Program Information

First-Year Writing is the core curriculum of the university: all Engineering, Business, and Arts & Sciences students take the two-semester English 1 and English 2 sequence (students who enter with advanced placement credit for English 1 take English 11 instead of English 2). The Lehigh curriculum recognizes that mastery of language is the most fundamental skill you can have.

Significant training in writing is a long-standing Lehigh tradition, and a distinctive mark of a Lehigh degree. First-Year English focuses on writing that makes a thoughtful claim and supports that claim with examples, evidence, reasons, and even a rhetorical flourish or two. Our primary goal is to teach you skills of interpretation, analysis, and argument. The essence of the program is guided practice in writing and extensive feedback on your writing. You will probably write in some way for every homework assignment; you will have four or five major writing projects of about 1250 words each; you will revise your writing frequently; and you will develop and test your writing through periodic interaction with classmates and with faculty. The common denominator in all the courses is reading, reflecting, discussing, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing.


All Lehigh students from Engineering, Business, and Arts and Sciences must complete the two-semester English 1 and English 2 requirement, unless they receive advanced standing. Students who place out of English 1 complete the sequence by taking English 11.

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit

If you receive a 5 on one of the College Board Advanced Placement Tests in English (either in English Language and Composition or in English Literature and Composition) or score 750 or higher on the Writing part of the SAT, you receive credit for both English 1 and English 2 and complete the First-Year Writing requirement. If you are interested in further English courses in the first year, we suggest English 100 (if you are considering a major in English) or English 123 and 125 (if you want to fill distribution requirements).

If you receive a 4 on either of the advanced placement English tests or 700-749 on the Writing part of the SAT, you receive credit for English 1 and complete the requirement by taking English 11 in either the fall or spring semester.

High School AP courses do not count for advanced placement or transfer credit. College courses, even if offered at your high school, may be considered for transfer credit.


If you are an international student, you may complete the requirement by taking English as a Second Language: English 3 and English 5. International students should consult the ESL web page at

Other Writing Courses

We offer upper-level writing courses on topics such as “Fiction Writing About Adolescence” and “Introduction to Writing Fiction: Myth, Magic & Mystery” (English 144); “Murder Ink: Reading & Writing Mysteries” (English 391); and "The Environmental Imagination: Writing and the Importance of Natural Places" and “Writing Work” (English 201) for any student in the university who wants advanced practice in writing.

© IMRC CAS 2016