About the Writing Requirement

Every Bucknell student must successfully complete three designated writing courses: a W1 course in the first year, followed by two W2 courses.

Aims of the Writing Requirement

W courses have two purposes: to develop expository writing skills and to teach the use of writing as a means of creating and processing knowledge.

W1 courses are introductory. They have as one of their primary objectives the teaching of fundamental techniques in writing expository prose.

W2 courses are distributive. They offer students guided practice in writing in fields across the curriculum.

W1 and W2 courses may be offered in any department.

Order of Courses

Students will take one W1 course in the first year. Thereafter, they will take two W2 courses to foster sustained development and guided practice in academic writing. A W2 course will count toward the University writing requirement if it follows a W1 (or, in exceptional cases, is concurrent with a W1). At least one W2 course must be taken after the first year.


Entering students, including those with Advanced Placement English, who wish to substitute a W2 for the W1 must petition the dean of their college to be assessed individually for permission. Such students will take three W2 courses.

Writing Course Distribution

W1 and W2 courses are widely distributed across the curriculum. Faculty advisers may therefore encourage their advisees to take W courses in a variety of disciplines.

Specific Criteria for W1 and W2 Courses