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Courses: Building Requisites

Information on building course requisites, including formatting, course equivalents, testing scores, etc.

How to use this KB:

This KB document is designed to assist in the process of building course requisites. The baseline of any requisite is typically prior course preparation, as noted in Rule #1. Rules #2-6 can expand upon or refine a requisite, if appropriate. The intent can very easily be changed by adding a word or a comma, thus any questions on requisites should be clarified with the faculty in the department(s) owning the subject(s) in which the course is being proposed.

Per the Policy on Course Catalog Elements, the following rules should be followed when building a requisite:

  1. Include all UW-Madison courses that may provide the academic preparation needed to be successful in the course. Include all equivalents and all cross-listings. Courses must be formatted utilizing the appropriate subject short description + catalog number (ex: MATH 221).
    1. If a specific GPA/grade is required in a course, include significant data to support that a student needs that grade to succeed.
  2. Include placement exams. Advanced Placement and other third-party test scores are automatically configured if the course they equate to is used in the requisite.
  3. Include satisfaction of general education, such as Communications Part A, Quantitative Reasoning A, and Quantitative Reasoning B.
  4. Include limitations on courses with significant overlap.
  5. Consider the audience for the course (i.e., class standing- junior standing, graduate/professional, etc.; students declared in a plan or subplan; student groups; etc.).
  6. If requisites are unenforceable in SIS, utilize ‘Consent of Instructor’. 

Basic Rules and Formatting

Basic rules to follow when building requisites.



Keep requisites under 255 characters. This is the maximum characters allowed in SIS (254).


Requisites must comply with the course numbering policy. See Audience for more information.


When listing courses, ending with “or [insert course]”, all courses in that series are considered “or”

"STAT 201, 224, 301, 324, or 371” means any one of those courses will meet the requisite.

When listing courses ending with “and [insert course]”, all courses in the series are required.

“GEOG 378, 572, 574, 575, 576, and 579” means every course must be taken to enroll in the course.

Don't include multiple "or", or "and" in a list.

STAT 201, 224, 301, 324, or 371

Utilize the Oxford comma with ‘and’ and ‘or’ statements. The requisite meaning may change based on the placement of commas.

STAT 201, 224, 301, 324, or 371

If there is a list of courses from the same subject, put the subject at the beginning of the list and do not repeat it. Pull out cross-listed courses and list them first or last.

PSYCH/SOC 401, SOC 102, 202, 302, 506

Parenthesis may be included to clarify grouping of courses where multiple courses are all required or are considered interchangeable. 

“DS 120 and (M E 160 or ART 112)” means DS 120 must be taken and either M E 160 or ART 112 must also be taken.

When using parentheses and more courses with the same subject are utilized in the requisite, include the subject outside of the parentheses. 

(MATH 112 and 113), MATH 114, 171, or 211

Don't use double parentheses

(ECON 101, 111, or A A E 215), (ACCT I S 100 or 300 or concurrent enrollment in ACCT I S 100), and (GEN BUS 306, ECON 310, MATH/STAT 309, 431, STAT 224, 301, 302, 309, 311, 324, 371, or PSYCH 210, or concurrent enrollment), or Business Exchange student

In a course series, if course A is the requisite for course B and course B is the requisite for course C it is not necessary to also list course A as a requisite on course C.

FRENCH 101 Requisite: FRENCH 100 

FRENCH 102 Requisite: FRENCH 101

Abbreviations are not allowed

Sophomore standing

Periods are not necessary and may not be used to separate parts of the requisites. Exception to "Not open to students with credit for [insert course(s)." Similarly, don't use semicolons.

(MATH 319, 320 or 375) and (E P 271 or COMP SCI 310), or graduate/professional standing, or member of Engineering Guest Students

Do not reference UW-Madison admission standards, or high school preparation (ex. high school algebra)



Using UW-Madison Courses

Listing specific UW-Madison courses is the preferred way of describing the academic preparation necessary to be successful in a course. By including the UW-Madison version of a course in the requisite, end users can understand what is required. Those who did not take a requisite course at UW-Madison can utilize information associated with the UW-Madison course such as the title, course description, learning outcomes etc. to better understand the academic preparation that is required.

Courses must use the correct subject short description (also known as subject short descr), inclusive of all cross-listings, combined with the catalog number. This is imperative because SIS, the Course Search and Enroll App, Guide, Lumen Programs, and Lumen Courses recognize the subject short description and pull the relevant catalog information wherever that course exists. 

Include discontinued courses that may have met the requirements needed at the time a student took the course. After a period of 6 years, the time estimated for all students who took a course to have graduated, the requisites can be cleaned up to remove the old courses. Discontinued courses may remain in requisites and will not link in Lumen.

Concurrent Enrollment

There are three ways to write and think about concurrent enrollment

  1. Co-Requisite
  2. Enrollment in two courses at the same time (must register with both in the cart)
  3. Enrollment in second course is contingent on enrollment in the first course (register for the second course after enrolling in the first)


A student may be enrolled in a course at the same time to fulfill a requisite in another course. This aligns with the idea of co-requisite, in that the student does not need to know the entirety of a course’s content to be successful in the second course. If the student must know the entirety of the second course (i.e., they must have a good understanding of concepts learned later in the semester), concurrent enrollment should not be used.

Requisite phrasing

[CRSE ###], or concurrent enrollment in [CRSE ###]


The catalog information for Dairy Science 378, including title, description, requisite (including an example of a co-requisite), and other course elements.

Enrollment in two courses at the same time

Concurrent enrollment where a student is expected to be enrolled in two courses at the same time, every time the courses are offered. The concurrent enrollment must be set on both courses pointing towards each other. Both courses must ALWAYS be offered together during the same term, otherwise the student will need consent of instructor to enroll in only one of the courses. This should be limited as it is resource heavy (must be set up every semester when scheduling the courses) and requires students to know they need to enroll in both courses at the same time (they cannot enroll in one and subsequently enroll in the other).
Requisite Phrasing

Course A requisite: Concurrent enrollment in Course B.
Course B requisite: Concurrent enrollment in Course A.

Enrollment in second course is contingent on enrollment in the first course

A student must be enrolled in a course the same time as being enrolled in a second course, but it’s not required to be enrolled at the same time. Historically, this is the way concurrent enrollment was set up but is no longer recommended. This type of requisite should be limited as it is resource heavy (must be set up every semester when scheduling the courses) and is confusing for students; they must enroll in the first course before enrolling in the second. They cannot enroll in the second concurrent enrollment course until SIS sees they are enrolled in the first course. This also poses problems if a student were to enroll in one of the courses during the spring and wanted to enroll in the other during fall. Consider if this use is appropriate and the courses will ALWAYS be offered at the same time.

Requisite Phrasing

Concurrent enrollment in [CRSE ###]


A student must enroll in COMP SCI 200 first. Then they must go in again and enroll in COMP SCI 304.

COMP SCI 304 as an example using a co-requisite of, "Concurrent enrollment in COMP SCI 200."

Minimum Credits in a Subject

Requisites may include requiring a minimum number of credits in a single subject but have limited use in requisites and is not recommended. This type of requisite does not indicate preparation in any specific subject matter. When using this, it will only look for the specified subject listed and will not include any cross-listed subjects. When using this in a requisite, include justification in the course rationale as to how this this supports preparation for the course. Requisites cannot enforce "taking one course in [subject]." Using this as a requisite may disadvantage transfer students.

Requisite Phrasing

[#] credits in [Subject]

Utilizing grades in a requisite

Including minimum grades in a requisite for a course may act as an unintended barrier for students when enrolling in a course, such as differential enrollment eligibility, course capacity, conflict with regulations, student cost, and administrative cost,1 thus the use of grades in requisites is extremely limited.

In the rare circumstance when it may be necessary to hold students to a higher-level grade, substantial evidence must be provided in the course proposal to provide overwhelming evidence that students succeed only if they earned a specific letter grade, or higher, in the requisite course. Requiring a grade threshold higher than the standard impacts student progress toward degree and requiring a student to repeat a course in order to progress in an area of study should only be done when there is clear evidence that it is necessary for student success in subsequent course work. If requiring a higher letter grade than the minimum for earning credit, the requisite of the course should be reconsidered.

Passing Grades, Transfer, and Third-party Test Grade Calculations

  • As a standard, a letter grade of D is the default minimum for earning credit/successfully completing a course and this is the standard for a course meeting a requisite.
  • Transfer courses are posted as T (equated as a letter grade of C), regardless the actual grade received at the previous institution including courses where the grade from the previous institution of a D. Therefore, in a requisite of B, no transfer course (regardless of grade earned at the previous institution) would satisfy the requirement.
  • All test credits (AP, IB, retro credit), are posted as T (equated as a C). Any transfer course receiving credit will have a grade of a T, including courses where the grade from the previous institution of a D.
  • When a requisite includes completion of a course with a particular grade or higher, courses taken on a pass/fail basis (which posted to the student transcript as a S) will be calculated as a C. If a student fails a pass/fail course (receives a grade of U) they do not receive credit and therefore the course cannot be used to meet a requisite. A grade of an SD will also be treated as a C for requisite fulfillment.

Required information when proposing a requisite using a letter grade

  • Are there equity issues in the course? Who is being excluded by requiring a specific grade (or better)? Traditionally marginalized students typically are the most negatively impacted by D/F drop rates.
  • What evidence is there that shows students who receive lower than the requested requisite grade don't succeed downstream?
  • What evidence is there that there is a problem with students who get a lower than the requested requisite grade?
  • How does this requested requisite grade impact time-to-degree (either by retaking a course, or making students shift into another major late in their educational career)? As an additional note, students who re-take a course do not get financial aid, so this should also be factored.
  • How does this grade impact the complexity of the curriculum (academic analytics)?
  • What effort is made in the requisite course to minimize D/F grades?
  • What are the implications of this requested requisite grade? What problems does this solve? What kind of problems does it make?
  • Explain how transfer students are impacted (transfer courses do not have grades, thus making students either re-take a course here, or they need individual permission - assuming someone is verifying they already learned the content in the requisite).

DAPIR can assist procuring this type of data. Send a request via email,

Requisite Phrasing

A grade of [X] in [CRSE ###]

Footnote 1
  • Differential enrollment eligibility: UW-Madison is required to transfer courses for which students have received a passing grade (equivalent of D or better at UW-Madison) for an equivalent course at another university. Because grades in transfer courses are not part of a student’s record and are only on their external transcripts, the requisite utilizing letter grades cannot be enforced for students who transfer. This means that enrolled UW-Madison students are held to a different standard than transfer students.
  • Course capacity: Having students re-take a course for which they already have credit creates problems from a course capacity perspective without necessarily addressing the underlying issues that may have led the student to get a low grade the first time.
  • Conflict with other regulations: Re-taking courses for which they have already earned credit can also cause problems for certain groups of students who are subject to additional regulations from other agencies about their academic progress. These include students who receive federal financial aid, student athletes, international students, and some internal scholarship recipients.
  • Student cost: Re-taking a course for which they already have credit may increase time-to-degree and therefore costs for students. Students may be enrolled in the course requiring a letter grade before their grade is knowing. Once they are notified that they are ineligible to continue there is a hole in their course schedule and their opportunity to enroll in other courses may be limited.
  • Administrative cost: Maintaining an enrollment requisite with a letter grade is different from other courses and requires extra effort from the Office of the Registrar to ensure that students have a specific letter grade instead of the usual D or better. Because enrollment for the next semester happens well before grades for the current semester are final, students who get a letter grade lower than listed in the requisite but have already enrolled in that course must be removed through a special process.

Course Equivalents

All courses that are considered equivalent must be included. Students, advisors and others outside the department offering the course will not have the content knowledge or knowledge of the wide ranging offerings of the university needed to identify similar courses so including all options (with all cross-listed subjects) is necessary.

The content areas listed below are commonly used in requisites and more than one course with similar content is offered. Review the course content of each area to make a determination which is the best course to utilize in a requisite. Some of the following must always be included, while others are optional.

Algebra (e.g. MATH 112)

Equivalencies that must be included in requisite text

MATH 112, MATH 114 and MATH 171 cover similar algebra content, so all these options must be included in requisites that require MATH 112.

Placement information to include in the requisite text

include “or placement into MATH 211 or 221” in the requisite text. 

Other courses that the Registrar will automatically encode to meet the requisite (It is not necessary to include these courses in the requisite text.)

MATH 217, 211, 221, 222, and 234 will be included in requisite enforcement because they all surpass the math content required.   

Requisite Phrasing

MATH 112, 114 or 171 or placement into MATH 211 or 221. 

Trigonometry (e.g. MATH 113)

Equivalencies that must be included in requisite text

MATH 113, MATH 114 and MATH 217 cover similar trigonometry content, so each of these options must be included in requisite text.

Placement information to include in the requisite text

Include “or placement into MATH 221” to the requisite text.  

Other courses that the Registrar will automatically encode to meet the requisite (It is not necessary to include these courses in the requisite text.)

MATH 221, 222, and 234 will be included in requisite enforcement because they meet/surpass trigonometry. 

Requisite Phrasing

MATH 113, 114 or 217 or placement into 221

Both Algebra and Trigenometry (e.g. MATH 112 and 113)

Equivalencies that must be included in requisite text

(MATH 112 and MATH 113), MATH 114; and (MATH 171 and 217) cover similar algebra + trigonometry content. It is unnecessary to include MATH 171 because it's a prerequisite and will be automatically enforced. Each of these options must be included in requisites if both algebra and trigonometry are required.  

Placement information to include in the requisite text

Include “or placement into MATH 221” to the requisite text.  

Other courses that the Registrar will automatically encode to meet the requisite (It is not necessary to include these courses in the requisite text.)

“credit for MATH 113 and placed out of MATH 112” “credit for MATH 112 and placed out of MATH 113 will be included in the requisites, as well as MATH 211, 221, and 222, and 234. 

Requisite Phrasing

(MATH 112 and 113), MATH 114, 217, 221, or placement into MATH 221

First Semester Calculus (e.g. MATH 221 or potentially MATH 211)

Equivalencies that must be included in requisite text

MATH 171 and 217 is a two-course sequence that blends precalculus and calculus and is equivalent to MATH 114 and MATH 221. When using MATH 221 as a requisite, MATH 171 or 217 must also be included, depending on the required content (but will typically be MATH 217).    

Other possible requisites

MATH 211 is not equivalent to the courses above but can be used as a calculus requisite depending on required content. MATH 211 does not require trigonometry (MATH 113) and does not qualify students to enroll in MATH 222. It is geared towards business and social science students.  

Other courses that the Registrar will automatically encode to meet the requisite (It is not necessary to include these courses in the requisite text.)

MATH 222, and 234 will always be included in requisite enforcement for courses that require MATH 221. (MATH 221 will also be included if the course requires MATH 211).  

Requisite Phrasing

MATH 211, 217 or 221

Second Semester Calculus (e.g. MATH 222)

Other courses that the Registrar will automatically encode to meet the requisite (It is not necessary to include these courses in the requisite text.)

MATH 234 will always be included in requisite enforcement for courses that require MATH 222.

Introductory Biology

  • BIOCORE (curricula vary on how much BIOCORE is needed for an ‘intro-biology equivalency’)
  • BIO SCI x52 will automatically be added, but not displayed in the requisite to any course that lists BIOLOGY/BOTANY/ZOOLOGY 152. This is the transfer equivalency for the bioscience content without fulfilling the Communications B requirement.

Requisite Phrasing


General Chemistry

  • CHEM 103 & 104 are the standard two-semester introductory sequence for STEM majors.
  • CHEM 108 is considered a terminal chemistry course for non-STEM majors.
  • CHEM 109 is an accelerated version of CHEM 103 & 104.
  • CHEM 115 & 116 is the equivalent of general chemistry and an analytical chemistry course.

Requisite Phrasing

(CHEM 103 and 104), CHEM 108, 109, or (CHEM 115 and 116)

Introductory Psychology

PSYCH 202 and 281 are considered equivalents.

Requisite Phrasing

PSYCH 202 or 281

Introductory Sociology

  • SOC 181, C&E SOC/SOC 210, and C&E SOC/SOC 211 are considered equivalents. 
  • C&E SOC/SOC 140 may also be considered an equivalent to the previously listed courses.

Requisite Phrasing

SOC 181, C&E SOC/SOC 210, or C&E SOC/SOC 211


  • ECON 101 and ECON 111 are considered equivalent.
  • A A E 101 (was 215) may also be considered as a microeconomics equivalent.

Requisite Phrasing

ECON 101, 111, or A A E 101

Introductory Physics

  • STEM majors vary on which PHYSICS courses they will accept in their majors. 
  • PHYSICS 103 & 104 – an algebra-based introductory series.
  • PHYSICS 201 & 202 – a calculus-based introductory series, primarily for engineering majors.
  • PHYSICS 207 & 208 – a calculus-based introductory series for math and science majors.
  • PHYSICS 247 & 248 – a calculus-based introductory series for physics, astrophysics, and applied, math, engineering, and physics (AMEP) majors. 
  • E M A 201 & (E M A 202 or M E 240) are often considered a substitute for the first semester in the introductory sequence.

Requisite Phrasing

E M A 201 and (E M A 202 or M E 240), (PHYSICS 103 and 104), (PHYSICS 201 and 202), (PHYSICS 207 and 208), or (PHYSICS 247 and 248)

Testing Scores

Students may meet certain requisites by taking an exam or placement test to demonstrate knowledge typically covered in a course. Utilizing placement exams or credit by exam allows students to demonstrate knowledge that was not gained in a way that does not fit with any of the ways the university documents course credit. Depending on the type of exam, language regarding the use of an exam or placement test must be included in the requisite.

Direct Equivalencies

Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) do not need to be included in the requisite. Test scores are posted as course credit and this would meet the requisite. Behind the scenes the test scores are included in the coding of the requirement for cases where the posting of credit lags behind the receipt of the test scores. Direct equivalencies are listed in Guide.

UW-System/UW-Madison Placement Test Scores

UW-System offers placement exams for FRENCH, GERMAN, MATH, and SPANISH. Placement exams must be included in a requisite, ensuring students know which courses they can enroll based on their scores. Behind the scenes, the requisite is built to consume the test score. As soon as a student’s record indicates their placement score, that student can enroll in any course that includes the “placement” language.

Example: If SPANISH 203 is a requisite for SPANISH 204 and students can place into SPANISH 204, the requisite for SPANISH 204 should be: SPANISH 203 or placement into SPANISH 204.

See the placement matrices available in Guide.


  • The last score taken is the score used for placement.
  • If the placement test score occurs over a range, (ie: 0-299) anti-requisites cannot be built. If the score is defined (ie: 10), an anti-requisite can be built.

UW-Madison offers English or English as a Second Language Assessment Test (ESLAT) placement tests. The English test determines whether a student must complete Communications A.The ESLAT assess students’ English language skills required for academic work and to place students in appropriate ESL courses. For more information, see the English as a Second Language placement website.

Departmental Placement Exams

  • Courses listed as “passed out of” will administratively be entered in the appropriate course requisites with departmental exam approval by the University Curriculum Committee.
  • The utilization of the placement exam requisite is only allowed with an approved placement exam.
  • Requisites will not be built to allow students to enroll in any prior course to their placement. If the student wishes to enroll in a course below their placement, instructor consent must be given.
    Example:  A student who places into SPANISH 204 may not enroll in SPANISH 203, without consent of instructor.
  • Requisites cannot include specific scores on tests due to space and brevity. There are already a limited number of characters in requisites, and this would constrain the already limited space. For a majority of students, scores would only be a temporary placeholder between scores being received and the course equivalent is posted.

Approved departmental placement exams are published in Guide. To see how they are coded in requisites, see the Standard Requisites sheet.

For more information, see the Departmental Placement Exam policy.

Requisite Phrasing

Placement into [CRSE ###]

Transfer Equivalencies

In limited situations, DAPIR/RO may create/approve non-direct transfer equivalency courses. Typically, these are for frequently transferred content that may not carry an attribute that the UW-Madison version of the course has. The most common example is that most courses from other institutions will not have Comm B content. A direct equivalency to the UW-Madison version would not be appropriate but an equivalency for the course minus the course attribute is. These equivalencies are included in the background and do not display in the requisite text. The inclusion of these courses is automatic and must be used (one cannot decide to exclude this course).

Existing non-direct transfer equivalencies:

  • BIO SCI X52
    • Included where BIOLOGY/BOTANY/ZOOLOGY 152 is used. This is the transfer equivalency for the bioscience content without fulfilling the Communications B requirement.
  • PSYCH X02
    • Include where PSYCH 225 is used. This is the transfer equivalency without fulfilling the Communications B requirement.

If interested in creating a non-direct equivalency, please contact DAPIR at

General Education Requisites

Satisfaction of general education designations are acceptable for requisites, except Ethnic Studies and Communications B.

A course that carries Quantitative Reasoning (QR) B always requires satisfaction of Quantitative Reasoning (QR) A. A Communications B course does not require satisfaction of Communications A.

For more information about general education and what each of these requirements mean, see the General Education Requirements page. 

Requisite Phrasing

  • Satisfied Communications A requirement
  • Satisfied Quantitative Reasoning (QR) A requirement
  • Satisfied Quantitative Reasoning (QR) B requirement

Limitations on Enrollment

Honors Courses

Some honors courses are developed specifically for students enrolled in an Honors program. If the course has the Honors Only (H or HON) designation, the requisite of “Declared in an honors program” is required. This includes any school/college honors.

When stating "Declared in an honors program", a student group that includes all plans and subplans for honors programs (school/college honors, honors in the major) regardless of school/college will be added to the requisite. This is a list manually maintained by the Office of the Registrar to ensure all codes are included.

It is allowable to use "Declared in [school/college] honors programs", which will work in a similar fashion limiting the honors program to individual schools/colleges.

Requisite Phrasing

  • Declared in an honors program
  • Declared in [school college] honors program
  • Declared in [major] honors in the major

An example of using "Declared in an honors program" as a requisite for PSYCH 386.

Significant Content Overlap

When there is significant overlap between courses and students should not receive credit for both, an enrollment control can be included in the requisite. Historically, this would often read “can not receive credit for X and Y course.” To ensure that students don’t earn credit in both, the enrollment control should be on both courses. This is also sometimes referred to as an ‘anti-requisite.’

If limiting enrollment by students with credit in another course, the requisite is built prohibiting courses by Course ID. If a course has changed its subject or catalog number, the limitation will still be enforced. If the course is limiting enrollment a previous version of a course with the same course id (frequently seen when doing substantial subject renumbering or reorganization), this cannot be enforced. The language will still show up in the requisite as informational. If a student is given permission to enroll in a course with significant overlap they will receive credit for it even if they previously earned credit for a course an overlapping course.

Requisite Phrasing

Not open to students with credit in [insert course(s)]

SPANISH 103 as an example using a requisite of "Not open to students with credit for SPANISH 302.""

STAT 301 as an example using a requisite of "Not open to students with credit for STAT 302, 324, or 371."


As shared at the beginning of this document, a requisite in its purest form acknowledges the academic preparation needed to be successful in a course. A requisite works to ensure a student enters the course with the prior knowledge necessary to be successful. The best way to systematically evaluate this prior knowledge is by reviewing related courses and determining the one (or many) that contain content necessary for success in the subsequent course. This is why listing a prior UW-Madison course(s) as a requisite (Rule #1 from the beginning of this document) is the preferred requisite. The preferred way to manage enrollment is at the section level.

In some instances, a case can be made to use audience as a requisite. Using a particular plan or subplan, class standing, and/or students in a particular student group can be a proxy for describing academic preparation but it is imprecise and its use limited. Prior knowledge can not typically be generalized to an entire group of students. There is no body of knowledge that all students who have achieved 56 credits (junior standing) will all have and all students with fewer that 56 credits will lack. It is best to manage enrollment at the class section level because the flexibility to add and remove restrictions is much greater. It is recommended that careful consideration be given to using audience related course requisites keeping in mind that changing them will require a course change proposal.

If audience is to be used as a requisite, keep the following in mind:

The audience for a requisite also must comply with the Course Number policy. Where the requisite includes reference to a student being declared in a specific program and/or plan (e.g., Declared in Sociology) it may be assumed (unless otherwise stated):

  • for courses numbered 100-299 this refers to undergraduates only. Graduate students are not allowed to enroll in these courses; if they do, a process runs to remove the credit from their student record.
  • for courses numbered 300-699 this refers to undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • for courses numbered 700 and above this refers to graduate programs. At a minimum, the requisite must prevent undergraduate students from enrolling.
Reminder: Enrollment management can always be enforced at the section level in addition to the catalog requisites. This is the recommended pathway as students, when enrolling, see section level requisites as opposed to catalog-level requisites.

Other general rules: 

  • Audience cannot be specific to an individual school/college or an otherwise loosely defined set of students. 
  • Utilizing ‘open to special students’ is not acceptable for a requisite as it includes any student in continuing studies, including high school students, visiting international, post-baccalaureate, and guest auditors. When using audience for a requisite, consider how it would be coded behind the scenes in addition to an end user’s understanding of what we mean by what is written in requisites. Requisites can, however, exclude non-degree seeking students (not open to special students).
  • If the course is limited to entering students you may consider the student groups of First-Year Student, First-Year Freshmen, or First-Year Transfer, as using standing alone will include or exclude students who have a significant number of advanced standing (AP, IB, retroactive etc.) and transfer credits.
  • Do not use “Open to freshmen” (or any derivative of this). All courses are open to all students unless otherwise specified.
  • Graduate/professional standing - If the course is numbered 700 or higher, the course must at a minimum, have a requisite that limits the course to post-baccalaureate students.

For the appropriate phrases, see the Standard Requisites (Google Sheet) list.

Limiting by Program

Limiting by program assumes that there is some level of academic preparation tied to declaring, thus is allowed at the catalog level. As noted, this is a form of enrollment control and is better suited at the section level if there is no academic preparation.

  • When limiting by a Plan, Subplan, or Program/Plan group, utilize the program(s) transcript title listed in Guide. Example: Animal Sciences BS or Business Analytics Graduate/Professional Certificate. When this is set up in SIS, the requisite uses the SIS code of each program. 
  • When considering using limitation by program, consider using only Plan names instead of indicating the Subplan. When limiting by Subplan, any new Subplans under that major will need to be permissioned into the course or have a course change proposal to revise the requisite (if the course is to be taken by multiple subplans).
  • Do not include periods with the degree level (MS versus M.S.).
  • Bachelor level programs do not need to specify degree level.
  • If no degree is specified, all Plan codes will be included (Bachelors, Masters, PHD, Doctoral Minor).
  • If limiting by graduate programs (MS/MA/PHD), use “[major] graduate program. This is a concatenated version of including all graduate programs associated with a major/program.
  • It is not practical to limit by all "PHD" programs, as the set-up would be including every single PHD code that is active. This is not allowed in requisites.
  • Capstone Certificates are not automatically included in any requisite and must be specified, as graduate/professional standing does not apply to these students (they are in the special student career).

Requisite Phrasing

  • Declared in [Plan name] (Degree level can be included before or after the plan name)
  • Declared in [Plan name]:[Subplan name]
  • Declared in [Plan name] graduate program
  • Declared in Capstone Certificate in [Plan name]
  • Declared in [Plan name] certificate (include “graduate/professional” if it is a graduate certificate)
  • Classified as Pre-[Plan name] (used when there is a pre-major code and a major code that all students should be able to enroll)

An example of using a program in the requisite, E P 469 with "E P 468 and declared in Engineering Physics."

RP & SE 445 as an example with a requisite of "Declared in Special Education: Teacher Certification MS."

RP & SE 316 with an example of using an intended program code, "classified as Pre-Rehabilitation Psychology or Pre-Special Education."

KINES 197 as an example using "Classified as Pre-Kinesiology" as a requisite.

Level designations (class standing) 

This type of requirement should be used sparingly

Class standing is based only on the number of credits a student has earned, including advanced standing (AP, IB, retroactive etc.). Someone with junior standing may be a new college student with 55 AP credits or they may be a student who has attended UW-Madison for 3 years and earned 54 credits on campus. Most requisites will naturally limit enrollment in higher level courses by virtue of specific course requisites etc. As such, standing is not an indication of preparation for a course. 

Where standing is a requisite, it is assumed that the level specified and above are permitted unless the word "only" is used. For example, when using “Junior standing” this includes senior standing, graduate/professional standing, and special students.

For the appropriate phrases, see the Standard Requisites (Google Sheet) list.

ASTRON 500 with a requisite of "graduate/professional standing."

Limiting by year in a program for professional programs (Medicine MD, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) is also determined by credits earned.

Requisite Phrasing

Declared in [program] with [year] standing (professional programs listed above only)

PHM PRAC 559 with a requistie of "Declared in Doctor of Pharmacy program with second year standing."

Limiting by Student Groups

There are limited cases in which student groups may be used in a requisite. Student groups are created in SIS for a wide range of purposes, not all of which relate to or are defined in ways that make them compatible with use in a requisite. It needs to be clear how a student group is defined and is academic in nature and how it will be maintained in a way that remains consistent with that definition over time. Only under rare circumstances will a student group be approved for use in a catalog-level requisite. If seeking to use a student group for enrollment management purposes at the section level, contact the Office of the Registrar.

If interested in potentially using a student group in a requisite at the catalog-level, consult Data, Academic Planning & Institutional Research regarding acceptable use,

Requisite Phrasing

Member of [approved student group name]

See the Standard Requisites (Google Sheet) list for existing student groups used at the catalog-level.

Consent of Instructor

If the required preparation for the course includes factors that are not enforceable in the enrollment system (ex. ability to run 20 miles per week for a course on training for a marathon, requiring a valid passport, ensuring students are over the age of 21), utilize ‘Consent of Instructor” as the requisite and include at the end of the catalog description what the preparation is for the course. The instructor must give individual permission to each student who wishes to enroll in the course. Consent of instructor cannot be utilized with an enforceable requisite as individual permission overrides all restrictions. 

  • All courses between 100-699 with a number that ends in x89, x98 or x99 will be set to “Consent of Instructor” to enroll. All courses numbered higher than 700 that end in x99 also must be set to "Consent of Instructor."
  • Courses numbered 681 and 682 or 691 and 692 will require “Consent of Instructor” to enroll. The course descriptions for 682 and 692 will also state that 681 or 691 respectively are required to enroll.
  • All courses with a number that ends in x89, x98 or x99 will be set to require instructor consent to enroll.
  • Do not include “or consent of instructor” at the end of the requisite, as instructors can always override the stated requisite and permit a student to enroll.

Phrases to Use

UW-Madison Courses

  • [CRSE ###], or concurrent enrollment
  • Concurrent enrollment in [CRSE ###]
  • [#] credits in [Subject]
  • A grade of [X] in [CRSE ###]

Testing Scores

  • Placement into [CRSE ###]

General Education Requisites

  • Satisfied Communications A requirement
  • Satisfied Quantitative Reasoning (QR) A requirement
  • Satisfied Quantitative Reasoning (QR) B requirement

Limitations on Enrollment

  • Declared in an honors program
  • Declared in [school college] honors program
  • Not open to students with credit in [insert course(s)]


  • Declared in [Plan name] 
  • Declared in [Plan name]:[Subplan name]
  • Declared in [Plan name] graduate program 
  • Declared in Capstone Certificate in [Plan name]
  • Declared in [Plan name] Certificate 
  • Classified as Pre-[Plan name] program
  • Member of [approved student group name] (limited use)
  • Declared in [Program] with [year] standing (limited use)

Consent of Instructor

  • Requisite: Consent of Instructor

Study Abroad

  • Include at the end of the description: Enrollment in a UW-Madison resident study abroad program. Requisite: None

Other Requisites including Standing

There are other additional ways to write a requisite that have been centrally located in a Google sheet. This list includes academic level, approved catalog level student groups, testing scores, and transfer equivalencies.

See the list of Standard Requisites (Google Sheet).

Managing Enrollment

It is acceptable for units to use section-level requisites in addition to the catalog level requisite provided the section-level requisite is for enrollment management purposes and does not include additional academic requirements (i.e., courses, GPA).

For example, the academic preparation for a course may be “None,” but there are a limited number of seats and the unit offering the course wants to make sure students who need the course to fulfill requirements for a specific program have a chance to enroll before those interested in taking it as an elective. A section level requisite may be set up limiting enrollment to students in a specific program. The section level requisite can be removed at any point and any student may enroll.

Consult with the Registrar's Office about managing enrollment at the section level.

Post-Enrollment Requisite Checking (PERC)

PERC is a process that departments can opt into to help enforce requisites that were in progress at the time a student enrolled. This allows for more enrollment control and fosters communication with students to ensure they are making successful degree progress and enrolling in appropriate the courses.

More information about PERC (downloaded file)

Keywordsrequisite, requisites, academic preparation, requisite formatting, concurrent enrollment, grades in a requisite, credits in a requisite, course equivalents, testing scores in a requisite, transfer equivalencies in a requisite, general education requisite, honors requisite, anti-requisite, audience requisite, sophomore standing, junior standing, graduate/professional standing, managing enrollment, PERC, catalog requisite, prerequisite, standard requisites, student group, consent of instructor, instructor consent   Doc ID110378
OwnerMelissa S.GroupAcademic Planning
Created2021-04-19 17:23:01Updated2024-06-26 08:35:00
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