Core Curriculum

Core Requirements Prior to 2011

USM Core Requirements prior to fall 2011

For a full description of requirements in effect prior to Fall 2011, visit USM’s Catalog at

Pre-fall 2011 Core Course List

Pre-fall 2011 Core Advising Check List

Pre-fall 2011 Core Course Criteria

Information on USM’s pre-2011 Writing Intensive Requirement

All students with catalog year 2000-2001 through 2010-2011 must successfully complete at least one Writing-intensive (W designated) course. 

The Writing Intensive requirement is designed to help students achieve excellence in writing.  Writing Intensive courses are distinct from English Composition.

Students may find courses which satisfy USM’s Writing Intensive requirement by consulting the catalog associated with their matriculation year  or by searching for courses in the general education drop down menu in Maine Street Course Search.

Transfer and Waiver Policy

Effective for students matriculating as of Fall 2004, courses accepted in transfer as "Introduction to Literature" and "Topics in Literature" will fulfill the Core humanities-literature (H) requirement, but not the W (writing-intensive) requirement.  These courses will be designated ENG 12X H and ENG 15X H on the transcript and for degree-audit purposes. 

Students who believe they have taken a course at another institution which meets USM's writing-intensive (W) requirement are encouraged to apply for a waiver.  Applications for waiver should be addressed to Susan McWilliams, Assistant Provost of Undergraduate Programs at the address below.

In the application a student must identify how the course meets the objectives of USM’s writing-intensive courses (listed below) and provide appropriate documentation.  Applications for waiver are reviewed as received. 

At USM, writing-intensive courses have English Composition as a prerequisite (and are thus distinct from the English Composition course) and are designed to do the following:

  1. the course takes improvement in student writing as one of its central goals and communicates this focus to students in the syllabus
  2. the course is conspicuously writing-intensive and normally includes a variety of different types of writing, used for a variety of different purposes
  3. writing is a frequent mode of interaction among students as well as between students and faculty
  4. course curriculum includes explicit discussion of writing issues and acquaints students with writing-related resources
  5. course promotes revision of written work.             

Waiver process:

If a student believes he or she has transferred a course which meets the writing intensive criteria above, a waiver may be submitted. Applications for waiver must contain an explanation of how the course in question meets the criteria above and provide supporting documentation (including, if available, course syllabus, course writing assignments, samples of student’s written work from the course) to the Assistant Provost at the address below.  The Assistant Provost will review applications as received and approve or deny the waiver. If approved, a notation of the waiver is made in the student’s academic and advising records.

Applications for Waiver should be addressed to:

Susan McWilliams

Assistant Provost of Undergraduate Programs and Core Curriculum100 Payson Smith Hall Portland, ME 04104-9300