What is a prerequisite?

  • A prerequisite is a course that you must complete before enrolling in the course with the prerequisite. Sometimes a student is given a choice of prerequisites to complete. Some courses require more than one prerequisite. In other cases, a student has the choice of achieving a certain placement test result in lieu of a prerequisite course.
    • FIN:3000:0001 Introductory Financial Management—Prerequisites: ACCT:2100 and ECON:1100 and ECON:1200
      • This means the student must complete ACCT:2100 (Introduction to Financial Accounting), ECON:1100 (Principles of Microeconomics), and ECON:1200 (Principles of Macroeconomics) before taking Introductory Financial Management
  • Prerequisites prepare you to be successful in a related course. Generally, the prerequisite course is taught at a lower level and covers information, theories, skills, and vocabulary that you will be expected to know before taking the higher-level course. If a course has a prerequisite, it will be listed in MyUI. You will find the prerequisites both on the first page of MyUI in the course list and within the course information page, visible when you click on the course link.

Prerequisite blocking

  • Undergraduate students must have either completed or be enrolled in a course's prerequisites to be able to enroll in that course. The registration system will read your student record, and if there is no evidence that the prerequisite has been completed or is in progress, the system will automatically block your enrollment in the course. 
  • To remain enrolled in the course, you generally need a passing grade in the prerequisite, unless the MyUI description of the prerequisite lists a higher grade requirement. 
    • MATH:1340 Mathematics for Business—Prerequisites: MATH:1005 with a grade of C- or higher or ALEKS score of 45 or higher or MPT Level 3 score of 9 or higher
      • This means the prerequisite course of MATH:1005 requires a minimum grade of C- before the student may take MATH:1340. You could also fulfill the prerequisite in this case by taking one of the math placement tests, scoring at an appropriate level or higher.

Taking prerequisites at the University of Iowa

  • As long as the prerequisite course shows up as “in progress” on your degree audit, you will be allowed to register for the class at the time of registration. 
  • If you fail the prerequisite, you cannot stay enrolled in the course. The registration system will read your final grade in the prerequisite when it is posted; the registration system will then automatically remove you from the course. This generally will happen around three days after UI grades are posted. Be sure to keep an eye on your grades and on your registration. Contact your advisor as soon as possible if you need help.

Taking prerequisites at another institution

Prerequisite is already completed

If you already completed the prerequisite at another institution, you will be allowed to register for the course requiring that prerequisite if at the time of registration, that course appears on your degree audit as equivalent to the UI prerequisite. 

  • Because of the prerequisite blocking system, it is important that you have your transcript from the other institution sent to UI Admissions as soon as your grade is finalized.

Currently enrolled in the prerequisite and it appears on your UI audit

If you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite at another institution and the course currently shows up on your UI degree audit as "in progress" (IP), you can register for the course that requires this prerequisite. However, you also will need submit proof that you have passed the course or earned the required minimum grade in it or you will be removed after UI grades are posted. See the section below: "Provide evidence of your final grade."

Currently enrolled in the prerequisite and it doesn't appear on your UI audit or enrollment will be in the summer

If you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite and it doesn't show up on your UI audit, or if you plan to enroll in the prerequisite in the summer to take a UI course in the fall, you will need to request permission to enroll in the UI course through an online form.  Please do this prior to your registration date, so that you are not blocked during the registration process.

Follow these instructions:

1. Request permission to enroll:

  • Log into MyUI and click on Student Information in the top menu
  • Go to the Courses and Grades section and click on "Request Prerequisite Special Permission"
  • On that screen, you will be asked to provide details of your registration at the other institution.  If possible, please attach evidence, such as a screen shot of your enrollment at that institution.
  • You will receive a response within 1-2 business days.  If successful, you will be given conditional permission to enroll in the UI course.  This means that you will be able to enroll in the course at your assigned time during early registration.  The permission is conditional, though, meaning you will be dropped from the UI course if you do not provide evidence of your final grade in the prerequisite.

2. Provide evidence of your final grade:

  • As soon as your grade is finalized, have your transcript sent to the Office of Admissions at UI. 
  • Because it can take some time for your course to appear on your UI Degree Audit, also complete the MyUI form, called “Proof of Completion of Prerequisites.”  This is found on the Student Records page of MyUI, under the Courses and Grades section through the “Courses with Special Permissions” link. 
  • Follow the instructions on that form to upload electronic proof of your final grade (such as a screen shot). 
  • If this evidence is accepted (you should receive a reply within 1-2 business days), your special permission will be changed to permanent and you will NOT be dropped from your upcoming course. 
  • If you do not send proof of your final grade, your registration in the course will be canceled around three days before the next semester starts.

For all courses in the College of Business, the Undergraduate Program Office (UPO) will be reviewing evidence and granting permission to enroll in the courses. These courses include all those with the following subject names:
ACCT (Accounting)
BUS (Business)
ECON (Economics)
FIN (Finance)
MGMT (Management and Entrepreneurship)
MSCI (Business Analytics)
MKTG (Marketing)

If you are enrolled in a prerequisite to enable you to enroll in a course in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UI, please visit their Q&A page for information about similar processes in that College.