What is a

Prerequisite course

A prerequisite course must be completed prior to another course. Prerequisites are often implemented at all education levels to measure student comprehension and preparedness. Institutions broadly define prerequisite courses as core skill sets or competencies that must be demonstrated before tackling a course that requires foundational knowledge. By meeting a prerequisite for a course, you are demonstrating that, based on past academic success, you are prepared to enroll and pass, which typically builds on prior knowledge gained.

Prerequisite courses are often used at the college undergraduate level as a means of measuring knowledge to determine whether a student is ready to advance to the next level of their college career. This is important for the course and the individual student. For the student, enrolling in a course in which they have not met the prerequisite can set them up for failure and hinder the academic experience for other students in the course. Many higher education institutions also set prerequisites for graduation that may include courses not related to the student’s major or minor degree.