International Students & Foundations Writing

Weldome new UA international students! This page will guide you through selecting and registering for your Foundations Writing Courses. 

Complete the Writing Placement Questionnaire

The Writing Placement Questionnaire gathers information from you that will help our Writing Program Placement advisers determine the best first-year composition course for you. We consider many things when determining placement, including:

  • Your language test scores, if applicable (TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Your educational background (where you completed high school, the language of instruction)
  • Your language background
  • Your writing and reading habits and experiences
  • A writing sample

Summer and Fall 2019 admits: The WPQ will be available on May 1st, 2019.

In order to ensure you will have a Foundations Writing course on your fall schedule, you should complete the Writing Placement Questionnaire before August 1. If you do not complete the WPQ before August 1, you will receive a "default" placement of ENGL 106.

If you receive a default ENGL 106 placement:

  • But at orientation you report transfer credit that satisfies Foundations Writing requirements, you do not need to register for this course.
  • If you are not a transfer student with previous writing courses, you must register for ENGL 106. In the first week of the course, instructors will administer a "Diagnostic Writing Task" to determine whether you need to be in this course. Be aware that there may not be seats available in this course if you delay taking the Writing Placement Questionnaire. If you cannot register for ENGL 106 in your first semester, this may significantly delay your time to degree.


Frequently Asked Questions


What are the Foundations Writing Courses?

The UA Writing Program offers several writing courses that can fulfill the University General Education Foundation Requirement for Composition (a requirement for graduation). Depending on your background, you will take one of the following sequences:

3-Semester Sequence (9 credits - multilingual students)

  • Semester 1 - ENGL 106*
  • Semester 2 - ENGL 101 or 107*
  • Semester 3 - ENGL 102 or 108*

This sequence is intended to further develop multilingual students' academic literacy. ENGL 106 focuses on investigating the language choices that writers make in formal and informal contexts, and exploring dominant versus non-dominant varieties of English. ENGL 101 or 107 may be taken after ENGL 106.

2-Semester Sequence (6-7 credits)

  • Semester 1 - ENGL 101A, 101, or 107*
  • Semester 2 - ENGL 102 or 108*

These two courses guide students through rhetorical analysis and academic research, two practices which are critical to the successful completion of an undergraduate degree.

ENGL 101A and ENGL 101 target the same Student Learning Outcomes. ENGL 101A includes a one-hour-per-week workshop in addition to the three-hour-per-week lecture class, making it a 4-credit class.

1-Semester Sequence (3 credits)

  • Semester 1 - ENGL 109H

This accelerated course is designed to prepare students to integrate critical reading, thinking, and writing tasks in one semester. You will engage in a wide range of intellectual, aesthetic, and rhetorical inquiries.

*ENGL 106, 107, and 108 are primarily for international students for whom English is an additional language

Are ENGL 107 and 108 different from 101 and 102?

ENGL 107 and 108 use the same textbooks and share the same student learning outcomes as ENGL 101 and 102. However, ENGL 107 and 108 are intended for students who may be English Language Learners, or who use English as an additional language (not their first). These courses are taught by instructors with backgrounds in second-language writing instruction. If you prefer to take one of these courses, please email the Transfer and Placement Coordinator at

Can I get credit for a test score (AP, IB, CLEP)?

The following English Exams are eligible for Foundations Writing credit:

  • AP English Language and Literature (4 or higher)
  • AP English Language and Composition (4 or higher)
  • IB English Literature (HL) (5 or higher)
  • Cambridge English (E or better)
  • College Composition CLEP exam (50 or higher)

If your scores meet the above criteria, you have options of taking either ENGL 102 or ENGL 109H to complete the Foundations Writing Requirement.

You can report your test scores when you complete the Writing Placement Questionnaire.

I took a writing course at another institution. Will it count for a UA writing class?

We accept many first-year writing courses taken at institutions across the United States. You can report this coursework in the Writing Placement Questionnaire, and a Placement Adviser will follow up via email if we need more information from you.

I was admitted prior to Summer 2018. How can I take the writing placement?

If you are an International Student who was admitted prior to Summer 2018, and you do not have a writing placement and need to take a composition course, please email

I have been taking classes at CESL (Center for English as a Second Language). Do I have to take the Writing Placement Questionnaire?

Yes. All newly-admitted students must take the Writing Placement Questionnaire, even students from the Center for English as a Second Language. Your language skills may have improved and changed through this program, and the questionnaire will help us determine the best placement for you.

I am a visiting student. Do I have to take first-year composition before taking upper-division English classes?

No. Your adviser can help you register for other English classes without having to satisfy the General Education Foundation requirement for composition.

Where can I get help?

If you have a documented disability that prevents you from completing this online process, please contact the Disability Resource Center, 520-621-3268 or

If you have questions about placement or first-year composition at the University of Arizona, please email


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