Prerequisites, Advisories and Challenge Exams

Many of our courses have either prerequisites or advisories. Prerequisites are listed when we believe that knowledge of the content in the prerequisite course is essential to success. Advisories are listed when we believe that knowledge of the content of the advisory course wil increase the chances of success.

Several first-semester courses have MATH 840 listed as an advisory.  This means students should have some knowledge of algebra for all programming courses where MATH 840 is listed as an advisory.

We realize that students come to our courses with a variety of backgrounds. As a result, most prerequisites are not enforced by the registration system. If you are interested in taking a course that has a prerequisite and you have not taken the prerequisite course at City College, the course instructor is the best person to talk to about your background and preparation for the course.

Currently, only CS 110C and CS 111C have their prerequisites enforced by the registration system.

Students who attempt to register for these courses who have not taken the prerequisite course at City College will be blocked. If you would like to take either of these courses without having taken the prerequisite course at City College, you will need to take a prerequisite challenge exam.

Prerequisite challenge exams are given by appointment through the pre-registration and add periods for the semester. They are short multiple-choice exams specific to the course. We have sample questions posted for both exams. While the prerequisites for CS 110B and 111B are not currently enforced by registration, if you're interested in taking CS 110B or 111B, you'll also see some questions you should be able to answer prior to taking one of those courses.

Exams are given outside Batmale 456. Contact the CS Department Secretary, Cherron Hunter, at 415/239-3655 or chunter@ccsf.edu to make an appointment. Be sure to bring the following items to the exam:

  • Your City College student ID
  • Picture ID

You will get the results of the exam immediately, and should be able to register for the class within 48 hours after completion of the exam.

You will only get one opportunity per registration period to take any individual challenge exam.