Writing happens in classrooms all over campus, inside and outside your major, and at introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels. In the UWP, we begin by asking students to look anew at the idea of writing (in Reintroduction to Writing); from there our course offerings branch out in various directions. All UWP classes are small and rely on active student engagement. Whether through the UWP or in a major, writing-intensive courses share common features. Learn more about writing requirements at Academic Advising’s Student Roadmap, or about the University Writing Program’s learning goals.

All writing-intensive courses in the Krieger School include*:

  • Multiple substantial writing projects, ranging from traditional papers to a wide variety of other forms, distributed throughout the semester 
  • A mix of high and low stakes writing, meaning that students have the chance write in informal, low-pressure – even ungraded – contexts, as well as producing larger, more formal assignments 
  • Direct engagement with writing in the classroom, including class discussions, workshop, faculty/TA lectures, and class materials (for instance, strong and weak examples of the assigned genre) 
  • Expectations that are conveyed clearly through assignment descriptions, including the genre and audience of the assigned writing, and evaluative criteria 
  • Feedback to students on their writing, in written and/or verbal form, from faculty, teaching assistants, and/or peers 
  • At least one opportunity to revise

*In 2024-2025, the language of “writing-intensive” will be replaced by the language of “Foundational Abilities.” The writing-intensive designation will convert into the Foundational Ability #1 tag (Writing and Communication).

Types of Courses

Reintroduction to Writing

JHU’s first-year writing course steps beyond the writing skills necessary to get to college: our shared project is to help you learn how to write for the rest of your life. We approach writing as an adaptable process of inquiry and action, as deeply informed by reading, and as reflective, embodied, and always emerging practice. In this course, we will rethink writing in ways that will help you throughout college, your professional career, personal life, and civic responsibilities in a democracy. Toward that end, this course teaches you to become an agile, curious, creative, and resilient writer. You will read and write academic texts; rhetorically analyze a wide variety of sources, including for the conventions of diverse genres; and write across genres, developing skill and precision in your writing, as well as fluency across contexts, audiences, and media. 

This course is intended for first-year students, though it is available to others by special permission.  

Learning Outcomes for Reintroduction to Writing


  • Identify and employ iterative writing processes to generate ideas and draft texts, to review and revise their own and other’s texts, and to adopt new ideas, organizational strategies, and language choices  

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing   

  • Integrate critical thinking strategies into their reading, writing, and speaking through work with summary, interpretation, synthesis, response, argument, source evaluation, citation, and more 

Rhetoric and Genre 

  • Analyze, choose, and apply rhetorical strategies and genre conventions to inform or persuade specific audiences  

Linguistic Diversity & Complexity

  • Critically reflect on relationships among language, standardization, power, and justice; explore how languages and their varieties inform writing, speaking, and interpretative choices.

Upper-level writing courses

All students at the sophomore level and above are welcome in our upper-level classes. These courses focus on different approaches to writing: genre, methodology (particularly research and academic writing), place-based writing, special topics, and community engagement. We invite you to browse our undergraduate course offerings, especially in the fall semesters.

Course number: Focus

  • 211, 311, 611  On Genres: Title
  • 221, 321, 621  Writing Methods: Title
  • 231, 331, 631  Place-Based Writing: Title
  • 241, 341, 641  Special Topics in Writing: Title
  • 251, 351, 651  Community-Engaged Writing: Title

Writing in the Majors

Writing is an integral part of every scholarly discipline and is a tool for thinking and learning new material. Students should check their department’s course listings for writing-intensive courses in their majors. Faculty, following the above criteria for developing W/Foundational Ability #1 classes, can find resources in the Teaching Writing Toolkit.

Transferring Writing-Intensive or Writing & Communication (FA #1) Credit

If you have taken courses at other institutions and had them accepted for transfer credit, you can request that up to 6 credits to be considered for W/FA1 credit. To have answers to your request before registration for fall courses, please fill out the form by February 15; for spring courses, by September 30.