Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)

(Formerly called Subject A)

This requirement has existed from the beginnings of the University of California, and is described in Academic Senate Regulation 636:  

The University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement is a reading and writing proficiency requirement. Each student must be able to understand and to respond adequately to written material typical of reading assignments in freshman courses. This ability must be demonstrated in student writing that communicates effectively to University faculty (Am 30 Nov 83; Am 23 May 96; Am 19 Feb 2004). 

All students who enter UCSC as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) by the end of their fourth quarter of enrollment.

UC regulations stipulate that students may satisfy the ELWR by multiple means prior to beginning a degree program at a UC campus, but that once they've begun a degree program at a specific UC campus, they must satisfy the ELWR at that campus.  

See pathways to satisfying the ELWR.


Before starting a degree program at UCSC, students can satisfy the ELWR (and the C1 writing requirement) by taking and passing an appropriate college writing course at a community college, among other methods of satisfying the ELWR before matriculation. 

Students should confirm that the testing agency or school has sent its official score report or transcript to UCSC. To ensure your transcripts and test scores have been received, continue to check your student portal at my.ucsc.edu (FAQs). For further questions regarding transcripts and test scores, please contact the Admissions Office.


After starting a degree program at UCSC, incoming frosh who have not satisfied the ELWR by the time classes start will be placed in a College course section with an instructor qualified to help them with their writing, and they will be assigned to a weekly group tutoring session facilitated by a trained peer writing assistant.

Students who have not satisfied the ELWR by the end of their first quarter are required to take classes that help them satisfy the requirement. ELWR-required students must enroll in the appropriate writing class (Writing 20, 21, or 23) every quarter until they have met the requirement.

At the end of each quarter, ELWR-required students will have the opportunity to demonstrate whether they have satisfied the requirement by means of a portfolio from an appropriate course (Core, Writing 20, 21, or 23). Students having trouble satisfying the requirement may still pass courses and make progress toward their degrees, even though they have not yet satisfied the ELWR.

Students who have not satisfied the ELWR by spring of their first year at UCSC may wish to take an appropriate summer school or community college course to accumulate a portfolio of papers to submit for consideration of satisfying the ELWR prior to the start of fall quarter classes. See guidelines for satisfying ELWR in summer

Students are strongly encouraged to contact the ELWR Coordinator Sarah-Hope Parmeter (shparmet@ucsc.edu) before summer begins to discuss these procedures.