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What is the University Writing Portfolio?

The University Writing Portfolio is a mid-career diagnostic to determine if students’ writing abilities have advanced in ways that can handle the writing demands of upper-division courses and courses in their major.

At WSU, successful completion of the University Writing Portfolio is a requirement for graduation for all undergraduate students, including transfer students with an AA or AS degree.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Failure to submit both components for the University Writing Portfolio at least one semester before you plan to graduate from WSU could result in delaying your graduation for one term.

What are the components of the University Writing Portfolio?

Timed Write

The University Writing Portfolio Timed Write consists of composing two essays in two hours under the supervision of an acceptable proctor. The Timed Write can be taken online, or as a paper-based exam with an on-site proctor. The choice is yours.

Process for Virtual Proctor

IMPORTANT NOTE: The process of signing up for an online, virtually proctored Timed Write will take 24 hours to complete

Step 1: Visit University Writing Portfolio Timed Write on the Global Campus Proctoring Services website.

Step 2: Select Virtual Option then select the link to register for the University Writing Portfolio Timed Write. You’ll be required to log in using your network ID and Password.

Step 3: Wait 24 hours.

Step 4: Log in to Blackboard Learn and select the course called Writing Program.

Step 5: Follow Instructions for Preparing for your Proctoring Session to take your University Writing Portfolio Timed Write.

Process for On-Site Proctor

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must have an approved proctor and time scheduled at least 10 business days before you plan to take the exam to allow time for a paper exam to be sent.

Step 1: Visit the Locate an On-Site Proctor page on the Global Campus Proctoring Services website and follow steps 1-3. Do not follow step 4.  

Step 2: Review the Student Responsibilities for On-Site Proctoring and make sure you are aware of your responsibilities

Step 3: Complete and submit the Timed Writing Exam On-Site Proctor Request Form at least two weeks prior to your proposed exam date. GCPS cannot guarantee delivery of exam materials for requests made within five business days of the proposed exam date.

Note: Please work directly with your proctor to schedule a time to complete the exam. 

Portfolio Packet

Instructions for Submitting the Portfolio Packet with Three Writing Samples

Step 1: Collect three writing samples from three different college-level courses. Choose three pieces of your best writing, which could include: lab reports, case studies, group projects, traditional essays, etc. The papers must be the original work. Transfer students may submit writing from courses at the institution(s) from which they transferred.

Step 2: You will need to email the paper as an attachment to the instructor. Ask the instructor to verify that the paper is your work and that it deserves a rating of “Acceptable” or “Exceptional.” Print the instructor’s email response as well as the papers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If an instructor doesn’t respond to your email, or you do not have contact information for an instructor you had in the past, please email and the Global Campus Writing Portfolio Coordinator can assist you with options.

Step 3: Fill out the Submission Cover Sheet (pdf). You will need one submission cover sheet for each of your three writing samples. In the section that asks for the instructor’s signature, write “see attached email.” Attach together the Submission Cover Sheet, instructor email, and paper you are submitting. Your complete package should have three sets of papers with attached cover sheets and instructor emails.   

Step 4: Print and complete the Portfolio Packet Envelope Cover Sheet (pdf) and tape it to the outside of a 10″ x 13″ envelope. Insert your three sets of writing sample documents into the envelope. 

Step 5: Put the 10″ x 13″ envelope with the attached Portfolio Packet Envelope Cover Sheet into a larger mailing envelope and send it to the WSU Global Campus:

Washington State University
Global Campus
Van Doren Hall Rm. 104
Pullman, WA 99164-5220

When do I have to complete the University Writing Portfolio?


All students are required to complete at least one of the two parts the semester after earning or transferring 60 credits at WSU. The other half needs to be completed the following semester. Transfer students are held to the same requirement.

Ideally, you should complete the University Writing Portfolio before enrolling in any Writing in the Major [M] courses.

Registration Hold

If you have completed 60 semester credits and you have not completed one of the two University Writing Portfolio requirements, a Writing Portfolio hold is placed that will block your ability to register. You must complete one of the two components as outlined above to have your hold removed.

You will be expected to finish the second requirement before priority registration the following semester or another hold will be placed on your account. To remove the second hold you must complete the University Writing Portfolio in its entirety.

We will allow an extension on the Portfolio Packet but prior approval is needed. To request an extension on the Portfolio Packet or to have a hold lifted, please contact the Global Campus Writing Portfolio coordinator at or 800-222-4978.

What is the cost of the University Writing Portfolio?


Students will be assessed $50.00 from the WSU Writing Program for the costs associated with administering the University Writing Portfolio.

Students choosing to take the Timed Write online must pay a proctoring fee of $20, which includes tax, at the time they take their exam. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, Diners Club, and even Bitcoin. Note: For the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, all WSU students with virtual proctored exams will not be required to pay a fee when taking their exam.

How do I get my University Writing Portfolio results?

Evaluation and Results

Because your University Writing Portfolio fulfills a WSU graduation requirement, it will be evaluated by a team of faculty readers from several departments across the university. The committee will give it one of three ratings:

  • Pass with Distinction: The work represents the top 10 percent of WSU junior-level writing. This achievement will be entered into your WSU transcript. Your University Writing Portfolio requirement will be fulfilled.
  • Pass: The work shows a proficiency in writing suitable for upper-division work at WSU. Your University Writing Portfolio requirement will be fulfilled.
  • Needs Work: The work shows a need for additional, structured writing assistance in upper-division course work. Additional assistance may be in the form of UNIV 302 (a one-credit tutorial taken concurrently with a Writing in the Major [M] course) or a three-credit writing course, depending upon the level of assistance needed. The Writing Assessment Office will notify you of the course needed to fulfill this requirement. All of the courses are available online. You must complete the additional course assigned to you in order to satisfy the University Writing Portfolio requirement.

If you receive a Needs Work rating, and you feel that the rating does not reflect your writing abilities, you may appeal the decision within 120 days of receiving the Needs Work rating. Review the Appeal Process (pdf).

Your University Writing Portfolio results will be sent to your myWSU account in the form of a notice. You can also access your results in myWSU by following the steps below:

  1. Go to myWSU Student Homepage.
    Screenshot: Top right, My WSU homepage.
  2. Select the magnifying glass or Search from the navigation menu.
    Screenshot: Select the magnifying glass for Search.
  3. In the search bar, type “milestones” and select Enter (or select the double arrows, or Search, depending on what device you’re using).
    Screenshot: Search milestones.
  4. The search results should pull up “View My Milestones.” Select that option.
    Screenshot: View My Milestones.
  5. After selecting “View My Milestones,” a Milestone List should pop up with your WSU Writing Portfolio results and/or status listed.
    Screenshot: Milestone List.

Who do I contact if I have questions?


For any questions related to the University Writing Portfolio, contact the Global Campus Writing Portfolio coordinator at or 800-222-4978.

Washington State University Global Campus