A prerequisite is generally a course that students must complete before enrolling in a more advanced course. Sometimes a student is given a choice of prerequisites to complete. In the example below, the student must complete PHYS:1511 (College Physics I) OR PHYS: 1611 (Introductory Physics I) before taking PHYS:1512 College Physics II. In other cases, a student has the choice of achieving a minimum grade or certain placement test result in lieu of a prerequisite course. Some courses require more than one prerequisite.

PHYS:1512:000A   College Physics II
Lecture                   Electricity, Light, and Modern Physics
                               *Prerequisites: PHYS:1511 or PHYS:1611

*If a course has a prerequisite, it will be listed on MyUI; students will find the prerequisites within the course information page, visible when they click on the course link.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are not blocked during registration if a prerequisite is not completed but may be removed after they register by the department serving as the course’s administrative home.   The determination of “graduate” is based on the level of the student’s program of study; not by the level of the course.  Additionally, they are not dropped programmatically via the automated prerequisite drop process but administratively by the department via the administrative drop form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Prerequisite Q & A for Undergraduate Students at the University of Iowa

Prerequisite FAQ's by College

Prerequisite Checking- Drop Dates

UI Coursework

The prerequisite check will run within a few days of the UI grade becoming final for the prerequisite course.  If the prerequisite course has been met with a passing grade, then the student will remain in the course.  However, if a student does not pass their prerequisite course, then they will be dropped from the enrolled course for which the prerequisite is required.  If a student feels they have been dropped from in error, then they should speak with the department associated with the enrolled course. 

If a student receives an I or O grade after the final grades come in, then they will not be dropped until three business days prior to the start of the semester.

A prerequisite check is run nightly once final grades have been processed. If a grade change is submitted by an UI instructor, the prerequisite check will examine the newly submitted grade to insure it has met the requirement.  If final grade is failing, then the student will be dropped that evening during a night prerequisite check.

Non-UI Coursework (including transfer work)

For coursework outside of UI, proof is required by submitting a Prerequisite Proof of Completion Form available through MyUI.  The prerequisite check will run three business days prior to the start of semester.  Please see the Academic Calendar for semester-length prerequisite drop dates.  Prerequisite drop dates may vary for off-cycle courses.

A prerequisite check will also run nightly to evaluate any transfer work that may have come in during the day.

If a final grade is not available three business days prior to the start of the semester, students must provide proof to the department and the appropriate special permission must be given.  Otherwise, the student will be dropped from the course during the prerequisite check.

Prerequisite Drop Notifications

Notifications of potential prerequisite drops will be sent out to the students ten days prior to the start of the semester.  If the student has provided proof, they will receive notification that proof has been received. All notifications will be sent to the student's University email address.

Types of Special Permission Given

Standard Special Permission

Course Level: Course level special permission will allow students to enroll in any section of the course.  It will override any restriction but will not override prerequisite. 

Section Level: Section level special permission will allow student to enroll in a particular section of the course. It will override both the prerequisites and restrictions for that section of the course.

Prerequisite Special Permission

*These special permissions may be assigned by the department.  The other special permission will be assigned systematically.

*Permanent: Permanent special permission is given if a student has met the prerequisite in some other way.  The student may have taken the prerequisite course at another institution but the course number isn't directly equivalent.  They may also be given permanent permission if they are still waiting for the course work to come in but it won't be here in time.  In this case, the department can reevaluate them when the course work does come in.

*Conditional- Proof Required:  Conditional-Proof Required will allow you to register for the course temporarily.  The student will need to submit proof that they have passed the course or earned the required minimum grade in it or they will be removed three days prior to the start of the semester.

*Met- Proof Provided: Met- Proof Provided special permission indicates the prerequisite has been met in some way.  No additional proof is required once a student has this special permission assigned.

In Progress UI Coursework:  In Progress UI Coursework is systematically assigned if the student is taking the prerequisite course currently or in the future.  If the prerequisite course is in progress, it would appear on the grade report as "IP".

Met-  Met is systemically assigned once the student has met the prerequisite course with either UI or non-UI course work.