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 102 (in addition to CC 101) satisfy the CAS WR 100 requirement. Students who complete CAS CC 201 (in addition to CC 101 & 102) or CAS CC 203/204 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 meets the CAS WR 100 requirement, and CAS AH 150, CAS AM 250, 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, or CAS CH 181 and 182, 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.
    • Students completing any 4-credit Kilachand Honors College course and the 2-credit studio Kilachand ST 111 during the fall of the freshman year meet the CAS WR 100 requirement.
    • Students completing any 4-credit Kilachand Honors College course and the 2-credit studio Kilachand ST 112 during the spring of the freshman year meet the CAS WR 150 requirement.

Placement Notes

  • Students who submit TOEFL scores or other proof of English language proficiency as part of their applications for admission to Boston University will be placed into CAS WR 097, CAS WR 098, or CAS WR 100, based on their performance on a placement test.
  • Students who are not required to take the writing placement test will be placed into CAS WR 100, though they may elect to take the test and receive a recommended placement.

Arts & Sciences Writing Program Courses

  • CAS WR 097 Academic Writing for ESL Students 1 (4 cr)
  • CAS WR 098 Academic Writing for ESL Students 2 (4 cr)
  • CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar (4 cr)
  • CAS WR 150 Writing and Research Seminar (4 cr)
  • CAS WR 202 Children’s Literature in the Elementary School (2 cr)
  • CAS WR 598 Tutoring in ESL (2 cr)