Chapter 6: Requisites

Establishment of Prerequisites, Corequisites, and Advisories



6.1 Overview

6.1.1 Purpose of this Chapter

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The purpose of this chapter is to provide course outline preparers, program coordinators, department chairs, and Curriculum Committee members with guidance as they start the process of establishing course or program prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories (recommended preparation). The Matriculation Office coordinates the review process of all proposed requisites. The process, in brief:

  1. Departments submit necessary documentation supporting their requisite request (see details in Completing the Review Process) through CurricUNET.
  2. The Requisites Coordinator (Matriculation Office) reviews and provides preliminary approval of the justification for the requisites. 
  3. Final approval is provided by the full Curriculum Committee during its meetings.

Questions about procedures for selection or establishment of prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories should be directed to the Requisites Coordinator in the Matriculation Office.


6.1.2 When are Prerequisites or Corequisites Required?

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Evaluation of the need for the establishment of prerequisites or corequisites to a new credit, degree-applicable course is initiated either by the department proposing the course or by the College Curriculum Committee. The final determination of need is based on the following Title 5 guidelines:

  • When the College Curriculum Committee determines that a student would be highly unlikely to receive a satisfactory grade unless the student has knowledge or skills not taught in the course, then a prerequisite or corequisite shall be established.
  • If success in the course is dependent on communication or computation skills which are not taught in the target course, then prerequisites or corequisites equivalent to eligibility for associate-degree level English and/or math courses shall be established.

If either of these conditions exists, the Curriculum Committee approval of the course for degree-applicability is contingent upon assurance that the department has begun efforts to establish the necessary prerequisites.

The specific policies for the establishment of CCSF prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories is based on "Title 5 Regulations Section 55003 Policies for Prerequisites, Corequisites, and Advisories”.


6.1.3 Two Separate Processes

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Section II.C of the Course Outline of Record is used to indicate any proposed prerequisite, corequisites, and/or advisories for a course and the Curriculum Committee considers this section when examining the outline for approval. However, approval of the prerequisite, corequisite, or advisory also requires separate review of the requisite justification, as indicated in CurricUNET proposals. This information is approved by the Curriculum Committee along with the outline. Inclusion of approved prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories on the Course Outline of Record is required prior to submission of the course to the State Chancellor’s Office. 


Revising only a Prerequisite, Corequisite, or Advisory

If a department wishes only to revise the prerequisite, corequisite, or advisory for a course, in most cases they shall submit a Modify Course or Modify Program proposal in CurricuNET and update the requisite information. However, an expedited process is desirable if a non-substantive change to the requisite course does not alter the level of preparation expected for the target course.

Criteria for eligibility for expedited requisite change process:

  • When a requisite course used across disciplines has been renumbered, but level/rigor of requisite has not changed.  Determination that level/rigor has not changed is made by the department originating the requisite course in consultation with the Curriculum Committee Requisites Coordinator.  Example: ENGL Department core-course reorganization & renumbering
  • When a core requisite course, used for many courses within its own program, has been renumbered (without substantive revisions to level/rigor), and the target courses are not yet due for review/revision. Determination that revisions are not substantive is made by the department originating the requisite course in consultation with the Curriculum Committee Requisites Coordinator. Example: CAHS renumbering from Spring 2016.
  • When an existing prerequisite jeopardizes articulation and needs to be changed more quickly than the course can be submitted for revision via the Curriculum Committee. This determination is made by consultation among the department, the Articulation Officer, and the Requisites Coordinator.  Example: change of CSU/UC policy.


  • Lists of courses and changes will be submitted as Curriculum Committee informational agenda items.
  • Requisite modifications will not change the COR Approval Date, but will change the Effective Semester, in synchronization with the schedule and catalog deadlines.

Specific procedures for adding the updated requisite information to CORs, Banner, the catalog and other resources will be developed and maintained through consultation among the Office of Instruction, Curriculum Committee Chair, Requisites Coordinator, Articulation Officer, and CurricUNET administrator.


6.2 Selection of Type and Level of Preparation

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When contemplating the type of preparation needed for a course, departments must decide whether the preparatory knowledge/skills are either recommended or required. Consider the following:

  • If a student is highly unlikely to receive a satisfactory grade in a degree-applicable course unless he possesses preparatory skills not taught in the course, then a prerequisite must be established.
  • If two courses work in parallel, where the skills gained during the same term in one course provide essential support of the objectives of the other course, then these courses must be established as corequisites.
  • Advisories (Recommended Preparation) should be established if a student’s likelihood of receiving a satisfactory grade in a course is greater if he possesses preparatory skills (not taught in the course). Advisories are not required and do not limit enrollment. They are intended as guidance for students. In the 2019-2020 catalog, the label “Recommended Preparation” began to be used to make this clearer.

Enter all prerequisites, corequisites, and/or advisories in CurricUNET. For each requisite you enter, you will need to complete justification and get agreement from the departments whose classes are among your requisites. Notes of that discussion will be entered into CurricUNET. After the proposal is submitted, this section will be reviewed by the Requisites Coordinator (from the Office of Matriculation) before moving forward in the course proposal process. See Requisites chapter for more details.

Note Title 5 language: §55002(a)(2)(D) “Prerequisites and Corequisites. When the college and/or district curriculum committee determines, based on a review of the course outline of record, that a student would be highly unlikely to receive a satisfactory grade unless the student has knowledge or skills not taught in the course, then the course shall require prerequisites or corequisites that are established, reviewed, and applied in accordance with the requirements of this article.”

Examples of Prerequisites, Corequisites and Advisories Specifications:

  • Prerequisites: ENGL 1A
  • Prerequisites: MATH 60 or placement in MATH 90
  • Prerequisites: BEMA 52 or demonstration of exit skills
  • Corequisite: PHYC 2AL
  • Pre/corequisites: PHYC 2A (Means "completion of or concurrent enrollment in PHYC 2A)
  • Advisories: MATH 60

Note: “Consent of instructor.” cannot be specified as a prerequisite. (However, courses using work experience hours/units require approval of the department as a prerequisite.) The Curriculum Committee approves all prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories. See Chapter 6 for more details on this process.

CurricuNET instructions: 

Each individual requisite listed is treated as an “AND” UNLESS you have chosen a condition from the submenu. Examples:

  • 3 requisites, no conditions chosen means A + B + C.
  • 3 requisites with an “or” chosen for the second requisite means A + (B or C).

If you will be entering multiple requisites, and the relationship is not a simple “and”, the entry you choose from the CONDITION menu will represent the relationship THIS requisite has with the one that appears after it in the ordered list at the main requisite screen.

6.2.1 English, ESL, and Math Prerequisites

If communication or computation skills are needed for success in the target course or program, then the department will need to consider the appropriate English, ESL, or math course level that will provide the preparation needed. For credit, degree-applicable courses, Title 5 stipulates the establishment of prerequisites equivalent to eligibility for Associate Degree-level English, ESL, and Math courses. At CCSF, this means eligibility for ENGL 1A and any quantitative reasoning class that has intermediate algebra as a prerequisite, e.g., MATH 80, PSYC 5, or ECON 5. However, for non degree-applicable courses, the course level of prerequisites will likely be lower.

Departments should consult with the English, ESL or Math Departments for their recommendations regarding prerequisite course levels based on their review of course material (e.g. textbooks, assignments, evaluation criteria). If needed, the Assessment and Prerequisite Coordinator can facilitate these communications. Additional level of review is required for communication and computation requisites (see Additional Review).


6.3 Completing the Review Process

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To request approval for a prerequisite, corequisite, or advisory, departments complete and submit a course or program proposal through CurricUNET.


6.3.1 Content Review

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Content Review is the only level of review required to establish an advisory or a sequential prerequisite within a discipline (e.g. CHEM 40 to CHEM 101A, or ESL 130 to ESL 140.) The requesting department will complete Content Review information, embedded in the CurricuNET proposals. If requisite courses come from another department, consultation with and review by that department are required.

Content Review Process

Through CurricuNET, faculty who teach the target and prereq/coreq/advisory course describe the relationship between the target and requisite courses as follows:

  1. On the Requisites tab, choose the requisite courses from the menu.
  2. Explain why the skills/knowledge learned in the requisite course are essential (prerequisite) or highly recommended (advisory) for success in the target course. Refer to specific content and instructional methodology (e.g. assignments, instructional materials) of the target course. These details can be written as a paragraph or a list. Describe or list sample content and assignments of the target course, for which students must/should possess the knowledge & skills learned in the requisite course.
  3. On the Consultations tab, list the names and departments of three faculty who wrote or were consulted in the writing of the Content Review, and who are knowledgeable about the requisite and/or target course. This “Content Review Panel” usually includes the department chair of the target course.


Model of completed Content Review

The example below clearly describes how the knowledge/skills learned in VMD 101A are necessary for the successful completion of assignments and understanding of concepts taught in VMD 101B.

Under the Consultations tab of the CurricUNET proposal, list the names and departments of three faculty who wrote or were consulted in the writing of the Content Review, and who are knowledgeable about the requisite and/or target course. This “Content Review Panel” should include the department chairs of the target and requisite courses. Then summarize the discussion and consensus that occurred.

Student Learning Outcomes in VMD 110A

  1. Construct single- and multi-page documents with text and image according to industry standards.
  2. Apply & understand basics of typesetting.
  3. Create & apply styles to format text & objects.
  4. Create & manage graphic elements on the page.
  5. Create and apply spot and process color to text and objects.
  6. Preflight and package a document.

Knowledge/Skills learned in VMD 101A are applied in VMD 101B as follows:

VMD 101B is an advanced Adobe InDesign page layout course, requiring an understanding of basic page layout techniques and principles taught in 101A, such as creating single-page and multi-page documents, setting type according to professional standards, and importing graphics and manipulating them.
The advanced course instructs students to

  1. Build more complex, multi-page documents
  2. Create and work w/ templates and grids using master pages, styles, and libraries.
  3. Utilize advanced typesetting, as well as specialized formatting skills such as tables and books.
  4. Utilize imposition and custom layouts that build on basic document construction skills,
  5. Utilize advanced image manipulation practices such as using transparency and other effects
  6. Practice custom preflight for various output needs.

A student unfamiliar with the concepts and practices presented in VMD 101A would be highly unlikely to receive a satisfactory grade in VMD 101B.


6.3.2 Additional Review

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When proposed prerequisites/corequisites are not from the same discipline as the target course – e.g. communication or mathematics prerequisites to non-communication or non-math courses, the department will need to provide additional evidence of the appropriateness of the prerequisite/corequisite. Either of the following two types of evidence is acceptable:

  • Evidence that at least three CSU and/or UC campuses have established the same level of prerequisites for the same level target course.
  • Student outcome data (e.g. final grades) demonstrating that students’ satisfaction of the prerequisite is correlated to success in the target course. To allow time for data collection, the department may establish English, ESL and/or math prerequisites for a course on a pilot basis, using only the Content Review process. After two years, if data demonstrate that students are “highly unlikely to succeed in the course without possessing (language or math) skills not taught in the course,” then the prerequisite (or corequisite) will remain in effect. The Requisites Coordinator facilitates the processes of data collection and analysis in collaboration with the Office of Research and the instructional department.


6.4 Enforcement of Prerequisites and Corequisites

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Once a prerequisite or corequisite has been approved by the Curriculum Committee, they will be enforced for all sections of the course, through the Banner course-registration system before the start of classes. Students who do not meet the stated prerequisite are blocked from enrolling in the course and are referred to the Matriculation Office if they have questions. Contact the Requisites Coordinator, Matriculation Office, for further information about Banner enforcement of prerequisites.

Students may challenge a prerequisite or corequisite on the grounds that they have the prior knowledge or ability to succeed in the course despite not meeting the stated requisite. For a description of the challenge process, see Challenge of a Prerequisite or Corequisite.  


6.5 Limitations on Enrollment

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A “Limitation on Enrollment” specifically refers to a condition or requirement that a student must meet prior to enrollment in the following types of courses:

Performance Courses

Courses in this area include intercollegiate athletics, theatre arts, and music, for which an audition or tryout may be required.


Honors Courses

Honors courses require a specific scholastic aptitude prior to enrollment as students enrolled in honors sections will be expected to perform coursework at a higher standard than in traditional sections of the course.


Cohort Courses or Sections

This refers to courses or sections in which enrollment is designated for a specific cohort of students. Examples include learning communities such as the Puente Program.

If you would like to establish a Limitation on Enrollment, contact the Requisites Coordinator.