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Transfer Students

First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR)
Students at the University of Michigan (with the exception of College of Engineering and LSA Honors students) must satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement by completing an approved FYWR course. 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. See the Receiving Transfer Credit section below.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR)
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 with an approved ULWR course which must be taken at the UM-Ann Arbor campus.

Directed Self-Placement for Writing (DSP)
The Directed Self-Placement for Writing gives you a chance to learn about the types of academic writing most often assigned and valued at the University of Michigan. The DSP will help you judge your own readiness for and comfort with college writing, and assist you in choosing your writing courses at the University.

Transfer Directed Self-Placement for Writing (Transfer DSP)
The Transfer Directed Self-Placement 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.

Receiving Transfer Credit for the FYWR

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. Please read the sections below that pertain to your major for more information about petitioning and which Directed Self-Placement to take.

Which Directed Self-Placement do I take?

Engineering and LSA Honors transfer students

Engineering and LSA Honors transfer students are not required to complete either the First-Year or Transfer Directed Self-Placement.

Architecture, Business, Dental Hygiene, Education, Information, Kinesiology, Nursing, and Public Health transfer students

Architecture, Business, Dental Hygiene, Education, Information, Kinesiology, Nursing, and Public Health transfer students are not required to complete the Transfer DSP.

If you did not take a writing course at another college or university, you need to complete the First-Year DSP to help you choose the most appropriate first-year writing class.

If you have not fulfilled the FYWR at U-M with an approved transfer course, you are required to complete the First-Year DSP. Above, you’ll find links to a list of approved courses from other colleges and universities, as well as a list of courses that are not approved, to see whether the course you completed elsewhere satisfies the FYWR at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Advanced Placement (AP), Creative Writing, and Journalism courses do not fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement.

If the course you completed at your previous college or university is on the list of approved transfer courses, and you received at least a grade of C, you have fulfilled the FYWR. 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 at your previous college or university is on the list of not-approved courses, you need to complete the First-Year DSP to help you choose the most appropriate first-year writing class. 

If the course you completed at your previous college or university is not on either the list of approved or not approved transfer courses, you may complete an online Petition for Transfer 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 two (2) weeks from the submission of all of the required materials.

  • If your petition is approved, you are not required to complete either DSP.
  • If your petition is not approved, take the First-Year DSP.
  • If you choose not to submit a Petition for Transfer Credit, please complete the First Year DSP.

Art and Design, LSA (except Honors), and School of Music, Theatre, & Dance transfer students

Art and Design, LSA (except Honors), and Music transfer students are required to complete a DSP.

If you did not take a writing course at another college or university, you need to complete the First-Year DSP to help you choose the most appropriate first-year writing class.

If you have not fulfilled the FYWR at U-M with an approved transfer course, you are required to complete the First-Year DSP. Above, you’ll find links to a list of approved courses from other colleges and universities, as well as a list of courses that are not approved, to see whether the course you completed elsewhere satisfies the FYWR at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Advanced Placement (AP), Creative Writing, and Journalism courses do not fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement.

If the course you completed at your previous college or university is on the list of approved transfer courses, and you received at least a grade of C, you have fulfilled the FYWR. When you meet with your advisor during Orientation, please confirm that your student record indicates the FYWR has been fulfilled. You will need to complete the Transfer DSP.

If the course you completed at your previous college or university is on the list of not-approved courses, you need to complete the First-Year DSP to help you choose the most appropriate first-year writing class. 

If the course you completed at your previous college or university is not on either the list of approved or not approved transfer courses, you may complete an online Petition for Transfer 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 two (2) weeks from the submission of all of the required materials.

  • If your petition is approved, take the Transfer DSP.
  • If your petition is not approved, take the First-Year DSP.
  • If you choose not to submit a Petition for Transfer Credit, please complete 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: Excelling in Upper-Level Writing and Writing 340: Professional and Technical Writing and Communication in International Contexts.

Sweetland also offers two courses specifically for international and multilingual students, Writing 229: Editing and Style for International and Multilingual Students and Writing 240: Professional and Technical Presentation for International and Multilingual Students.

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.