Ask Joe   
Mt. SAC Emergency Alert

Alert: Mt. SAC has Transitioned to Online Classes and Services (see Learn more about our COVID-19 response at

Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is a prerequisite? A corequisite?

      A prerequisite is a course that must be completed prior to taking a higher level course. A corequisite is a course that must be taken at the same time as another course (the CRN numbers are linked together at registration). However, a corequisite can often times be taken beforehand, much like a prerequisite.  Some classes have both a prerequisite and a corequisite. Check the Mt. SAC schedule of classes for class requirements.

    • Why can’t I register for a class? I took the placement test.

      A common reason that a student is unable to register for a course after taking a placement exam is because it may have more than one prerequisite. For example, MATH 150 has two prerequisites of MATH 71 and MATH 61. Although the level 3 math assessment test covers the MATH 71 prerequisite, it does not cover the MATH 61 prerequisite. Both must be met in order for the Natural Sciences Division office to give a prerequisite override. Whenever a student is blocked from registration, he/she should pay close attention to the error message provided. That message is the key to getting help to resolve the issue.

    •  How else can I have the prerequisites for a class cleared?

      There are several ways that you can be cleared. Besides taking an assessment test, you can also use your transcripts from other institutions that you have attended. The Natural Sciences Division office will take a look at a list of course equivalencies established between Mt. SAC and the second institution if the equivalencies exist. If the transcripts and equivalencies show that the Mt. SAC prerequisite has been met, then the student will be cleared.

      Note: The Natural Sciences Division does not have course equivalencies with all institutions or for all courses offered. Further, our system does not include equivalencies with many out-of-state institutions; many times, students from out-of-state institutions are sent to the respective department chair for further help with prerequisite clearances (see “How do I contact department chairs/my instructors?”.

    • Do my transcripts need to be official?

      No. You may bring in unofficial college transcripts for our office staff to review. This applies to high school transcripts as well.

    • Can I use my high school transcripts?

      Yes, high school transcripts can be used to verify that a student has taken 2 semesters of high school geometry with a C or better, which is equivalent to having taken MATH 61 here at Mt. SAC.

    • Can I use my AP/IB test scores for a prerequisite override?

      Yes, students can use their AP/IB test as eligibility for a prerequisite override. Please call the Natural Sciences Division office for further information on whether or not your AP/IB test score qualifies you for a specific class.

    •  When should I come in for a prerequisite override?

       Students should try to come in 1-2 weeks before their registration day to receive a prerequisite override. The Natural Sciences Division office is not responsible for students who do not get seats in a class due to delayed permission for a prerequisite override.

    •   If I received an override, why aren’t I registered in the class?

      When a student is given a prerequisite override, the student is not being registered for a class. Instead, the student is given clearance to register for the class themselves as the prerequisites that once prevented registration have been cleared.

    • I’ve had the prerequisites for a class cleared before but I can’t register for it this semester, why?

      The Natural Sciences Division gives prerequisite clearances on a semester basis. If a student asks for a clearance for the FALL semester, they are cleared only for the FALL semester. If the student was not able to get the desired class in this semester, the student must contact the Natural Sciences Division office 1-2 weeks before their next registration date to be cleared again.

    • What is the difference between a prerequisite override and a Variance form? Where can I get a Variance form?

      A prerequisite override is given to students who are not necessarily trying to obtain credit for the prerequisite class at Mt. SAC, but who are trying to be cleared to take a class that they can then transfer back to another institution. A Variance form is generally utilized by students transferring from a different institution who are trying to achieve a degree or certificate here at Mt. SAC. Variance forms can be picked up from the Natural Sciences Division office in building 61, room 2505.

    • What is a Late Add form? How can I access this form? Where do I turn it in?

      A Late Add form is a form that students can pick up from the Natural Sciences Division office in building 61, room 2505, that enables students (with permission from their instructors) to register for a class after the initial add/drop period. Further instructors below:


      1. During the first 2 weeks of the fall or spring semester, students should add classes by using the Add Authorization Code provided by the instructor.
      2. After the first 2 weeks of the semester, students must use this Late Add form to add a class. It must be signed by the instructor, verifying that the students have been in attendance since either the first or second week of the semester.


      1. For winter or summer intercessions, students should add classes by the expiration date in the Add Authorization Code provided by the instructor. The expiration date varies by class.
      2. The late add period for intersessions is 22% of the class. Students must use this Late Add form to add a class. It must be signed by the instructor, verifying that the students have been in attendance during the first 22% of the class.

      Note: after being signed by the instructor, the Late Add form must be carried by the student to the Admissions & Records office in building 9B.

    •   What resources are available to me through the Natural Sciences Division? Where can I go if I need help?

      The MARC and TMARC are designed to help tutor students in mathematics. The MARC is for Mt. SAC courses under MATH 100, and the TMARC is for transferrable Mt. SAC courses over MATH 100. Both are located on the first floor of building 61 and students need a current Mt. SAC student ID to use the facilities. Contact (909) 274-5014 for hours as they change with each term.

      The STEM Center is located on the third floor of building 61, in room 3316. The STEM Center offers counselors and tutors that specialize in STEM classes and majors. Contact (909) 274-4224 for hours as they change with each term.

      The Earth Science Resource Center is located in building 11, room 2310. This resource offers staff that help with classes related to Earth Sciences, such as Geology and Astronomy. Contact (909) 274-6676 for hours and more information.

      Natural Sciences Division Computer Lab offers students access to computers and printing services. It is located in building 11, room 2115. Contact (909) 274-4430 for hours and further information.

    •  How can I contact the department chairs/my instructor?

      Please contact the Natural Sciences Division office for information on instructor office hours as well as Department Chair office hours. The Natural Sciences Division can be reached at (909) 274-4425.

    • If I have a grievance, who should I go to?

      If you have a grievance that you cannot resolve with your instructor, contact the appropriate department chair (see “How can I contact the department chair/my instructor?”). If after talking with a department chair your grievance was not resolved, then come to the Natural Sciences Division office to schedule an appointment with the Dean or Associate Dean.

    • Who can I contact for further information on the Registered Veterinary Technician Program? What about for Histotechnology?

      Both of these Programs have a page on the Mt. SAC website to inform students about these respective programs. For the Histotechnology Program, please visit and for the Registered Veterinary Technician Program, please visit

      For further information about the Registered Veterinary Technician Program, please contact the Agriculture Department at (909) 274-4540.

      For further information about the Histotechnology Program, please contact Professor Jennifer MacDonald, program director, at (909) 274-4884.

    • How do I register for the RVT program?

      To get into our RVT program, all you have to do is apply to the college and then register for any of the RVT first-year courses. You can find a list of these courses at . There are no prerequisite courses that you need to start the program. Once you are in one of the classes, you will need to attend an Orientation Day. Orientation information is usually during the third week of the semester; information is given out in each class on times/location. During the Orientation we will go over the entire program with you. Once you fill out some paperwork, you are officially in the program. We pride ourselves on having a great program with a lot of hands-on experience. We have a full working farm on campus where we raise cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, and some llamas. Students get to work with all species of animals including dogs, cats, reptiles, livestock, horses, and pocket pets.

      You can set up an appointment with Dawn Waters, Director of the RVT program, through our Agriculture Sciences Administrative Specialist III at 909-274-4540. Please feel free to email with any questions you may have.

Natural Sciences Home Page