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Prereqs are changing!

Many of the prereqs for HPHY courses are changing, effective Spring 2015. Be sure to plan ahead so that you can stay on track!

What are prereqs? The prereqs are used to assure that students have the appropriate background training before they enroll in a course or course series. Instructors plan what they teach and how they teach based on the learning objectives of the prereqs. Because of this, prereqs are strictly enforced.

What courses to I need to take to get into this or that HPHY course? A complete listing of the new prereqs (and info on the old prereqs) is online at

What grade do you need to get in order to enroll in a subsequent course? As of Spring 2015, you will need to demonstrate a “C” grade or better, which signifies a fair level of achievement. You cannot progress if you have a “C-” grade, which signifies little or marginal understanding of the material. We believe the students who come in from the prereq courses with grades in the marginal C- range struggle, and often times have to repeat 321 or 322 or both, which increases the number of students in these packed courses, increase the cost of education for students who repeat them, and typically delays their time to graduation. We believe these students would perform better in the core of the major if they are caught at the prereq level and establish stronger study habits/seek assistance in the 200-level prereq courses before progressing to these 300-level courses.

But I am so far along on my major – do I need to retake a course where I got a C-? Did you pass a prereq for a HPHY course before fall 2014? For students who completed a prereq prior to fall 2014, a marginal but passing grade of C- may satisfy the prereq criteria for entry to HPHY 371 and other upper-division elective courses – see the chart at at to determine if this applies to you.