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Muir College Writing Program

Program Policies

Enrollment / Attendance / Waitlist 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.

*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 in 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 exceed 2 absences, you will be asked to drop the course or receive an F. Responsibility for dropping the class from the Registrar’s records belongs solely to the student. In Summer Session, no more than one absence is allowed.

If you are late or leave early by more than 5 minutes, it will count as half an absence. Once class begins, you are expected to stay through the class. Class participation, including being prepared to discuss the assigned texts, is crucial to this course. If you do not prepare or participate in class, you will be counted as absent.

MCWP classes often have long waitlists and we do not increase the class size. 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 more than two class sessions (first class session in summer session) will be required to drop.

All waitlisted students will be emailed instructions with waitlist procedures during the first two weeks of the quarter.

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. If you need to meet with a particular person, email for assistance in setting up a meeting time.

Grades: MCWP courses must be taken for a letter grade. 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 9 and 10, one year from when the course was taken.  For example, if you took MCWP 50 in Winter 2019, you could make a request by coming in the office in Week 6 of Winter 2020, and pick up your portfolio during weeks 9 and 10 of Winter 2020.  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.

Computer Account: As a UC San Diego student, you have access to the Google apps suite and you can set up an account to print on university printers. Check for information about Student tech services

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

If you took IGETC-equivalent coursework from a California Community College you may submit an online petition for MCWP 40 here: AP credit does not apply; it must be two courses from a California Community College

If you took composition coursework at another 4-year institution, send a question to the Virtual Advising Center (choose "Muir Writing" as the reason for your question). Include a brief description of the course you took (institution name, course name, and learning objectives) so we can start the process.

Please be advised that the Student Petition will not be reviewed until the above materials are submitted to the MCWP office. 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. 

If you took English Composition coursework from a non 4-year institution (e.g. junior college in another state), you must take MCWP 40 and 50 to complete the Muir College writing requirement.


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 their instructor (please make arrangements to converse with your instructor 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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