Muir College Writing Program

Program Policies

Enrollment Policies

First-pass enrollment priority will be given to incoming freshman students during their first six quarters at UC San Diego.  Incoming transfer students will have 3 quarter of enrollment priority for each required course*.  All other Muir students will be eligible to enroll during the second-pass enrollment period.

MCWP classes often have long waitlists. Therefore, we ask that you adhere to the following enrollment policies: Students on the waitlist MUST ATTEND ALL CLASS MEETINGS in Muir Writing in order to be eligible to add the class. Enrolled students who miss the first two class sessions (first class session in summer session) will be required to drop. Responsibility for dropping the class from the Registrar’s records belongs solely to the student.

*Example 1: a transfer student with a completed IGETC has 3 quarters to complete MCWP 125.  Example 2: a transfer student without IGETC has 6 quarters to complete MCWP 40 and 50. Transfer students from 4-year institutions who believe they have completed a course equivalent to MCWP 40 and/or 50 should ask for more information via the Virtual Advising Center.

Attendance / Waitlist Policy

Attendance to Muir Writing class meetings is mandatory. No more than two absences are allowed during the quarter (absences include conferences that you schedule and do not attend). If you miss three or more classes, you will be asked to drop the course or receive an F. In Summer Session, no more than one absence is allowed.

If you are not enrolled in MCWP courses when classes start, you must attend every class meeting in order to be eligible to join the class if a seat opens up.

Administrative Policies

Office Hours: The Muir Writing office is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. and Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. We will be ready to assist you during these office hours.

Grades: In Spring 1984, the Muir faculty voted that MCWP 40, 50, and 125 were to be taken for a letter grade only. It is the student's responsibility to request a letter grade when registering for the course. You can make arrangements with your instructor to mail your final grade to you in a self-addressed stamped envelope if you do not wish to wait until grades are posted on StudentLink. The office staff does not hand out grades—only your instructor.  Grades cannot be emailed.

Papers: For safety's sake, you are responsible for retaining a printed copy of every paper you submit. If a paper somehow gets misplaced, you will be responsible for replacing it. The department cannot assume responsibility for papers submitted in the dropbox or in a TA mailbox.

Academic Integrity: As part of the academic community at UC San Diego, students must abide by the university’s policies on academic integrity. Therefore, students must do their own work, including the translation of work written in a language other than English. The writing program uses the services of, an anti-plagiarism database that compares student papers to websites, student papers, journal essays, and the like in an effort to detect instances of plagiarism. Students agree that, by taking a MCWP course, all required papers will be subject to submission for textual similarity review by for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the service is subject to the terms of use agreement posted on the site.

Student Portfolios and Final Paper Evaluation: If you wish to see your final paper evaluation, please make arrangements with your instructor.  Final papers and portfolios are not returned at the end of the quarter but are retained at the writing program office for one academic year. If you would like your student portfolio, please add your name to the sign up list at the Muir Writing office. Your portfolio will be available for pick up during weeks 8 and 9, one year from when the course was taken.  For example, if you took MCWP 50 in Winter 2013, you could make a request by coming in the office in Week 6 of Winter 2014, and pick up your portfolio during weeks 8 and 9 of Winter 2014.  Any portfolios not requested will be disposed of during Finals Week one year after the quarter of instruction.

Protesting a Grade: If you wish to protest a grade, please do the following: First, attempt to resolve the issue with your TA. If you still feel that the TA has misjudged the quality of your work, the second step is to write a letter to the Assistant Director that states your case. This letter should present evidence supporting your contention that the grade be changed. Such evidence should include specific discussion of your writing, including matters of thesis, focus and development, organization, and grammar. The letter itself should reflect your understanding of argumentation and analysis as they are taught in the Muir Writing Program. The Assistant Director will then review the contents of your folder in light of your request. The Muir Writing administrators reserve the right to lower your grade if they feel the TA has graded too generously.

Updating Contact Information: If your address, phone number, or e-mail changes during the quarter, please notify your instructor.

Word Processing Account: As a UC San Diego student, you are eligible for a free word processing account using the University’s computers. Please go to the Office of Academic Computing Services (located in APM 2113) for an application form.

E-mail: All incoming students are given a UC San Diego e-mail account; this account is considered an official means of communication between the university and students. This is the email account your TA and the writing program will use to give you important information. Students are responsible for checking their e-mail on a regular—preferably, daily—basis.

Course Petition Procedure

The Muir College Writing Program will consider petitions of cousework from other 4-year institutions for MCWP 40 or 50. Students with an IGETC have already had their coursework accounted for in the IGETC and will need to take MCWP 125 to complete the writing requirement. Students with IGETC-equivalent coursework from a California Community College may submit an online peititon for MCWP 40 here: Students with out-of-state coursework from a non 4-year institution (e.g. junior college in another state) must take MCWP 40 and 50 to complete the Muir College writing requirement.

If you are submitting an undergraduate student petition, the following materials should be submitted:

  • Syllabus from the course proposed as a substitute for MCWP 40 or 50
  • Prompts of all graded writing assignments
  • Final drafts of all graded papers from the course under consideration
  • Course descriptions from the appropriate department, general catalog, and other college publications
  • A completed Petition Checklist, available from the MCWP Office. All materials and information required by the checklist must be provided.

Please be advised that the Student Petition will not be reviewed until the above materials are submitted to the MCWP office and that appointments will not be made to discuss petitions. If your petition is "Disapproved", there is no appeal. You must enroll in and complete the required course. The average review time for the undergraduate student petition is 4-6 weeks. 

Students With Disabilities

Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) which is located in University Center 202 behind Center Hall.  Students are required to present their AFA letters to Faculty (please make arrangements to contact the MCWP director privately) and to the OSD Liaison (MCWP Program Representative) in advance so that accommodations may be arranged.

Contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at (858) 534-4382 or for further information.


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