FW and General Education

Fulfilling the Foundations-Written Communication (FW) Requirement

The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa has a one-semester Foundations-Written Communication (FW) requirement as part of its General Education Core. The requirement is designed to introduce students to academic writing at the college level and to help them develop effective written communication skills that can be used in both college and in the professional world. Undergraduates fulfill this requirement by earning credit for one of four first-year writing courses:

  • English 100 - Composition I
  • English 100A - Composition I (Honors)
  • English 190 - Composition I for Transfer Students
  • English Language Institute 100 - Expository Writing: A Guided Approach (for non-native speakers of English)

If you have Advanced Placement or transfer credit* for ENG 100, ENG 200**, or ELI 100, the FW requirement is satisfied. No UHM course needed.

Advanced Placement credit:
A score of "4" or "5" on either of the two Advanced Placement English Exams (Language & Composition OR Literature & Composition) is equivalent to UHM's ENG 100 course.

Transfer credit: If you passed a course at another college that is officially equivalent to UHM's ENG 100, ENG 200**, or ELI 100, you have satisfied the FW requirement.

Please note that credit for other types of English courses does not fulfill the FW requirement. Similarly, transfer students who had a writing-course requirement waived at their former school have not automatically fulfilled UHM's FW requirement.

Steps to take:
For AP credit: Have your AP scores sent to the UHM Admissions Office for processing.

For transfer credit: Have an official transcript sent to the UHM Admissions Office for evaluation of transfer credit. When you receive your University of Hawai'i System Transfer Report, confirm that you have credit for ENG 100, ENG 200, or ELI 100. (Visit the Mānoa Advising Center or a college adviser if you have questions.)

* Check AP/transfer credit by logging into MyUH, clicking on "STAR Degree Check," and viewing a report from the "Transcripts" tab. (Information should be available approximately 8 weeks after your tuition deposit is submitted.) You will also be sent a "University of Hawai'i System—Transfer Report."

** ENG 200 is not an FW course at UHM. However, students who transfer in with ENG 200 credit are considered to have fulfilled Manoa's FW requirement because the course focuses on composition at a more advanced level. Students with ENG 200 credit should consult with a School/College advisor to confirm that they have been given FW credit for the course.

If you do not have credit for ENG 100, ENG 200*, or ELI 100, an FW course is required. Placement into an FW course is determined as follows:

A. Native Speakers of English are placed into ENG 190 if they receive 25 or more transfer credits for their non-UHM courses. All other native English speakers are placed into ENG 100. ENG 100 students have several types of sections to choose from. Click here for details.

B. Non-Native Speakers of English are placed based onELI exemption criteria (if exempt), or by taking the ELI's writing placement test. (See <http://www.hawaii.edu/eli/> and click on "Information for Students", then on "Do I Need to Take ELI Classes?" for ELI exemption criteria.)

  • Those who are exempt from the ELI based on attending school for 6 years or more in the U.S., Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom are placed as described in the "Native speakers of English" section, above. (Students who are exempt based on years of schooling but feel their writing is more "non-native" should contact the ELI.)
  • Those who are exempt from the ELI based on other exemption criteria are placed into ELI 100.
  • Those who do not meet any ELI exemption criteria must take the ELI's writing test.

IMPORTANT:

All entering students whose test scores reflect significant academic achievement will be sent a letter inviting them to submit a collection of writing for possible credit for and exemption from ENG 100/ELI 100. Students who do not have test scores on file but who feel that they already possess the ability to write proficiently should contact the General Education Office (gened@hawaii.edu) before the end of their first semester at UHM if they are interested in submitting a collection for review. Click here for more details.

* ENG 200 is not an FW course at UHM. However, students who transfer in with ENG 200 credit are considered to have fulfilled Manoa's FW requirement because the course focuses on composition at a more advanced level. Students with ENG 200 credit should consult with a School/College advisor for details.

updated 1/14/2013