Placement Guidelines

As part of the University General Education Requirements, all students are required to complete ENGL 1010 or 1011. (Note: ENGL 1010 or 1011 is a prerequisite to all writing (W) courses.) Honors students passing ENGL 2011 (formerly ENGL 3800) will fulfill the General Education First-Year Writing requirement (ENGL 1010/1011) upon course completion.

Placement into First-Year Writing is based on a combination of standardized test scores and written placement exam. Because the SAT scoring has changed, please use this conversion prepared from the College Board Concordance tables; the new score thresholds are the converted match to the old threshold scores. You can use the College Board's SAT Score Converter ("Old Scores to New Scores") to convert your scores to the new thresholds for placement.

The new SAT combines the Writing and Language section with the Critical Reading section for a combined score in the range of 200-800. The Writing and Language section has a range of 10-40, as does the Critical Reading section. Scores must reach the threshold for the section AND the combined score for placement.

New SAT Reading Test with Combined Evidence-Based Reading & Writing Score of  Placement
26 or lower  480 or below (SAT Benchmark) ENGL 1004 Required
27 -29 490-580 ENGL 1004 Strongly Recommended
30 or higher 590 and above ENGL 1010 or 1011


New SAT Writing Test with Combined Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score of  Placement
25 or lower 480 or below (SAT Benchmark) ENGL 1004 Required
26-29 490-580 ENGL 1004 Strongly Recommended
29 or higher 590 and above ENGL 1010 or 1011

The final decision on placement occurs in the classroom during the first week of classes. If, upon reviewing a writing sample, the instructor and a First-Year Writing Program administrator decide that you would benefit more from support, your placement may be revised and you will be asked to enroll in the course that promises you the best opportunities.

If you have not completed the SAT Critical Reading test, your advisor will suggest appropriate course work taking into account your previous schooling and, if applicable, any credits received in transfer.

Placement in ENGL 1003

All placement recommendations for international students are made based on a written placement exam administered during "International Student orientation" before the semester starts.  Any student who misses the Orientation writing placement exam must arrange to take that exam at a mutually agreeable time after the Orientation placement exams are administered. The student will be given a different writing prompt from the one given during the group placement testing.

  • Multilingual Students who are transitioning to primarily English academic discourse;
  • Students who have been placed in the course by standardized test scores and written placement test.

English 1003

ENGL 1003 is an introduction to the rhetorical process for emerging second-language writers. It stresses the writing situation and the purpose of writing, and pays particular attention to the critical engagement and reflection skills needed to participate successfully in the American university discourse community. This course takes students through all stages of the writing process, providing an extensive background in planning, drafting, peer reviewing, and revising, and highlights the recursive nature of writing. The work in written, visual, aural, and oral engagement prepares students for future courses in First-Year Writing, as well as other University courses across the disciplines. Through reading, writing, discussion, and peer review, students develop their unique voices as writers, to explore and communicate their ideas in an environment that respects diverse cultural views and experiences. Students' home languages and cultures are resources for discussing language and rhetoric in a global context. Writing topics are determined by individual instructors and may range from personal narratives or logical arguments, to composing in different modalities or a combination thereof. ENGL 1003 is not a language course, though there is focused, context-specific grammar instruction when needed. Any student who needs to improve basic English language skills should begin by taking courses with UCAELI. Class size is limited to 15.

 ENGL 1003 may be repeated if desired or if the instructor recommends further study in ENGL 1003. Repeated course credit in ENGL 1003 counts as "elective" and toward total credits needed to graduate.  The course is open to undergraduate, graduate, and exchange students.

The Transition from ENGL 1003 to First-Year Writing

Students enrolled in ENGL 1003 must successfully complete that course before attempting ENGL 1004 or other First-Year Writing courses; we do not recommend concurrent enrollment in ENGL 1003 and ENGL 1004.  The ENGL 1003 instructor will help students determine when they are comfortable with moving on to subsequent First-Year Writing courses. Students may be advised to remain in ENGL 1003 another term, or to register for ENGL 1004, ENGL 1010, or ENGL 1011.  While ENGL 1003 is open to graduate students by petition, ENGL 1004, ENGL 1010, and ENGL 1011 are open only to undergraduates.