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Junior Year Writing

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Junior Year Writing (JYW) Program provides all undergraduate students with practice in the writing of their chosen field of study. Building on the general writing that students practice in College Writing, JYW courses foster more advanced writing and thinking within field-specific academic or professional communities. The JYW Program, established in 1982, was listed in 2003 U.S. News & World Report as one of twenty-five “Programs that Really Work” in writing in the disciplines. Our JYW Program finds strength in its diversity: 5,000+ undergraduates are practicing their writing in more than 80 JYW courses each year, discipline-specific instructors from over 50 departments and colleges design and teach curricula focused on writing in the major, and the Writing Program offers professional development on teaching writing.


What is the JYW requirement?

Undergraduate students pursuing the B.A. or B.S. must meet the JYW requirement by passing the designated junior-year writing course in their primary major. We encourage students to take College Writing in their first year and JYW in their junior year when possible. Students satisfy the junior-year writing course within their major department--at times, within their school or college. To find out which course satisfies the JYW requirement in their major, students should consult with undergraduate advisors in their major department or the Writing Program’s Associate Directors of the JYW Program. In exceptional circumstances, students may follow this formal process to request that courses taken outside of UMass count toward the Junior Year Writing requirement.


JYW Teacher Resources

The JYW Program is dedicated to supporting teachers across the university in teaching writing. We offer a series of pages dedicated to the fundamentals of writing pedagogy. We also offer regular workshops on these concepts; please ensure that you are on our email list by reaching out to Heidi Terault. We are also happy to work with instructors one-on-one; to set up a conversation, please reach out via the contact information below.


Proposing New & Renewing Existing JYW Courses

Departments seeking to add the JYW designation to a course should review the criteria for JYW courses and submit a proposal through the Course & Curriculum Management System. Existing JYW courses are reviewed every five years. Course approvals and renewals of existing courses go through the Faculty Senate’s University Writing Committee.


Charles Moran Best Text Contest

At the heart of the UMass Writing Program is a commitment to not only fostering but also celebrating student writing. The Charles Moran Best Text Award recognizes excellent student writing from first-year writing and JYW courses. Students are encouraged to submit their work; details about the submission process are on the Charles Moran Best Text Contest page.


JYW Support Contacts

Associate Director for Junior Year Writing: Haivan Hoang

Office: W349 South College

Email: hhoang@english.umass.edu

JYW Program/Advising 


Associate Director for Junior Year Writing: Deborah McCutchen

Office: Stockbridge Hall, Room 22B

Email: dmccutchen@cns.umass.edu

JYW Program/Advising 


Junior Year Writing Program Coordinator

Email: uwritingcommittee@acad.umass.edu 

JYW Teaching Support 


Chair of the University Writing Committee

Inquiries about the University Writing Committee


Office Manager/Bookkeeper: Heidi Terault

Office: Du Bois 1322

Phone: 413.545.0633

Email: hterault@acad.umass.edu

Bookkeeping & Administrative JYW issues