The Requirement

The Harvard College Writing Program administers the first-year expository writing course, Expos 20. Since 1872, a course that meets the College's expository writing requirement has been the one academic experience required of every Harvard student.

The Writing Exam, which is administered to all incoming students, allows the Writing Program to advise students about whether they should enroll directly in Expos 20 or whether they would be better served by first taking the elective Expos Studio 10, which provides additional instruction to help students transition to college writing. Students recommended for Expos 20 take the course either in fall or spring term in their first year. Students who chose to take Expos Studio 10, complete the course in the fall term, then complete the requirement by enrolling in either Expos 20 or Expos Studio 20 in the spring term of their first year.


Students are also eligible to meet the writing requirement by taking the two-semester sequence Humanities 10a and 10b. For more information on that course, please see the Humanities 10a/b website.