Printed on: 04/11/2021. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  Administrative Policy

Establishing, Enforcing, and Waiving Prerequisites: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

Responsible University Officer(s):
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
Policy Owner(s):
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
Policy contact(s):
  • Susan Van Voorhis
Date Revised:
Sep 15, 2014
Effective Date:
Apr 8, 2009

Policy Statement

  1. Departments and colleges should be selective in determining prerequisites for courses. Prerequisites should not be set for a course except in progressive, sequence courses or where departments can clearly demonstrate that a student will not be able to complete the course successfully without first completing the prerequisite course work.
  2. Where prerequisites have been set, catalogues and course materials must list them and advise students to take only those courses for which the prerequisites have been met.
  3. Where prerequisites have been set, instructors may require that any student who has not taken the specified prerequisites for the course must withdraw. Instructors may, however, grant permission, on an individual basis, for a student to take a course without having taken the prerequisite(s).
  4. When a student successfully completes a prerequisite course after successfully completing a subsequent course that required the prerequisite, credit for the prerequisite course will be granted. Colleges and departments, at their discretion, may also allow students to receive credit by examination for the prerequisite course.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campuses.

Reason for Policy

Prerequisites inform students that, in order to be successful in a particular course, they must enter the course already having attained specific knowledge as a necessary background. Prerequisites provide a process for directing students to courses for which the students are adequately prepared. This policy implements criteria and requirements for accreditation established by the Higher Learning Commission.




Frequently Asked Questions


Primary Contact(s) Sue Van Voorhis 612-625-8098
Twin Cities Campus Stacey Tidball 612-626-0075
Crookston Campus Jason Tangquist 218-281-8424
Morris Campus Marcus Muller 320-589-6011
Rochester Campus Diane Douglas 507-258-8008


A course that is a necessary requirement before subsequent advanced courses.


There are no specified responsibilities related to this policy.

Related Information


September 2014 - Clarifications related to Higher Learning Commission accreditation requirements
December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
April 2009

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