Prerequisites, Corequisites and Recommended Preparation at College of San Mateo - Prerequisite Challenge Petition
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Prerequisites, Corequisites and Recommended Preparation
Prerequisite Challenge Petition

Prerequisite Challenge Petition and Process
A prerequisite or corequisite can be challenged only on one or more of the following grounds:
  • The student has the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course despite not meeting the prerequisite.
  • The prerequisite or corequisite was established in violation of district policies or Title 5 regulations.
  • The prerequisite or corequisite is unlawfully discriminatory or applied in an unlawful or discriminatory manner.
  • The prerequisite or corequisite has not been made reasonably available and the student is subject to undue delay in goal attainment.
To challenge a prerequisite, you must do the following:
  1. Fill out the Prerequisite Challenge Form.
  2. Compose a formal letter explaining the reason you are challenging the prerequisite or corequisite. This letter must accompany all petitions. Include in the letter a detailed description of how you meet the prerequisite requirement.
  3. Attach supporting documentation which can include the following: college transcripts as evidence of successful course completion, catalog course description, course outline and/or course syllabus, documentation of professional work experience, letters of recommendation from employers or instructors, samples of graded papers, high school transcripts, professional licenses or certificates.
  4. Submit your Prerequisite Challenge Packet to the Assessment Center at least five (5) working days prior to the published last day to register. The Assessment Center is located in the College Center, Building 10-370, 3rd Floor. You may also email your request and supporting documents to, or FAX your materials to (650) 574-6587. Choose one method for submission; multiple submissions will delay your request.
NOTE: Some courses have additional requirements for challenges beyond what appears above. Assessment Services can advise you of additional challenge process requirements that may include a portfolio (i.e. English and Literature courses) or a demonstration of prerequisite skills.

It is the responsibility of the student to provide compelling evidence to support the challenge. 

Read the directions carefully since they provide information for students seeking prerequisite challenge approval. If the challenge is approved, the enrollment block is removed to allow the student to register.
What happens if my prerequisite challenge petition is not approved?
If the prerequisite challenge petition is denied, the student is notified via email. The student will not be able to enroll in the course. For English, ESL, Reading and Mathematics courses the student is directed to complete a CSM Placement Test to determine course placement level.

Is there a special prerequisite equivalency form for foreign language courses and for music courses?
Yes. There is a specific form, Prerequisite Equivalency Form for Modern Languages, for foreign language courses with prerequisites. This list of courses includes Chinese and Spanish. To clear Prerequisites for Music 111 and 131, complete a short assessment of basic music skills. Stop by Assessment Services (Building 10. room 370) or call 650-574-6175 to schedule a testing time.