Establishing, Enforcing, and Waiving Prerequisites

Effective: May 19, 2014

Last Updated: July 23, 2009 amended April 8, 2014

Policy Owner: Academic Affairs


Course proposals should indicate whether there is a prerequisite.  Prerequisites are enforced by the registration system at the point of registration; students will not be able to register unless the prerequisite course is on the student academic record.  Note:  transfer credit is not included on the academic record that feeds into the registration system.  Students who completed the prerequisite from a transfer institution may not be able to register without instructor or department permission.  A specific grade in a prerequisite cannot be enforced at the time of registration; however, faculty may list in the syllabus and verbally confirm in class the need for a specific minimum grade in a prerequisite course.

  1. Departments and colleges should be selective in determining prerequisites for courses. Prerequisites should not be set for a course except in progressive, sequence courses or where departments can clearly demonstrate that a student will not be able to complete the course successfully without first completing the prerequisite course work.
  2. Where prerequisites have been set, catalogs and course materials must list them and advise students to take only those courses for which the prerequisites have been met.  
  3. Where prerequisites have been set, instructors may require that any student who has not taken the specified prerequisites for the course must withdraw. Instructors may, however, grant permission, on an individual basis, for a student to take a course without having taken the prerequisite(s).