Skip to Content

Transfer Students

Students at the University of Michigan (with the exception of College of Engineering students) must satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) by completing an approved FYWR course. In addition, the Stamps School of Art and Design; the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance require students to complete the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR) with an approved ULWR course which must be taken at the UM-Ann Arbor campus.

Transfer Credit, the DSP, & Your First Writing Class

The flowchart and information below will help guide you through the process of choosing a course and which Directed Self-Placement you should take. 

Receiving Transfer Credit

Transfer students who have taken writing courses at another college or university may be able to use these courses to satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement. Advanced Placement (AP), Creative Writing, and Journalism courses do not fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement.

First, check the Approved and Not-Approved Transfer Course lists below for your course.

If the course you completed is on the list of approved transfer courses,

and you received a grade of C or better, you have fulfilled the FYWR and may be ready to take an upper-level writing course. You are required to take the Transfer Directed Self-Placement. When you meet with your advisor during Orientation, please confirm that your student record indicates the FYWR has been fulfilled.

If the course you completed is on the list of not-approved transfer courses,

you are required to complete the First-Year Directed Self-Placement for Writing to help you choose the most appropriate first-year writing class.

If your course is not on the Approved or Not-Approved lists,

you may complete an online Petition for Transfer Course Credit. Submit your petition at least one month before the date of your orientationYou must submit all of the following materials:

  1. a course description from the school catalog 
  2. a detailed course syllabus that includes: 1) writing prompts that include page length requirements of each assignment 2) an explanation of the course's draft, feedback, and revision process

Note: We do NOT need samples of your writing. The review process will not begin until ALL materials are submitted. Decisions may take up to three (3) weeks from the submission of all of the required materials.

  • If your petition is not approved, you are required to take the First-Year DSP
  • If your petition is approved, you are required to take the Transfer DSP.
  • If your petition is pending, you are required to take the First-Year DSP.
  • If you choose not to submit a petition, you are required to take the First-Year DSP.

Transfer Directed Self-Placement for Writing

At the University of Michigan, you will take a variety of courses in your major that require a substantial amount of writing as well as a familiarity with the types of writing valued in your major. This Transfer Directed Self-Placement (DSP) for Writing is not a test.  Rather, the Transfer DSP for Writing is designed to give you insight into the kind of writing expected of upper-division undergraduates at the University of Michigan, in order to help you judge your own readiness for and comfort with the College of LSA’s Upper-Level Writing Requirement.

The Transfer DSP is not timed. Students who have completed the Transfer DSP report that it takes about an hour to read the assignment and student response, write the paragraphs, and respond to the questions. If you choose to exit, your work will be saved and you may continue at a later date.

During the Transfer DSP, you will complete the following tasks:

  • Choose the area you plan to study (Humanities, Natural Sciences, or Social Sciences).
  • Read (i) a typical upper-level assignment in the general area you chose, and (ii) a student paper in response to that assignment.
  • Write three short responses (6-10 sentences each) about the assignment and the student paper that you read.
  • Answer 11 follow-up multiple choice questions about your writing experiences.

IMPORTANT: You must submit your responses at least 5 BUSINESS DAYS (Monday through Friday) prior to the start of your orientation. Students who do not complete the Transfer DSP before Orientation will miss the chance to assess their preparation for Upper Level Writing Requirement courses, learn about the expectations of Upper-Level Writing Requirement Courses, and learn about all the resources available to support their writing at U-M.

After completing the Transfer Directed Self-Placement for Writing

You will make the decision about the writing courses you take, but this Transfer DSP will assist you in that decision, along with input from the Sweetland Center for Writing and your Academic Advisor. The Sweetland Center for Writing offers a range of courses that support transfer student writing, including Writing 350 and three courses specifically for international and multilingual students, Writing 119Writing 240, and Writing 340.

You will receive an email from the Sweetland Center for Writing inviting you to schedule an appointment to receive feedback on your Transfer DSP responses and advice on writing at U-M.