Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE)

Are you enrolled in one of the five colleges below?

  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • College of Public and Community Service
  • College of Education and Human Development

If so, you have two ways to fulfill your Writing Proficiency Requirement:

  1. Submit a writing proficiency portfolio consisting of two to five papers along with a new essay answering a question about a set of readings provided by the Writing Proficiency Office.
  2. Take a timed-essay exam in which you answer a question about a set of readings provided in advance.

Tutoring, Workshops, and Support

We offer tutoring, workshops, and support to help you prepare for and meet your writing proficiency requirement. We recommend you choose the Portfolio option so that you have five weeks to complete your essay and ample time to revise it and have a member of our staff review your essay before your submit your portfolio. If you choose the exam option, you will only have three hours and one essay to demonstrate your proficiency. We believe the portfolio option is a more authentic assessment of your true ability because it is based on several different papers that you have written over a period of time.

Faculty members from these five colleges will evaluate your essay or portfolio using a scoring rubric that assesses these learning outcomes from the General Education program:

  • critical reading
  • critical thinking
  • critical writing

College of Management

Students in the College of Management demonstrate writing proficiency through the course "Professional Written Communication & Critical Analysis" (BC 290). Click here for more details on the College of Management Writing Assessment test dates and how to register.

Waiver Request

If you already hold an undergraduate bachelors degree from a university that is accredited by one of the US Regional Accreditation Agencies and you are pursuing a second bachelors degree at UMass Boston, you may apply for a waiver of the Writing Proficiency Requirement. Please contact the Writing Proficiency Office to apply and use this waiver request form.