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Department of Mathematics


Before you try to register for a course, please make sure you have met the prerequisites.

How do I know what the prerequisites are for a course I want?

Be prepared for some inconsistencies depending on where you look for these prerequisites.  We suggest looking at the prerequisites listed in the undergraduate bulletin, using the link to “Course Descriptions”. Selecting the course you want will give you the current prerequisites for that course.  In some cases, this will refer to a Mathematics Placement Test (MPT). The type of placement test needed and the score that is required for the course you want can be found here.

I know the material that is required for the course I want to take.  Can't you let me just sign up for the course I want to take without my having to fulfill the requirements?

No, we cannot.

I am registered in the required course now and haven't finished it yet.  How do I get in the course I want for the next term?

The system will let you register for courses if you are currently taking the required course at USC at the time you register. If you do not get the required grade in the course you are taking, you should drop the course you registered for. Otherwise, be prepared to be dropped from the course by the department sometime prior to the start of the term you are taking the course.

I am going to take the required course this summer.  Can I get an override to register for the course I want in the fall before I finish the course this summer?

If you are going to take the required course at USC in the summer, register for the summer course first and go to the previous question. If you are going to take the required course elsewhere, there are some things you need to know, some that deal with the Mathematics Department and some that don't.

Part I. Pre-Mathematics Department Part. Go to the undergraduate bulletin and read the link “Admissions Policies and Procedures” and, in particular, the “Applicability” section under “Transfer Admission” at this link. Important information there includes the fact that you cannot take a course for transfer credit if you were “previously enrolled in an equivalent course at this university, unless the student was enrolled full time at least one year at the transfer institution.”

Assuming you are eligible to take the required course elsewhere, there is a list of courses from other institutions and how they transfer, but note that these are constantly changing. To make sure that the course you want to take at another institution transfers the way you intend it to transfer, you should complete the Special Enrollment/Transient Request (AS-30) form [pdf] and get all the appropriate signatures including your academic dean's signature. Make a copy of this form for yourself and turn in the original form to the registrar's office. 

Part II. Mathematics Department Part. Complete the departmental form and take note of the agreement you are making there. Take the copy you made of your completed Special Enrollment/Transient Request (AS-30) form above with signatures to DeeAnn Moss, in LeConte 413, together with proof that you have registered for the summer course indicated on the form. She will provide you with a temporary prerequisite override.

I have taken the required course elsewhere, but it isn't showing up on my record yet.  Can I get an override until it does?

This can happen if you have taken a course outside the USC system, including AP Calculus or IB Mathematics (higher level). It is up to you and not the Mathematics Department to make sure that the Admissions Office receives the courses you have taken so that you can register for the courses you want. Note that there are certain instances when courses will not transfer. For example, USC policy does not allow you to get credit for a course from outside the USC system if you have already attempted the course inside the USC system.  The answer to the question though is, “Yes.”  Complete the departmental form and take note of the agreement you are making there. This will give you a temporary override for the course you want to take. If it is within 14 days of the first day of class, you should immediately provide the proof required, as indicated in the agreement on this form, that you have taken the required course elsewhere and received the required grade.

I took MATH 122 and I want to take MATH 141 now, but it says I don't satisfy the prerequisites.  What's up with that?

The confusion here seems to stem from students thinking that higher numbered courses mean that the student has mastered the material in lower numbered courses. But this is not the case.  MATH 122 is not a prerequisite for MATH 141. The prerequisite for MATH 141 is earning a C or better in MATH 115 (or 112 or 116) or obtaining a score of at least 19 on the Pre-Calculus version of the Mathematics Placement Test.


Math Prerequisites

Course Prerequisite
MATH 115  MATH 111 or 111i
MATH 122  MATH 111 or 111i
MATH 141  MATH 112 or 115 or 116
MATH 142  MATH 141
MATH 170  MATH 111 or 111i
MATH 172  MATH 122 or 141
MATH 174  MATH 111 or 111i
MATH 221  MATH 111 or 111i
MATH 241  MATH 142
MATH 242  MATH 142