various academic and disciplinary genres for professional and lay audiences.
  • Students should learn to display competence with the generic features and conventions of academic language.

In order to help realize the above goals, Writing Intensive (WI)  courses were established as well as the University Writing Requirement (UWR).

Fulfilling the requirement:  In order to fulfill the University Writing Requirement, all undergraduates must complete the following four courses with a passing grade:

  • EN401 (First Year Writing)
  • A Writing Intensive (WI) Course in the Major
  • A Writing Intensive (WI) Course at the 600 Level or Above
  • A Writing Intensive (WI) Course (any other)  

Frequently Asked Question:

"Can the same course satisfy the course-in-the-major requirement and the 600 level or above requirement?" 


Yes, one course can satisfy both of these requirements (see pattern B below), but the course would only count as one of the three WI courses needed. In this case, the student would need to take two other WI courses (in additiont to EN401) to satisfy the requirement.  For reference, a complete WI sequence would conform to one of the two patterns below:

A) Separate Courses for 600+ and in the Major              B) One Course for 600+ and in the Major            

1. EN401                                                                                          1. EN401

2. WI in the Major (any level)                                                   2. WI in the Major @600+ level

3. WI @600+ level  (any)                                                            3. WI (any)

4. WI (any)                                                                                      4. WI (any)

Note: a department or a major may have more specific requirements that would be in addition to the above.  The numbers are for reference. The actual sequence that courses are taken is immaterial. 

Planning your WI Courses

Courses bearing WI credit are marked with the WI Attribute in the  Registrar's Time and Room Course List.

The Writing Committee's position is that both the Writing Requirement and WI Course Attributes are definitive.  As such, only courses bearing the WI Attribute will count for the WI requirement.  In short, UNH students are expected to enroll in UNH WI-designated courses to satisfy the WI requirement.  The Rationale for Writing and Learning at UNH acknowledges that the WI the course structure provides a minimum framework for writing in the curriculum and that there will be writing in non WI-designated courses (without necessarily conforming to WI methods). To avoid a shortfall,  students should not plan on receiving WI credit after the fact for writing done in non WI-designated courses or enroll in non WI-designated courses expecting to receive WI credit.  Scheduling convenience or falling short of the WI requirement for graduation do not constitute grounds for exception.

Note: not all WI courses are offered each semester; for advance planning, students should check with an advisor or the owning academic department for whether a key course will be available in a particular semester.