How to Read and Interpret the Common Program Prerequisites for Degree Programs

Program prerequisites are primarily displayed as groups of courses. A group contains one or more courses. If there is more than one course in a group, the group defines relationships among the courses. If all the courses in a group are required, then the group is an AND group. If only one of the courses in a group is required, then the group is an OR group.

Vertical and horizontal lines, indentations, and special symbols identify group types and relationships. AND groups are represented by the ampersand (&) symbol next to each course on the same vertical line. OR groups are represented by the "or" symbol next to each course on the same vertical line. However, the first course within a group shows a horizontal line instead of the "&" or "or" symbol. Indentations represent groups within groups. Groups within groups are referred to as nested groups.

All program prerequisites include at least one group, called the outer group. If the program allows the student to choose among several courses, then additional groups are used. The additional groups are contained (or nested) within the outer group. Any additional groups may include nested groups.

The format also lists credit hours for the courses. Any relevant course notes are displayed at the bottom of the course listing.

Accounting Program Example

To satisfy the prerequisites for the Accounting degree program below, a student must take 7 or 8 total courses as follows:

  • ACGX021 OR both ACGX001 AND ACGX011
  • ACGX071
  • CGSX100
  • ECOX013
  • ECOX023
  • MACX233
  • STAX023 OR QMBX100

In the Accounting program example shown below, the outer group is an AND group and includes five courses and two nested OR groups. The first nested group includes one course and one nested AND group. The second nested group includes two courses. Four of the courses listed have additional notes.

Sample Courses for Accounting Degree at a state university