Prerequisites, Corequisites, And Recommended Preparation

The Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District allows colleges to establish prerequisites, corequisites, and recommended preparation for courses and educational programs. Prerequisites and corequisites must be determined to be necessary and appropriate and must be established in accordance with Title 5 regulations in the California Administrative Code.

A prerequisite is a condition of enrollment that a student is required to meet in order to demonstrate current readiness for enrollment in a course or program. Prerequisites are so designated in course descriptions in this Catalog.

A corequisite is a course that a student is required to take simultaneously in order to enroll in another course. Corequisites are so designated in course descriptions in this Catalog.

Recommended preparation for a course or program is a condition that a student is advised, but not required, to meet before or in conjunction with enrollment. Advisories are designated as “recommended’’ in course descriptions in this Catalog.

Why Prerequisites and Corerquisites?

Title 5 (state regulations that govern community colleges) requires that, if a course has a prerequisite, it must be necessary for the student to succeed in the target course. Furthermore, the college must ensure that the prerequisite is equitably and fairly enforced and that it has been approved in a separate action by the curriculum committee at each college.

What if I am currently enrolled in the prerequisite course(s) within the SMCCCD?

If you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite course(s), the computer will not prevent your enrollment in the desired course. However, should you receive a final grade other than “A,” “B,” “C” or “P” in the prerequisite course(s), you will be notified by Admissions and Records through your student email ( that you have been administratively dropped from the course. You are advised to meet with a counselor for further assistance with enrollment.

What if I completed the prerequisite at another college outside the San Mateo County Community College District?

If you believe you have met the stated prerequisite at another college/university outside the San Mateo County Community College District, you must file a Prerequisite Equivalency/Reciprocity of Course Placement form with the Counseling Department. The form is available at the One Stop Center in Building 2. Submit the completed form with a copy of your unofficial transcript or grade report from the other college to the Counseling Appointment Desk in Building 2. If your prerequisite request is approved, the enrollment block will be lifted, allowing you to enroll in the course. If your request is denied, you will be contacted by Counseling through your student email as to the reason(s) why.

How can I challenge a prerequisite?

You can challenge a prerequisite on one or more of four grounds, listed below:

  • If you believe you have the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course without completing the prerequisite.
  • If you believe that the prerequisite has been established in violation of Title 5 regulations or the SMCCCD District Model Policy.
  • If you believe that the prerequisite is discriminatory or is being applied in a discriminatory manner.
  • If you believe that the prerequisite course has not been made reasonably available.
How do I file a prerequisite challenge?

If you wish to file a prerequisite challenge, follow these steps:

The Prerequisite Challenge Form is available at the Student Services Information Center in Building 2 or from a counselor, or online at A counselor can help you determine whether you would benefit from the challenge process.

  • Next you should contact the appropriate division dean to obtain specific information about filing and documenting your challenge request.
  • If you elect to challenge, submit the completed challenge form with documentation to the appropriate Division Office for review.
  • You will be notified in 5 business days if your challenge is subsequently approved, and you will be allowed to enroll in the course. If your challenge is not approved, you will be administratively withdrawn from the course.
What message will I receive on WebSMART if I do not meet the prerequisite for the course in which I am attempting to enroll?

If you have not met the prerequisite or presented documentation to challenge the prerequisite you will receive the following message on WebSMART when you attempt to enroll: You do not meet the prerequisites for this course. You will not be able to register for the class until you clear the prerequisite(s). To obtain prerequisite information, equivalency/challenge processes, and forms go to:

Sequential Courses

To enroll in sequential courses, students must complete the courses in order – e.g., English 836 and Reading 836 must be completed with a “C” or better grade before a student enrolls in English 100. Also, a student may not enroll in or receive credit for a course taken after successful completion of an equivalent course – e.g., Spanish 111 cannot be taken after successful completion of Spanish 110.