Course Prerequisites

Penn State’s registration system does not prevent students from scheduling most courses for which they have not completed the prerequisites. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to review student prerequisites at the beginning of the course.

If you believe that specific prerequisites are imperative, you may want to send an email to these students to emphasize the importance of completing course prerequisites. Sometimes a student’s life experiences may convince an instructor that a specific student can successfully complete the course without the prerequisite. Penn State is developing strategies to incorporate prior learning through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). To learn more about PLA, visit a conversation featuring Dr. Pat Shope, Enrollment Services Specialist in the Adult Learner Advocacy Office at Penn State Outreach and Online Education.

Instructors have the prerogative to refuse admission to a class if it appears obvious that this will not be a successful learning experience for the student. In such cases, students should be told as soon as possible before classes begin or within the regular drop-add period (first 6 calendar days of the semester) to drop the course via LionPATH. If students do not comply by dropping the course, please contact your department office (for resident education courses) or the World Campus Registrar (for World Campus courses) for assistance.