Prerequisite Enforcement

More information on prerequisites can be found in the Prerequisite Policy. Questions should be directed to the Catalog Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar.

  • Prerequisite — courses or test scores that must be satisfactorily completed before enrolling in another course.
  • Concurrent prerequisite — a prerequisite course that may be taken prior to or concurrently with the course requiring it.
  • Corequisite — a course that must be taken concurrently with another course.
  • All sections of the same course carry the same prerequisites. Prerequisites should only be enforced where there is substantial evidence that it is essential for success in a given class. Departments should be selective and targeted in their decisions.


  • Prerequisites cannot be applied to special topics or blanket courses because they cover multiple topics. Section restrictions such as 'Departmental Approval' may be used to control registration for these courses.


  • Avoid adding corequisites to undergraduate courses with honors versions. Banner can only use ‘and’ logic for corequisites and it is therefore not possible for a student enrolled in the honors version to have their corequisite recognized. A prerequisite with concurrency would prevent the need to grant an exception in that case.


  • Enforcing prerequisites for 100 and 200-level courses should be limited, with the exception of certain courses such as math and foreign language. Students will have difficulty fulfilling Baccalaureate Core requirements in a timely manner if many of these courses require the completion of prerequisites. Also, students who are dually enrolled at another institution will be disadvantaged because their partner school enrollments are not entered into their Banner records until after the beginning of the next term.


  • Departments are encouraged to review their decisions regarding OSU equivalents for transfer courses and make certain they are up-to-date and complete. Revisions and changes to transfer equivalencies are coded into Banner by the Office of Admissions. Up-to-date transfer equivalencies help reduce the number of students seeking exceptions. Most students have transfer credits in their academic history.


  • Be prepared to handle exceptions and appeals from students in a rapid manner. Students register 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and often must compete for available space in classes. A delay of 2 or 3 days could mean the student loses the window of opportunity to claim a seat in a class.


  • Expect slightly lower enrollments in courses with prerequisites. Drops in enrollment may be temporary for the first few terms of enforcement or they may indicate permanent patterns. Some students will shy away from elective courses that have enforced prerequisites.


What prerequisites will be checked during registration?

The only prerequisites checked during registration are those approved for the course, with a specific subject code and number, such as MTH 111, that have been completed with the passing grade indicated in the Catalog. The minimum passing grade for most courses is D– or better, achieved prior to registration or concurrent with the course being registered for. Some colleges have higher minimum passing grade requirements, such as the College of Engineering which requires a C. All courses used to satisfy Math prerequisites must be completed with C- or better.


How does prerequisite checking work during registration?

Banner checks the student's academic record, including transfer credit, to see if the prerequisite course has been successfully completed with a passing grade. If the course was not successfully completed, the student will be told the prerequisite has not been met and they will not be allowed to register for that course. Prerequisite checking occurs for all students who attempt to register for the course, regardless of level, rank, or college.


Banner also counts as "satisfied" any prerequisite that the student is currently enrolled in. However, if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the currently enrolled prerequisite course after registration, they will be removed from the next term's course.


Banner can enforce the following:
  • Specific OSU courses with subject code and number that are satisfactorily completed, e.g., MTH 111 with a grade of C– or better.
  • Transfer equivalents to OSU courses articulated by the Office of Admissions.
  • Standardized placement test scores that have been recorded in Banner.


Banner cannot enforce the following:
  • Generic courses, such as a "social science course."
  • Courses not offered by OSU.
  • Transfer credit that has not been articulated to a specific OSU subject/number, such as LDT and UDT course numbers.
  • Older OSU courses (pre-1990) that are no longer listed in Banner.
  • Courses for which the student received a mark of N, W, I, F, U, AU, Y.
  • Undergraduate-level prerequisites for graduate-level courses. The system does not search the undergraduate transcripts of graduate students.
Can prerequisites be recommended but not enforced?

No, prerequisites by nature are enforced. However, recommendations can be added to courses and they display in both the Catalog and Schedule of Classes. Recommendations are established through curriculum proposals and may be deleted but not reinstated without an approved proposal. They are mostly used to indicate prior knowledge or experience that cannot be enforced by Banner, such as “Completion of Western Culture BCC requirement” or “One year of biology” but you can request specific OSU courses be recommended as well.

How do transfer credits satisfy prerequisites?

Transfer credits are brought into a student's OSU record when the Office of Admissions articulates those credits to OSU equivalents as directed by departments. Where there are no direct equivalents, the transfer credit cannot count toward prerequisite checking during registration but students can be granted an exception at the discretion of the department.

How to handle exceptions and appeals?

Some students who do not meet prerequisites may wish to appeal to the offering department for an exception. Departments are able to grant exceptions by entering overrides into Banner. Overrides allow the student to continue with their registration. If desired, override permissions may be entered into Banner in advance to the start of registration, with an override code of PREQ.