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Prerequisites are courses that must be completed, or other knowledge, skills, or standards that must be demonstrated, before a student is permitted to take certain courses.  All prerequisites for a course are listed in the Cal Poly Catalog.

Some prerequisites have their own prerequisites, forming a string of courses that must all be taken. The catalog course description shows the last course in the prerequisite string of courses. For example, MATH 241 has a prerequisite of MATH 143, which requires MATH 142, which requires MATH 141. To enroll in MATH 241, students must have successfully completed MATH 141, 142, and 143.

An instructor may drop a student from a class if the prerequisite requirements, as stated in the catalog course description, have not been satisfied.

A curriculum may not have "hidden" prerequisites.  If a course is a prerequisite for a required major or support course, then that prerequisite course must be included in the curriculum as a major or support course.  For example, for a curriculum requiring MATH 241 as a support course, MATH 141, 142 and 143 must also be listed as support courses. 

Upper-division courses must have at least one prerequisite.


Academic Senate Resolution: AS-330-90/CC "Resolution on Prerequisites for Upper Division Courses" (PDF).  Adopted 30 January 1990.

Campus Administrative Manual: CAM 485.4 Class Attendance. Revised June 1979.

Last updated: 9/12/2023


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