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LSA and a few other colleges require students to complete the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR). The goal of the ULWR is to teach students to recognize and practice the range of writing activities and forms typical of academic and professional contexts.

The Sweetland Center for Writing offers two courses designed to be taken at the same time as a ULWR course. Writing 350 supports transfer students and Writing 229 supports multilingual and international students.

Satisfying the ULWR

  • the ULWR course must be taken at the UM-Ann Arbor campus 
  • transfer credit is not accepted
  • you must first complete the First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) with a C- or higher
  • you cannot take your FYWR and ULWR courses at the same time
  • the course must be an approved ULWR course
  • you must receive a C- or better in your ULWR course
  • you can take your ULWR course pass/fail, however, you must receive a final course grade of C- or better to fulfill the requirement.

ULWR not showing up on your record?

Verify that your course was an approved ULWR course by going to the LSA Course Guide and selecting the term you completed the course and “Upper Level Writing” in Skills/Req field. If the course does not appear in the search results, it was not an approved ULWR course and you will need to complete a course that is approved to fulfill the ULWR.

If the course was approved to fulfill the ULWR, email your name, UMID number, course and section number, and the term you completed the course. A Sweetland staff member will investigate and let you know the status.

Special Arrangements

Receiving ULRW credit for an unapproved U-M course

If you have at least 100 credits toward graduation, you may request Sweetland Center for Writing's approval to use an unapproved U-M course to fulfill your ULWR. Complete the Individual Arrangement Petition and send it to

Using Honors Thesis to fulfill the ULWR

Students completing an honors thesis can opt to count it toward their ULWR. Complete the Honors Thesis Intent Form and send it to the Honors Office at

ULWR Course Goals

In ULWR courses, students learn to:

  • build on skills and strategies developed in first-year writing courses;
  • produce complex, analytical evidence-based arguments that address specific audiences;
  • refine their ability to write effectively both within and beyond specific disciplines;
  • use feedback to improve their writing through revision;
  • demonstrate familiarity with the genres and conventions characteristic of effective writing.

Writing assignments in ULWR courses:

  • require a substantial amount of polished writing, usually between 25 and 40 pages (7500-12,000 words) over the course of the semester (or the equivalent in digital media projects), though this may vary among disciplines;
  • take a variety of forms typical of academic and professional writing in particular fields, including projects that incorporate collaboration, digital media, or other relevant genres;
  • integrate writing with course content;
  • are sequenced throughout the semester to facilitate the development of ideas and concepts;
  • provide clear and explicit guidelines to help prepare students for challenging rhetorical tasks;
  • include a clear indication of when and how writing-related instruction will take place during lecture and/or discussion;
  • provide at least three structured opportunities for students to receive feedback on their writing-in-progress, and requiring substantial revision of at least 50% of their writing.