First Year Writing Program Information

First-Year Writing is the core curriculum of the university: all Engineering, Business, and Arts & Sciences students take the two-semester English 1 and English 2 sequence (students who enter with advanced placement credit for English 1 take English 11 instead of English 2). The Lehigh curriculum recognizes that mastery of language is the most fundamental skill you can have.

Significant training in writing is a long-standing Lehigh tradition, and a distinctive mark of a Lehigh degree. First-Year English focuses on writing that makes a thoughtful claim and supports that claim with examples, evidence, reasons, and even a rhetorical flourish or two. Our primary goal is to teach you skills of interpretation, analysis, and argument. The essence of the program is guided practice in writing and extensive feedback on your writing. You will probably write in some way for every homework assignment; you will have four or five major writing projects of about 1250 words each; you will revise your writing frequently; and you will develop and test your writing through periodic interaction with classmates and with faculty. The common denominator in all the courses is reading, reflecting, discussing, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing.

Click here for information about the Multimodal Composition Resource Center


English for Multilingual Speakers

If English is not your first language, whether you are an international student or a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible to complete the requirement by taking English sheltered courses (ENGL 003 and ENGL 005) or other additional English language support courses. You can review the ICAPE course offerings on the following webpage: In order to determine your appropriate placement, the International Center for Academic and Professional English (ICAPE) administers a placement test during new student orientation at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. You can contact the ICAPE Director, Dr. Mark Ouellette, at for questions about placement and course offerings.

Other Writing Courses

We offer upper-level writing courses on topics such as “Fiction Writing About Adolescence” and “Introduction to Writing Fiction: Myth, Magic & Mystery” (English 144); “Murder Ink: Reading & Writing Mysteries” (English 391); and "The Environmental Imagination: Writing and the Importance of Natural Places" and “Writing Work” (English 201) for any student in the university who wants advanced practice in writing.