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Writing Courses and Workshops at Caltech

The Hixon Writing Center primarily offers writers one-to-one support with academic writing projects. Caltech offers writers many other opportunities to learn about writing and communication, which are listed below.


Caltech offers a range of courses that focus on writing and communication. This page provides a list of those courses. Current course descriptions for Caltech courses and graduation requirements are available via the course Catalog. Questions about a course should be directed to the current instructor or the division which offers the course.

Transition to College Writing Courses

The following courses are for incoming undergraduates and aim to support the transition to college writing. Incoming students may be required to take one of more of these courses based on a placement test. These courses are not open to graduate students.

  • Writing 2: Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Writing 3: Reading and Composing Academic Writing
  • Writing 4: Principles and Practices of Academic Writing
  • Writing 50: Tutorial in Writing

First-Year and Advanced Humanities Courses

Undergraduates must take two freshman humanities courses and at least two advanced humanities courses in order to graduate. These courses aim to teach students about specific areas and methods of inquiry in the humanities. They are also all writing-intensive courses that give students opportunities to learn about and practice varied types of writing. The current year's humanities course schedule is available on the HSS website.

Fulfilling the Undergraduate Scientific Writing Requirement

Undergraduates are required to take a scientific writing course as well as a three-unit course in oral communication; in some cases, these requirements are combined into a single course. The Catalog provides an updated list of which courses students in each option should take. (See "Scientific Writing Requirement" under "Core Institute Requirements, All Options.") These courses may or may not be open to graduate students.

  • AY 30: Introduction to Modern Research (oral communication)
  • AY 31: Writing in Astronomy (writing)
  • Bi/BE 24: Scientific Communication for Biological Scientists and Engineers (writing; oral communication)
  • Ch 90: Oral Presentation (oral communication)
  • ChE 126: Chemical Engineering Laboratory (oral communication)
  • Ch/ChE 91: Scientific Writing (writing)
  • En/Wr 84: Communicating Science to Non-Experts (writing; oral communication)
  • Ma 10: Oral Presentation (oral communication)
  • Ma 11: Mathematical Writing (writing)
  • Ph 70: Oral and Written Communication (writing; oral communication)
  • SEC 10: Technical Seminar Presentations (oral communication)
  • SEC 11: Written Academic Communication in Engineering and Applied Science (writing)
  • SEC 12: Written Professional Communication in Engineering and Applied Science (writing)
  • SEC 13: Written Communication about Engineering and Applied Science to Non-Specialists (writing)

Other STEM Writing and Communication Courses

  • ESL/Wr 107: Graduate Writing Seminar
  • PVA 41: Storytelling for Scientists
  • SEC 107: Social Media for Scientists
  • SEC 111: Effective Communications Strategies for Engineers & Scientists
  • SEC 120: Data Visualization Projects
  • SEC 130: Science Activation: Bringing Science to Society
  • Wr 109: Writing and Publishing Research Articles in STEM Fields

Creative Writing and Journalism Courses

  • En 85: Poetry Writing
  • En 86: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • En 89: Writing the News - Journalistic Writing

This page was last updated August 2023. The
current year's course catalog should be consulted for up-to-date information about the courses offered each year as well as graduation requirements.