Writing is essential to thinking and learning. Clear, concise writing is a key strength for an academic career. Students who write well can lead expressive lives and create powerful communications about their ideas and opinions.

To improve the range and proficiency of undergraduate writing skills, the College created a two-tier writing requirement in 2000. To satisfy this requirement students must first complete the Writing I composition course and then a more advanced Writing II course. All other academic units at UCLA that offer undergraduate programs require their students to complete a College-approved Writing II course or a separate school-approved course (review this webpage for additional School information on their writing requirement).

In Writing I courses, students learn about the basic writing concepts needed for an undergraduate education. In Writing II courses, students further develop critical thinking and written communication skills through an iterative process of drafting and redrafting their prose. Writing II courses center writing as a means to better understand how we think and how to deepen our thinking.

As an integral part of a Writing II course, writing is a means to help students:

  • to deepen their understanding of the course content
  • to develop the ability to think, using a given disciplinary perspective
  • to master and apply these disciplinary modes of thought in the course and to other contexts and contents
  • to develop their written communication skills

Writing II courses are offered in multiple formats, such as lecture classes with multiple sections and single-class courses. In these courses, students write fifteen to twenty pages collectively (or approximately 3,750 to 5,000 words), consisting of informal writing, drafts, and revised writing. The courses introduce students to academic writing, often in specific academic genres, while advancing student analytical skills and improving their writing. As they create drafts and revisions, students are receiving feedback in an iterative process of drafting and redrafting their prose from instructors, as well as guidance and comments from fellow students in class. To satisfy the Writing II requirement, students must earn a letter grade of C or better.

Please note that all Writing II courses are designated as Impacted Courses and denoted with a W. For more information on impacted classes, please refer to the Registrar’s Office website. For more information regarding Writing II, please refer to the Writing II Committee’s Guidelines and Recommendations for Writing II Courses.

Note to UCLA Students: The UCLA Writing II faculty committee does not review student petitions to satisfy this requirement. For more information on how to satisfy the Writing II requirement with a course from another institution, please consult College Academic Counseling or your School’s academic advising office. Please refer to “Transfer Credit Processing” for additional information.