For example, I would like to take Intermediate Spanish I AND Intermediate Spanish II at the same time.

Can colleges, in general, allow that? If my advisor says to me that they think it cannot be done, how can I insist and persuade them (without any illegal activity obviously)? Where do I see these policies?

This question is about US Colleges in general. Not about my specific college.

  • Sounds like an institution-specific question. – Jon Custer Nov 12 '20 at 22:15
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    The problem is, there is not 'generally speaking' - between the ones I've been to, the one's my kids and wife have been to, one could come up with about a dozen different answers and those would be just one institution (different departments). – Jon Custer Nov 12 '20 at 22:17
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    So, you need the answer for your institution and department. Go ask your advisor (ok, done), the professors of those classes, and perhaps the department chair. For a language, frankly I'd suggest the answer should be no. Taking two different math classes? Sure. – Jon Custer Nov 12 '20 at 22:19
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    Why? Sounds like the solution to your problem is to test out of Spanish I, not do this. – Azor Ahai -him- Nov 12 '20 at 22:21
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    As a student I did this multiple times and regretted it every time. It just doesn't make any sense. Skip the easier class if you can, take it alone if you can't. – knzhou Nov 12 '20 at 23:07

This will, of course, depend on the specifics of the class and how your institution allows it. At mine, one set of classes in the applied mathematics department was Multivariable Calculus (also known as Calculus III) and Differential Equations (Calculus IV). Although the former seems to be a prerequisite for the latter, this is actually not the case; I took the latter before the former, and some students have actually taken them concurrently. Now, it should be noted that there is not so much overlap between the two classes they way they are taught at my institution, and it might be different at other institutions.

However, some classes are listed as prerequisites before taking other classes because they contain information or material which are a foundation for later classes (where you are expected to know the material taught in the prerequisite class), and even if you were able, you would be doing yourself a disservice to cut corners like this. In the case of language classes like Spanish, it wouldn't be so smart to try and take Spanish II without knowing the material of Spanish I. I would probably take Spanish I for a refresher or see if you can transfer credit in to bypass it, it doesn't seem to make sense to take both of them concurrently.

Again, this depends on how your institution sets its policies for prerequisites. First, of course, ask your advisor for advice on this and consult the official course catalog/bulletin, since it should list classes, policies, prerequisites, etc. If you feel you should be able to take Spanish II, consult the professor teaching that class and get input from them as to whether it would be a good move or not.

Hope this helps.


The policy will be in the prerequisite requirements for a class, in your case, Intermediate Spanish II. In the U.S., you will find prerequisite requirements in the official catalog of the institution, and probably elsewhere. Somewhere in the official catalog there may be a policy about whether prerequisites can be overridden, and if so how.

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    I have seen some classes that list the prereqs as being OK to take in the same semester. Language classes seem unlikely tho – Azor Ahai -him- Nov 12 '20 at 22:41
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    @AzorAhai-him- In the few institutions with which I'm familiar, those are called co-requisites. In any case, the catalog is likely to be very clear, and you're right, it doesn't seem likely for a language course. Perhaps if OP is a native speaker of Spanish or something ... – Bob Brown Nov 12 '20 at 22:46

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