All University Writing Requirement

Definition:This policy outlines the pro-rated all-university graduation requirement for writing.
Authority:President of the University.
Scope:Undergraduate students.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:07/25/2013
Implementation Date:07/25/2013
Originally Implemented:07/25/2013
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for All University Writing Requirement Policy


All CSU undergraduate students must demonstrate competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation. At Cal State San Marcos, undergraduate students complete the graduation writing assessment through the All-University Writing Requirement. This requirement mandates that every undergraduate course at the University must have a writing component which can be achieved in a variety of ways depending on the course. The writing requirement for individual undergraduate students will vary by course units, as follows:

  • 3 units and up = 2,500 words (approximately 10 pages)
  • 2 units = 1,700 words
  • 1 unit = 850 words

Thus, each undergraduate student will write a minimum of 850 words for a one-unit course, a minimum of 1,700 words for a two-unit course, or a minimum of 2,500 words for courses of three units or more.  All writing will be in English or a written language that meets the university’s “language other than English requirement” (LOTER).