Transfer Portfolio

Transfer students may be eligible to waive the UA Foundations Writing Requirements by submitting a Transfer Portfolio with writing samples.

About the Transfer Portfolio

The Transfer Portfolio is a process for eligible transfer students (students with at least 56 transfer credits) to earn a waiver for English 101 and/or 102 – the University of Arizona’s Undergraduate Foundations Writing Requirement.

A Transfer Portfolio does not grant credit for the courses. You must  assume the responsibility to meet with an academic advisor to determine if a waiver fulfills your graduation requirements.


You must have at least 56 transfer credits to qualify for a Transfer Portfolio and must submit the portfolio within one calendar year of transferring to the University of Arizona (including summer semester).

Review Deadlines

We review Transfer Portfolios once per semester (including summer session). Submission deadlines are:

  • October 1 (for Fall reviews)
  • March 1 (for Spring reviews)
  • August 1 (for Summer reviews).

Writing Program administrators review submissions and return waiver decisions one week after the submission deadline.

Transfer Portfolio Submission

  1. Read the FAQs below and the course goals for English 101 and/or English 102, then email to determine eligibility and receive further instructions.
  2. Assemble your writing samples:  
    • Individual samples should be at least 3 full, double-spaced pages in length.
    • Samples must have page numbers.
    • Maximum 4 total samples if requesting waivers for 101 and 102. No more than 3 total samples per individual waiver request.
    • Maximum total writing sample page count (doesn’t include Rhetorical Reflections): 20-25 pages (if requesting both 101 and 102).
    • Expository, academic writing samples only. We do not accept fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or lab reports. If you have questions about what you can submit, please contact us or set up an advising appointment.
  3. Compose a Rhetorical Reflection Essay for each writing sample, using the Rhetorical Reflection guidelines (available upon request). These reflections will be a critical part of your portfolio and will provide the readers with important context and background information about your writing samples. These reflections must:
    • Identify the course and institution for which the piece of writing was produced.
    • Explain the prompt/assignment for which you wrote the writing sample. Be sure to include any specific information the readers might need regarding the disciplinary and genre conventions of the writing (i.e., are there features of research papers in the field of architecture that the readers should know about?).
    • Provide information regarding the writing and revision process for the piece.
    • Explain how the writing sample demonstrates the outcomes of English 101 and/or English 102. This is essentially an explanation of why you have chosen to include this piece of writing in your appeal for a waiver of English 101 and/or 102.
  4. Submit your portfolio to the Writing Program, located in Modern Languages 451, or as a single PDF file to (preferred method). Make sure to include the following documents:
    • Portfolio cover sheet
    • Writing samples
    • Rhetorical reflection for each writing sample

Transfer Portfolio FAQs

      If you are interested in waiving your Undergraduate General Education and Foundations Writing Requirement you must:

      1. Contact a Transfer and Placement Coordinator to determine eligibility.
      2. Obtain the required paperwork for submissions (cover sheet and rhetorical reflection guidelines).
      3. Submit the Transfer Portfolio to the Writing Program in Modern Languages 464 or via email at (preferred method)


      Portfolios will be assessed by the Transfer and Placement Assistants and Coordinator, and approved by the Writing Program Director once per semester at a collaborative rating session. All decisions are final.

      You will receive decisions via email within two weeks of the collaborative grading session.

      The University of Arizona’s composition sequence emphasizes analysis, argument, research, and critical responses to texts. The portfolio you present should demonstrate your strengths in these areas. 

      We will accept professional writing samples that generally meet these objectives. We do not, however, accept fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or lab report writing samples. 

      No. If the writing you completed at your previous university no longer exists or does not represent your current abilities, we recommend that you include more current writing samples in your portfolio.

      You may also draft new essays if you do not have access to your past writing or if you feel that the writing you have does not reflect the course goals.

      No. We recognize that writing occurs in all disciplines. Therefore, the writing samples you submit may be from other disciplines. However, you will want to be sure that you select and submit samples that demonstrate the learning outcomes for the courses you are requesting to waive.

      We cannot determine whether your transfer portfolio will be accepted based on previous pass/no pass statistics. Our evaluation of your portfolio is based on whether the writing samples you submit demonstrate the skills and abilities emphasized in English 101 and/or English 102.

      We evaluate portfolios based on your ability to understand and communicate the rheotrical situation in which a piece of writing was produced, as well as awareness of and facility with the genre conventions  Therefore, the “right” writing samples are the ones which best highlight these strengths.

      Ultimately, you need to determine which samples best represent your writing ability in relation to the goals of English 101 and/or English 102 (listed below).

      Yes. We consider the rhetorical reflections in our determination of the waiver. Think of these reflections as one more sample of writing where you can demonstrate your rhetorical awareness of your own writing and of the expectations of The University of Arizona’s Undergraduate General Education and Foundation Composition Requirement. Each rhetorical reflection should be no longer than one, single-spaced page.

      ENGL 101 and 102 Course Outcomes

      ENGL 101 Course Description

      English 101/107 familiarizes students with the social and situated nature of writing--that is, with the ways in which writing is tied to purpose, audience/community, and topic/content. As such, there is a heavy emphasis on community, genre, and rhetorical situation. Through informal and formal writing, students will write in several genres, analyzing how purpose, audience, and context shape research, strategies for organization, and language usage, components that will be developed further in the second semester class. In addition, the course introduces practices of research inquiry in writing. Reflection on students’ writing is also formally built into the entire course, culminating in a final portfolio.

      Course Goals & Objectives

      Students in this course will:

      • Identify the purposes of, intended audiences for, and arguments in a text, as situated within particular cultural, economic, and political contexts.
      • Analyze how genres shape reading and composing practices.
      • Incorporate evidence, such as through summaries, paraphrases, quotations, and visuals.
      • Support ideas or positions with compelling discussion of evidence from multiple sources.
      • Produce multiple revisions on global and local levels.
      • Suggest useful global and local revisions to other writers.
      • Evaluate and act on peer and instructor feedback to revise their texts.
      • Reflect on their progress as academic writers.
      • Follow appropriate conventions for grammar, punctuation, and spelling, through practice in composing and revising.
      • Apply citation conventions systematically in their own work.

      ENGL 102 Course Description

      English 102/108 emphasizes rhetoric and research across contexts. Through reading and discussion of content, students engage in rhetorical analysis, research, persuasion, reflection, and revision. It is designed to help students recognize and learn to write for a variety of rhetorical situations, including different audiences, purposes, contexts, and genres. Students will conduct research inquiries, find and evaluate sources, and make critically aware decisions about how best to achieve their purposes. Further, it helps students become aware of their own writing processes and adjust them to whatever demands a particular writing situation places on them.  

      Course Goals & Objectives

      Students in this course will:

      • Analyze the ways a text’s purposes, audiences, and contexts influence rhetorical options.
      • Respond to a variety of writing contexts calling for purposeful shifts in structure, medium, design, level of formality, tone, and/or voice.
      • Employ a variety of research methods, including primary and/or secondary research, for purposes of inquiry.
      • Evaluate the quality, appropriateness, and credibility of sources.
      • Synthesize research findings in development of an argument.
      • Compose persuasive researched arguments for various audiences and purposes, and in multiple modalities.
      • Adapt composing and revision processes for a variety of technologies and modalities.
      • Identify the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes.
      • Reflect on their progress as academic writers.
      • Reflect on why genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone, and mechanics vary.
      • Identify and effectively use variations in genre conventions, including formats and/or design features.
      • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of intellectual property (such as fair use and copyright) that motivate documentation conventions.