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Writing & Rhetoric Studies' Informed Self-Placement

Welcome to the Department of Writing & Rhetoric Studies!

All of the colleges and universities in the state of Utah, including the University of Utah, require students to take writing classes to fulfill their General Education requirements. First-year writing classes at the UofU include WRTG 1010 and courses that fulfill the Lower Division Writing (WR2) requirement:  WRTG 2010, ENGL 2010, and HONOR 2211.

Some students start their path through first-year writing with WRTG 1010, while other students start directly with a WR2 course. Whether you take one or both courses is up to you! Both courses are useful and engaging. Every student has had different experiences with reading and writing, and not every student feels like taking both courses is the best fit for them.


In the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies (DWRS), we believe that you are an agent in your own learning. You also understand your time and financial constraints best, both of which might impact your decision. You are the one who knows the most about your own experiences with reading and writing and how you learn best. As you make this decision, please take into consideration your entire situation.

You don’t have to make this course decision alone. This Informed Self-Placement (ISP) process will give you the information needed to make an informed decision about whether to start in WRTG 1010 or a WR2 course. We will give you lots of information about both courses, and we provide opportunities for you to reflect on how your experiences connect to each course.  Ultimately, however, the decision is yours. 

The ISP process is not a test. Rather, it is a series of videos and self-reflection activities to support your course decision-making. When you follow the link, you will find a Qualtrics survey with videos from students and faculty about WRTG 1010 and WR2 courses. You will also find a questionnaire and a writing activity. All of these steps are intended to provide information and guidance to help you make the best possible choice for YOU.

We encourage you to start with the writing course that suits your prior experiences and learning preferences. We want you to make a course selection based on what you hope to accomplish during your entire time at the University of Utah and your goals after graduation. If you are still unsure about which course to take after you complete the ISP process, you have the option of requesting a meeting with a writing placement consultant from the DWRS.

Access the ISP here


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the ISP process, please email us at

Transfer Credits

If you have first-year writing transfer credits from another college or university, those credits might satisfy either one or both of the writing requirements at the U of U (WRTG 1010 and WRTG 2010), depending on which class or classes you took elsewhere. The following test scores will also count for WRTG 1010 credit:

  • A score of 3 or higher on the AP English Language and Composition exam 
  • A score of 4 or higher on the IB Language and Literature Higher Level exam
  • A score of 50 or higher on the CLEP College Composition exam


A score of 4 or higher on either the AP Language and Composition or the AP English Literature and Composition exam will count for WR2 credit if the exam was taken by the end of Summer 2022. More information can be found at the Utah Admission's Advanced Placement Credit page

After August 2022, public college and universities in Utah will accept the AP English Literature and Composition exam for English elective credit but not for WRTG 1010 or WR2 credit. 

If you do not have transfer or exam credit for WRTG 1010 and choose not to complete the ISP, you will receive a default placement into WRTG 1010 at the U of U.

When Can I Take the ISP?

You can work on ISP at your own pace and submit it any time, but you are more likely to be able to sign up for your preferred writing course the sooner you complete the ISP. As such, we highly recommend completing the ISP prior to your orientation date.

If you do not have prior credit for WRTG 1010, you are not eligible to enroll directly into a WR2 course unless (or until) you submit the ISP with your WR2-placement decision.


If for any reason you did not complete the ISP before orientation and want to explore your placement options, you can do so at any time.



Last Updated: 6/20/23