Prerequisites & Corequisites

A prerequisite is a class that a student is required to complete (or a skill that a student is required to have) as a condition for enrolling in a class where current familiarity with the subject matter or possession of a particular skill is essential for the student to succeed in the class. For example, Chemistry 10, a prerequisite for enrolling in Chemistry 11, provides a basic introduction to the principles, laws, and nomenclature of chemistry, all of which a student needs to be familiar with in order to understand the subject matter covered in Chemistry 11.

A corequisite is a class a student is required to take simultaneously with another class as a condition for enrolling in the other class because the two classes are so interrelated that a student cannot pass one without the other.

Establishment of Prerequisites & Corequisites

All prerequisites and corequisites for SMC classes are established by Santa Monica Community College District administration under the standards set out in California Code of Regulations Title 5 §55003. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s) for a class are established whenever:

   1.   The prerequisite or corequisite is expressly required or authorized by statute or regulation; and/or

   2.   Students are highly unlikely to succeed in the class if they have not met the prerequisite or enrolled in the corequisite course; and/or

   3.   The prerequisite or corequisite is necessary to protect the health and safety of students or others involved in the class.

Prerequisites and corequisites for all classes at Santa Monica College must be satisfied with a grade of C (2.0) or better, regardless of whether they are completed at SMC or at another college or university.

Students who believe they already possess the knowledge or skills to succeed in a class may challenge its prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s) by following the Prerequisites and Corequisites Challenge Procedure established by District administration.

Procedure for Challenging Prerequisites & Corequisites

Please note: In the procedure outlined below, every reference to prerequisites also refers to corequisites.

Students who have not completed a prerequisite or corequisite course at Santa Monica College (or at another college or university) and believe they should be exempted from the course may submit a Prerequisite Challenge Petition to the appropriate academic department. Prerequisites may be challenged under one or more of the following grounds, and the student bears the initial burden of proof to show that grounds exist for the challenge.

   1.   The prerequisite has not been established in accordance with the District’s process for establishing prerequisites.

   2.   The prerequisite is in violation of California Code of Regulations Title 5 §55003.

   3.   The prerequisite is either unlawfully discriminatory or is being applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.

   4.   The student will be subject to undue delay in attaining the goal of his/her educational plan because the prerequisite course has not been made reasonably available.

   5.   The student has the ability or knowledge to succeed in the course despite not meeting the prerequisite.

   6.   The course has specific limitations on enrollment due to being a course that involves intercollegiate competition or public performance, or a course limited to a cohort of students who meet specific qualifications (for example, the qualifications required for participation in the Nursing Program), if no equivalent section is offered, the student would be delayed by a semester or more in attaining the degree or certificate specified in his or her Student Educational Plan, and the course in question is required to complete the degree or certificate.

   7.   The student seeks to enroll in a course that has a prerequisite established to protect health and safety, and the student demonstrates that he/she does not pose a threat to himself/herself or others.

If space is available, a student will be permitted to enroll in the course in question. Each prerequisite challenge will be investigated and resolved by a designated committee no later than five (5) working days from the day that the challenge is filed. If the designated committee fails to resolve the challenge in five (5) days, the student will be permitted to enroll in the course. If no space is available, and the challenge is upheld, the student will be permitted to enroll for the course in the subsequent term.

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