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What is Directed Self Placement (DSP)?

Welcome/What is DSP (Directed Self Placement)

The University Writing Program welcomes you to Rochester Institute of Technology! The faculty of the UWP strongly support the idea of student agency. That is, we believe that students should make decisions about the coursework that best suits their writing goals. This will also help to prepare them for the many decisions they will face as they navigate the academy, the workplace, and the world. If you are beginning your first year here at RIT, you have a choice to make today about which writing course you would like to enroll in.

This, the Directed Self Placement (DSP), is a placement process that provides you with information about curricular options and asks each student to self-select into one of two RIT first-year writing courses, depending on what you feel your needs are.

Placement Process

Fortunately, the choice isn’t a complicated one.  Our Directed Self-Placement process is fairly straightforward.


As you can see, if you have AP or Transfer credit, you have already filled the FYW requirement.  If you have AP or Transfer credit, and are sitting in a 150 FYW course, you should contact your advisor. If you did not have AP or transfer credit, you were placed automatically into UWRT 150.  If you feel you are not prepared for 150, you have options.

One option is you can take UWRT 100 (which counts for 3 credits of Gen Ed). Both 100 and 150 emphasize academic literacy – reading, writing, critical thinking, theory and analysis. Both are rich in resources designed to assist you as you begin your academic writing career. Each choice leads to filling the FYW requirement.  UWRT 100 exists in order to help you succeed in 150 if you feel you need more preparation for college writing (NOTE: students who take UWRT 100 will need to later take 150 in order to fill the requirement).

In order to make an informed decision, you first need to read through the materials for 100 and 150 to see which course best fits your needs. You will find course descriptions, assignments and sample readings here.

After reviewing these materials, you’ll need to take a self-assessment survey. A series of questions asks you to reflect further on your current reading, writing, and academic literacy knowledge and practices to assess where you are right now, in terms of academic work. At the end of the survey, you will be asked to reflect on your answers, as you reflected on the course materials, and then you can elect to a) stay in 150 or b) switch to 100 or c) consult with the UWP to design a support system that will work for you.

Choose Your Writing Course

On the first day of class you will:

Learn about UWRT 100 and UWRT 150.  You will read through sample syllabi, assignments, and readings. If, after reading these materials, you feel you’d like to enroll in UWRT 100, contact us for direction and to find out more about your options.

You will then be asked to take the Writing Self Assessment Survey <link> to reflect on your writing and what type of writing resources you might need.

If you feel you would like to take UWRT 100, you can click the button at the end of the survey.  This will relay your choice to the UWP.  We will follow up with you and guide you through your options.

Self Placement Survey

Questions and Consultation