UWS Links

Students may find it helpful to look at our Fall 2019 Courses, the Spring 2020 Courses, and Frequently Asked Questions regarding the University Writing Seminar.

Instructors can find sample rubrics, exercises, and peer review sheets, as well as tips to design complex arguments and writing assignments.  Please be sure to check out our grading practices for UWS, a breakdown of the three main essay types we cover in the course, and online writing resources.

The University Writing Seminar



First-year Requirements

Incoming students must satisfactorily complete one University Writing Seminar (UWS) course in their first year at Brandeis.  All students are required to complete, before graduation, one writing-intensive course and either a second writing-intensive course or an oral communication course.

All incoming first-year students are required to take an online writing assessment over the summer.  Upon evaluation of the assessments, some students may be placed in Composition, a course taken in their first semester. These students will then take a UWS in their second semester.

Non-native English Students

Certain students whose native language is not English may be required to have their English writing skills evaluated and to have an interview during Orientation, before the beginning of classes. On the basis of this evaluation, students may be advised to sign up for an individual, noncredit tutorial in the English Language Program to supplement their work in Composition, UWS, or other writing or oral communication courses.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may have their credits evaluated to see whether they have successfully completed the necessary course to satisfy the first-year writing requirement. If they have not, they should see the Director of First-Year Writing, Lisa Rourke, for alternative ways to complete this requirement.