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Indiana University Bloomington

Composition Requirements

All schools at Indiana University Bloomington have a composition requirement, and students should plan to complete this requirement in their first and/or second semesters.

Students who have not completed the requirement within the first 55 hours of credit or within their first two semesters will be placed on the academic checklist and will not be allowed to register further through University Division. If they have already enrolled for further classes, their enrollments will be monitored and their registrations may be cancelled.

Most students do, in fact, complete the composition requirement within the recommended time frame. This policy simply aims to help ensure that all students do so as timely and effectively as possible.

How can I fulfill the composition requirement?

If you have not established exemption from the English composition requirement, you will need to fulfill this requirement through course work. A grade of C- or higher in the appropriate course or sequence of courses fulfills the requirement for most majors.

Note: Exceptions are majors in allied health; business; education; informatics; health and physical education teacher education; recreation; music education; and nursing, which require a minimum grade of C. There is no minimum grade required for English composition in the Schools of Social Work and Public and Environmental Affairs.

Your advisor will help you determine the best course for you based on your SAT/ACT/AP scores, your high school background, and your chosen major. Depending on your scores, you may be placed in a smaller section of English W131 for students who need more basic instruction in writing. (Some sections of this course are designated specifically for international students.) If you do not place into a basic writing section, most majors allow you to choose either English W131 or English W170.

English W131 Elementary Composition and English W170 Projects in Reading and Writing are one-semester, 3 credit hour courses that focus on the skills required in college writing. Completion of either one, with at least the minimum grade required by your major, fulfills the composition requirement.

How do I know if I am exempt from the composition requirement?

If you have achieved one of the following test scores, you have fulfilled the English composition requirement and will be exempted from it:

  • SAT (recentered) Verbal score of 670 or higher; or
  • ACT English score of 32 or higher; or
  • AP Program English: Language and Composition score of 4 or 5 (earns 3 cr. hours ENG W131).

If you have achieved one of the above test scores AND you scored 660 or higher on the SAT Writing Test, you are exempt from the English composition requirement, and are eligible to apply for 2 credit hours in English W143 with a grade of S (satisfactory). Please call (812)855-1430 to request this special credit.

Can I transfer credits from another university and apply them toward the composition requirement?

Please visit the Indiana University Office of Admissions Credit Transfer service to ascertain whether credits will transfer and be applied to composition credit.

I took W131 in high school. Does this fulfill the composition requirement?

If you have taken English W131 during high school through the Advance College Project, credit for this course should be listed on your transcript and the English composition requirement is fulfilled. However, you must have completed the course for Indiana University credit and have paid the fees involved at the time the course was being completed. If this was not done at the time you took the course, you will not receive credits and the English composition requirement has not been fulfilled.