This page provides a general overview of prerequisite enforcement.

The official prerequisite policy has further details.

  • Prerequisite — a course or courses or test score 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 will carry the same prerequisites. Prerequisites should only be enforced where there is substantial evidence that a specific prerequisite course is essential for success in a given class. Departments should be selective and targeted in their decisions.
  • Enforced prerequisites may not be applied to X99 or blanket courses because these courses offer multiple topics. Section restrictions such as 'Departmental approval' may be used to control registration for these special courses.
  • Enforcing prerequisites for 100- or 200-level courses (with the exception of certain courses such as math or foreign language) should be greatly limited. Students will have real difficulty fulfilling bacc core requirements in a timely manner if many of these courses require the completion of course prerequisites. Also, students who are dually enrolled will be at a disadvantage 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 transer 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 enforced 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?

Only those courses—selected by the departments—with a specific subject prefix and number, such as MTH 111, that have been completed with a passing grade of D– or better prior to enrollment or concurrent with the course being registered for. Some colleges have higher minimum passing grade requirements; for example, the College of Engineering requires a C. Minimum passing grades for prerequisite courses are displayed within brackets, e.g., MTH 111 [C–].

How does course 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 will occur for all students who wish to take 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 disenrolled from the next term's course.

Course prerequisites Banner CAN enforce:
  • Specific courses with subject code and number that are satisfactorily completed, e.g., SOC 204 with a minimum grade of D–.
  • Transfer equivalents to OSU courses articulated by the Office of Admissions.
  • Standardized placement test scores that have been recorded in Banner.
Course prerequisites Banner CANNOT enforce:
  • 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) no longer contained in our Banner catalog.
  • Courses for which the student received a mark of N, W, I, F, U, AU, Y.
  • Undergraduate-level prereqs for graduate-level courses. The system does not search undergraduate transcripts of graduate students.
Will we still have prerequisites that are not enforced?

Unenforced prerequisites or recommended course background approved through the curriculum process will be listed in the Academic Catalog.  Recommendations will not be enforced in registration.  Departments may list recommended courses in the Schedule of Classes (SOC) where they will display under "Recommended."

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 will not count toward prerequisite compliance during registration without an override exception being granted by the department.

How will we handle exceptions and appeals?

Some students who do not meet prerequisites may wish to appeal to the offering department for an exception. Departments will be able to grant exceptions by entering overrides into Banner. Overrides will then 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.


Contact the Catalog Coordinator.