The Arts & Sciences Writing Program

Through its courses and tutorials, the Writing Program helps BU undergraduates acquire writing and communication skills and more general habits of mind essential both to their full participation in the intellectual life of the University and to their future personal, professional, and civic lives.

All candidates for the BA are required to complete two semesters of instruction in academic reading, writing, and research. Unless otherwise noted, all courses listed below are 4 credit hours.

Ways to Satisfy Reading, Writing, and Research Requirements

  • The standard way of satisfying this requirement is through the two-course sequence CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar and CAS WR 150 Writing and Research Seminar. In these courses, students hone their abilities to craft substantive and balanced arguments, to write clear and compelling prose, to read with comprehension and critical discernment, to conduct college-level research, and to converse about complex ideas with thoughtfulness and care.
  • The writing requirement may also be satisfied through the CAS Core Curriculum, which combines writing instruction with an in-depth study of classic works in the humanities (Western and non-Western) and the fundamental concepts, texts, and methods of analysis in the social sciences. Students who complete CAS CC 101/102 (first-year Humanities) satisfy the CAS WR 100 requirement. Students who complete CAS CC 201/202 (second-year Core Humanities) or CAS CC 203/204 (second-year Core Social Sciences) satisfy the CAS WR 150 requirement.
  • The writing requirement may also be satisfied through various departmental courses, or through the rhetoric sequence offered by the College of General Studies:
    • Among departmental courses, CAS EN 120 or CAS HI 100 meets the CAS WR 100 requirement, and CAS EN 220, CAS HI 150, or CAS MA 150 meets the CAS WR 150 requirement
    • CAS CH 111 and CH 112 together satisfy the CAS WR 150 requirement; students who take CAS CH 111 and CH 112 are still expected to take CAS WR 100.
    • In any given semester, other departmental courses may also satisfy these requirements.
    • Students continuing in CAS as juniors from the College of General Studies may use CGS RH 101 to meet the CAS WR 100 requirement and CGS RH 102 to meet the CAS WR 150 requirement.

Placement Notes

  • Students whose primary language is English will be placed into CAS WR 100.
  • Students who were required to submit TOEFL scores or other proof of English language proficiency as part of their applications for admission to Boston University will be placed into either CAS WR 097, CAS WR 098, or CAS WR 100, based on their performance on a placement test.
  • Some students additionally will be required to take individual intensive tutoring.

Arts & Sciences Writing Program Courses

  • CAS WR 097 English Grammar and Composition (ESL only)
  • CAS WR 098 Introduction to College Reading and Writing in English (ESL only)
  • CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar
  • CAS WR 150 Writing and Research Seminar
  • CAS WR 202 Children’s Literature in the Elementary School (2 cr)