One of the goals of the Department of Computer Science is to assist students to be successful and learn as much as possible in their academic program. Specifically with respect to prerequisites, when a student takes a course without the prerequisites, they are often, less likely to pass (or do well in) the course, gain less insight into the course material, and can unnecessarily burden instructional resources, e.g., the instructor and/or TA’s time. Prerequisites ensure that students are fully prepared to understand the subject matter of a course and prepare students for success in the course.

Registering for a course that has prerequisites

  • Step 1 - Use the University Catalog, Schedule Builder, or Major Checklists to identify the prerequisites of any course.
  • Step 2 - If you have completed the listed prerequisites, you may register. If not, then follow step 3.
  • Step 3 - Attempt to register for the course, and Schedule Builder will prompt you to submit a
    Prerequisite Petition.

Completing a Prerequisite Petition

Prerequisite petitions are not meant for students to bypass prerequisites. If you feel you met the prerequisite through courses taken at another institution, please complete a prerequisite petition. 

Address all prerequisites required for the course. Plan to include the following:

  • Institution and term when course(s) was taken
  • Course number and title
  • Grade(s) you earned
  • Equivalent UCD course(s) or potentially equivalent course(s)
  • Screenshots, syllabi, courses descriptions, CS Placement Exam score, and/or other documents as needed

Students with "I" or "Y" grades in prerequisite courses are required to have their grade resolved by the first day of instruction. If the grade still shows as "I" or "Y" on the first day of instruction, the prerequisite petition will be denied.

Please include as much information as possible in your petition. Petitions lacking sufficient explanations and proof may be denied. Prerequisite Petitions are reviewed 4 times each quarter --

  • After Pass 2 begins
  • After Pass 2 ends
  • After the 10th day of instruction (drop deadline)
  • After the 12th day of instruction (add deadline)
  • Example:
  • If your transfer credit is not yet reflected in your UC Davis record, provide evidence as

    ECS 36A Programming and Problem Solving (Prerequisite: a "C-" or better in ECS 32A, or must
    satisfy computer science placement exam)

    "I scored a 15/18 on the CS Placement exam. See the attached screenshot of my exam results."

Below are NOT acceptable reasons to submit a Prerequisite Petition:

  • You taught yourself the material from the prerequisite course
  • You have experience through an internship or other work-related position
  • A change of major
  • Completion of degree requirements for institutions other than UC Davis
  • The class is listed on your academic plan for the current quarter
  • Completing a Minor
  • Completing the Major (if you have other opportunities to take the course and it does not delay your graduation beyond the usual graduation timeline such as attempting early graduation)
  • Elective course for completing a Major (if you have other options/opportunities to take the course)
  • This course is recommended for a job, internship, research position, or admission to a graduate program
  • Experience from an internship, previous course, or self-taught materials

Here is what you'll see in Schedule Builder:

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Schedule Builder will prompt you to submit a prerequisite petition

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Prerequisite Petition Form
This form is in Schedule Builder only; you can create a draft this form before your Pass 1 begins

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