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All University Writing Requirement

All University Writing Requirement

Definition: This policy outlines the pro-rated all-university graduation requirement for writing.
Authority: President of the University.
Scope: All degree-credit courses.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 07/18/2016
Originally Implemented: 07/25/2013
Signature Page/PDF: View All University Writing Requirement Policy


With limited exceptions, every course carrying degree credit at CSUSM must have a writing component that can be achieved in a variety of ways depending on the course. The writing requirement for each individual student 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 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).

The Dean of Graduate Studies may exempt certain graduate courses from this requirement.