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- W requirements: FAQs for students

Everything you wanted to know about writing attentive courses…

Frequently Asked Question for Students in the Class of 2011 and beyond on the Writing-Attentive Requirement

1. Why do I take writing-attentive courses and units?

One of the goals of a liberal education in the arts and sciences is the development of a student’s ability to convey ideas and information logically and clearly and to evaluate critically the ideas of others.  This is a process that requires attention at increasingly more sophisticated levels throughout a student’s academic career.  Because the careful production and refinement of written work is an excellent way to cultivate this ability, Bates requires its students to take three progressively more advanced levels of writing courses.

2. When do I take these courses?

You must successfully complete a W1 course by the end of your first year.  You must successfully complete a W2 course during your sophomore or junior year.  You must successfully complete a W3 course during your senior year.

3. How are W courses indicated in the course catalog?

Courses designated as meeting the W1 (first level) writing requirement are indicated in the course catalog by [W1].  Courses designated as meeting the W2 (second level) writing requirement are indicated in the course catalog by [W2].  Courses designated as meeting the W3 writing requirement are indicated in the course catalog by [W3].

4. Can courses designated as W1, W2, and/or W3 also count toward the SLQ requirements or as part of General Education concentrations?

Yes.  Some courses are simultaneously designated as W1, W2 or W3 and as S, L, and/or Q.  Such courses can be used to meet both one S, L, or Q requirement and a W1, W2, or W3 requirement.  One or more courses designated as W1, W2, or W3 that are part of a concentration can be applied to both the concentration and to meeting the W1, W2, or W3 requirement(s).

5. Can I use non-Bates course credits to meet the W1, W2, or W3 requirements?

No.  All of your writing requirements must be completed at Bates.

6. What are the W1, W2, W3 policies for transfer students?

  • A student who transfers to Bates as a first-year student (i.e., a student who will be enrolled at Bates for 7 semesters) is required to complete the W1 requirement by the end of his or her first semester at Bates.
  • A student who transfers to Bates as a sophomore or junior (i.e., a student who will be enrolled at Bates for 4, 5, or 6 semesters) is not required to take a W1 course. He or she is required only to take one W2 course during the sophomore or junior year and one W3 course during the senior year.
  • W1, W2, and W3 requirements may only be satisfied by courses taken at Bates.

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