Supporting Student Writing

What is WAC/WID?

WAC (writing across the curriculum) and WID (writing in the disciplines) refer to a national movement in higher education, now 40 years old, where writing receives curricular or pedagogical attention from faculty outside an English composition program. WAC/WID are often used interchangeably.

More specifically, WAC refers to a university initiative where professors use student writing as an instructional tool in their classes. WID refers to how professors teach writing specific to their fields and, also, to the formal study of the rhetoric of disciplines.

At SF State, WAC / WID refers to all the uses faculty put student writing to in their classes and to ongoing faculty development, ranging from colloquia to research and assessment. Click here to see a video that provides an overview:



More formally, WAC/WID also refers to the lower division writing requirement, English 214, to the upper-division writing requirement to satisfy graduation, GWAR, and to the Graduate Written English Proficiency Policy The Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), the Committee on English Proficiency (CWEP), and Academic Affairs share responsibility for university-wide WAC.

What Is GWAR?

To graduate, all undergraduate SF State students must fulfill their Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement, or GWAR by passing with a C or higher one upper-division writing course that is designated GWAR. The Policy on Written English Proficiency (S12-14) has been revised between 2009 and 2012 by the SF State Academic Senate. The Committee on Written English Proficiency, CWEP, approves courses. So far CWEP has approved courses for GWAR in every major of every college at SF State (and one course in the College of Extended Learning).

In May 2012, the Academic Senate passed a Resolution Marking a GWAR Milestone and Offering Commendation and Support. 

In March 2013, the Report of the Visiting WASC Team commended GWAR and Writing across the Curriculum at San Francisco State. 

The library and campus tutorial services offer special support to GWAR courses. The WAC program sponsors colloquia and roundtables, offers consultations, conducts assessment research and publishes faculty's teaching strategies from both undergraduate and graduate courses on this website.

The Director of WAC consults with students who have questions about their GWAR.


(415) 338-2206


Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning
ADM 447 | San Francisco State University | 1600 Holloway Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94132