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Northwestern University

Advanced Expression

NOTE: Students who started taking classes at Northwestern in Spring 2023 or earlier should refer to the Writing Proficiency page. The information below pertains to students who start at Northwestern after Spring 2023.


About the advanced expression requirement

Fulfillment of the Advanced Expression requirement is where students demonstrate high-level achievement in their ability to Express: articulate their ideas in oral, written, visual, digital, and other media, and assemble narratives, explanations, data, and arguments that navigate carefully ordered evidence. Some students demonstrate this level via their works in a language other than English. 

Courses that meet the AE requirement focus on effective communication, be it through writing, speaking or other modes of communication, in specific disciplinary or interdisciplinary contexts. Courses are typically 300-level and typically taken after the first year.


Learning objectives for AE

Fulfilling the advanced expression requirement

Students may complete the advanced expression requirement through completion of an approved course with a grade of D or higher. As with the foundational disciplines and overlays, courses approved by a Weinberg College faculty committee are listed on the webpage (below) and may also be identified through the Undergraduate Catalog and the quarterly CAESAR class listings. Each year some courses are added to the list and others are deleted; a course must be on the approved list for the year you take it to satisfy the requirement.

A course that is used by a student to satisfy the advanced expression requirement may at the same time be applied towards a different requirement (such as a major requirement, minor requirement, foundational discipline, and/or overlay) if so approved.


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