Enrolling in the Merrill Core Course

All first-year students at UC Santa Cruz will be required to take an introductory Core Course with their college. The Core Course is designed to help students learn how to become effective participants in university discourse.

Your College Course requirements will be completed in your first quarter of enrollment.

Placement in the Core Course

You will enroll in a specific Core Class based on your satisfaction of two writing-related UC Santa Cruz requirements: the ELWR, or Entry-Level Writing Requirement, and/or the C1 (Composition 1 requirement). Satisfaction of these requirements will depend on what you have completed.

How to use this chart:

Based on the tests and scores listed on the left, select the class type that best applies to you. You will be enrolling in one of the classes within that range. International students will be assisted with enrolling in the correct core course sections during fall welcome week. Refer to the Multilingual Curriculum requirements for international students to determine what writing course is appropriate to enroll in based on your writing placement scores.

If more than one of these scores/characteristics applies to you, select the highest range that applies. For example, if you qualify for both 80A and 80B, you should enroll in an 80B class.

If you need to take the Writing Placement Exam during Fall Welcome Week, you will not be able to enroll in your Core Course until that time. Don't worry, spaces are reserved for all students.

If you have completed...

With a score of...

You will enroll in...

Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) 10 or higher Core 80B sections 1-10
8 or 9 Core 80A sections 16 or higher
7 or below

Core 80A sections 1-06

SAT College Board Reasoning Test, Writing section (IF TAKEN PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 2016)*

680 or higher Core 80A sections 16 or higher
AP English 4 or 5 Core 80B sections 1-04
3 Core 80A sections 16 or higher
IBH Higher Level English A Exam 5, 6 or 7 Core 80B sections 1-04
A UC transferable composition course
at a community or other college
C grade or higher Core 80B sections 1-04
ACT combined English/Writing Test 30 or higher Core 80A sections 16 or higher
None of the above and did not take
the AWPE
- Take the AWPE during Fall Welcome Week to determine placement
*The new SAT (February 2016 and after) has not been approved to satisfy the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement.

Multilingual Curriculum

The MLC is required of all international students (identified by F-1 visa status) who earn a composite score of 5 or lower on the Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE). Students who earn composite AWPE scores lower than 6 will be enrolled in Merrill 80F (a 2-unit course) as well as concurrently placed into the MLC as follows:

AWPE Placement Score

Writing Course to Enroll in

5 WRIT 27 (passing score satisfies ELWR)
4 WRIT 26
3 WRIT 25
2 WRIT 25

Students will proceed sequentially through the curriculum, but their starting point depends on their initial placement. Thus, students placed into WRIT 25 in the fall will move to WRIT 26 in the winter, WRIT 27 in the Spring. By comparison, those placed into WRIT 26 in the fall (for instance) would proceed to WRIT 27 in the Winter and, upon passing the class, exit the MLC having satisfied ELWR.

Merrill Core Course 80F

“Communicating Cultural Consciousness” (Merrill 80F) is a 2-unit course that satisfies the Merrill College Core requirement for international students concurrently enrolled in the multilingual curriculum (Writing 25-27). Merrill 80F shares the Merrill College ethos with Merrill 80A/B (“Cultural Identities and Global Consciousness”). It uses some of the same course texts, expects the same familiarity with academic vocabulary, and requires you to produce works for Core Night, Merrill’s end-of-quarter art and performance festival. In contrast to 80A/B, which concentrates on academic writing, Merrill 80F focuses on developing effective academic reading skills (accurate summary, drawing supportable inferences) and on understanding and employing practices for collaborating effectively with others. It will also help you understand and participate in U.S.-style university classes. All Merrill Core classes (80A/B/F) focus on examining cultural identity within the context of larger global forces.