All students intending to earn a degree from UNLV must satisfy the composition requirement of ENG 101 and ENG 102. ENG 101 and ENG 102 (or ENG 113 and ENG 114 for international students) are prerequisites for all English courses except creative writing courses.

English Composition should be completed during the freshman year, but no later than the end of the sophomore year. This requirement is based on the belief that the ability to read difficult texts, to analyze those texts, and to respond in well-written essays is essential for success in college. The principles of good research also contribute to this success. English 101 and 102 are designed to provide the basics of these skills, which will continue to develop throughout the student's undergraduate career.


The UNLV Composition Program office is located in the Beverly Rogers Literature and Law Building (RLL), Room 264. Please call 702-895-3799 for more information.

English Composition Course Placement

Initial placement in English Composition courses is determined by the student's test scores as follows:

ACT English Score Old SAT Critical Reading Score New SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score Placement
1‒17 200‒490 200‒470 ENG 101E Composition I Extended
18‒29 500‒670 480‒650 ENG 101 Composition I
30‒36 680‒800 660‒800 ENG 102 Composition II

Students who score sufficiently well on the ACT or SAT to waive ENG 101 need to take only ENG 102.

ACT Residual Test Option

Students who have not taken the ACT or the SAT, or who wish to try to improve their score, can take the ACT English Residual Exam on scheduled dates each semester for placement in UNLV English Composition courses. The exam is available through UNLV Educational Outreach.

Additional Assessment Options

Students may also be placed using any of the following means of alternative credit:

  • Advanced Placement: Students may use scores from the Composition/Literature test or the Language/Composition test for placements. Students with AP scores of 3-5 place into ENG 102.
  • Placement Portfolios: Students who feel that standardized test scores do not accurately reflect their writing ability may demonstrate their preparation for ENG 101 by submitting a portfolio.
  • A cover letter that identifies the class in which each portfolio essay was originally written, the assignment that was given, and the skills that each essay demonstrates.
  • Two revised essays of at least 500 words each that are clearly focused around a central idea, developed with specific supporting details, organized to provide a logical flow of ideas, and edited to observe the conventions of standard written English.
  • A timed essay that responds to one of two short contemporary articles provided the day of the test.
  • A $20 fee is charged to cover the cost of proctors for the timed writing and readers who evaluate the portfolios. See the registration form for more information. Results are sent by Rebelmail within a week after portfolio is submitted.
  • First Day Diagnostics: Students will complete a diagnostic essay the first day of class in both ENG 101 and ENG 101E. Students whose writing demonstrates weaknesses in basic language skills will be advised to switch to a class offered by the English Language Center or sign up for workshops and tutoring offered by the Writing Center.
  • Testing for Non-native Speakers: The English Language Center provides testing for non-native speakers to determine their placement into ENG 113 or 113E, equivalent courses to ENG 101 and 101E. Call 702-895-4311 for more information.