Frequently Asked Questions

Student

Frequently asked questions about the University Writing Seminar.

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Are all University Writing Seminars the same?
No. Each UWS uses a different theme. For details, see Fall 2019  and Spring 2020 courses on the Registrar's website. For descriptions, click the course numbers on the far left of those pages.
Should I take UWS in the fall or the spring?
Both options are viable, but students who take UWS in the fall can then apply what they’ve learned to their spring courses. Consult Academic Advising if you have further questions.
How much credit do I get for UWS?
UWS is a full-credit course. It counts as one of the 32 courses required for graduation.
Why are there enrollment limits?
UWS instructors work closely with their students, providing one-on-one tutorials, sustained attention to individual development, and extensive comments on drafts. With larger classes, instructors could not give this kind of individualized attention.
Can I drop my UWS and enroll in another?
Depending on availability, students may change their UWS to another in the same semester at the Registrar's office.
Can I skip UWS in my first year and take it later?
No, the UWS is a first-year requirement. If you do not fulfill it during your first year, you may be placed on academic probation.
Why do some students take Composition (COMP)?
An online writing assessment is required for all first-year students in the spring before entering Brandeis. Depending on the results, some register for COMP in the fall semester before taking UWS in the spring.
Do international students take UWS?
International students must take UWS in their first or second semester at Brandeis. Non-native English-writers are strongly encouraged to sign up for free tutoring in the English Language Program.
What does the Writing Center have to do with UWS?
The Writing Center offers support for all students, including those enrolled in UWS, with 30- and 60-minute one-on-one tutorials available by appointment. The Writing Center also offers workshops on each of the major UWS assignments, including the Lens Paper and Research Paper.