Enrolling in Courses

Students may enroll online using the SURF online enrollment system with certain exceptions (e.g., challenging a prerequisite or time conflict). 

The college provides early enrollment dates for matriculated students (see Matriculation), students participating in Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) or Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS), foster youth and former foster youth (up to and including the age of 24), and active duty or recently discharged military personnel. (Contact Admissions and Records, DSPS, EOPS, or the Veterans Education Office for more information.) Note: Priority enrollment may not apply to enrollment in certain vocational or allied health programs that require a separate application process.


Priority Registration Regulations in Effect Since Fall 2014

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has established system-wide enrollment priorities designed to ensure classes are available for students seeking job training, degree attainment, or transfer and to reward students who make progress toward their educational goals.

  • New studentwho have completed college orientation and assessment and have developed educational plans as well as continuing studentin good academic standing who have not exceeded 90 units (not including units in basic English, math, or English as a Second Language) will have priority over studentwho do not meet these criteria.

  • Active duty militarand recently discharged veterans, current and former foster youth, Extended Opportunity Programand Services (EOPS), and DisableStudent Programand Services (DSPS) will continue to have the earliest priority for registration if they meet the same criterilisted above.

  • The regulations, unanimously approved by the Board of Governorswere implemented in fall 2014. We encourage students on probation to seek help to improve their academistandingStudents nearing 90 units should carefully plan their remaining courses.


Credit Courses

Most MiraCosta College courses are offered for credit. That means they are taught by credentialed faculty who meet with students at regularly scheduled times or in self-paced or online formats, and they offer graded instructional experiences that require preparation averaging two hours of additional study for every hour of instruction (lecture). Credit courses are offered to meet requirements for two- and four-year degrees, job preparation or advancement, and basic skills.

Courses numbered from 0 to 49 are basic skills or college preparatory courses. Credit from these courses does not apply toward the associate degree and is not intended for transfer to a four-year college or university.

Students may take a maximum of 30 units of such courses; however, an exception is made for students enrolled in one or more courses of English as a Second Language (ESL) and students identified as having a learning disability. (For more information, see Non-Degree Applicable Courses in the Academic Standards & Policies section of the catalog.)

Courses numbered from 50 to 99 provide credit toward the associate degree, but this credit is not intended for transfer to a four-year college or university. However, the final determination for credit rests with the transfer institution.

Courses numbered from 100 to 199 represent introductory material and expectations for vocational or academic programs. These courses provide credit toward the associate degree, and this credit is intended for transfer to a four-year college or university. However, some courses that fall within this numbering system may be associate-degree-applicable only, and the final determination regarding the transfer of credit rests with the receiving institution. 

Courses that at minimum transfer to the California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) as elective credit identify their transfer status in the "acceptable for credit" section of their course descriptions. 

Students are encouraged to meet with a MiraCosta College counselor and refer to www.assist.org to determine if a course also meets a specific major-preparation requirement. Courses approved for the CSU (Plan B) and UC (Plan C) general education patterns are identified in the Transferring Course Work section of the catalog.

Courses numbered from 200 to 299 often assume skills and knowledge acquired in previous courses. Like the 100-level courses, they provide credit toward the associate degree, and this credit is intended for transfer to a four-year university. However, some courses that fall within this numbering system may be associate-degree-applicable only, and the final determination regarding the transfer of credit rests with the receiving institution.

Courses that at minimum transfer to the California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) as elective credit identify their transfer status in the "acceptable for credit" section of their course descriptions. 

Students are encouraged to meet with a MiraCosta College counselor and refer to www.assist.org to determine if a course also meets a specific major-preparation requirement. Courses approved for the CSU (Plan B) and UC (Plan C) general education patterns are identified in the Transferring Course Work section of the catalog.

Courses numbered from 900 to 999 do not fall in any of the above categories but are, for the most part, specialized or advanced. Credit from these courses cannot be applied toward an associate degree.

Course Identification Numbering System (C-ID)

The Course Identification Numbering System (C-ID) is a statewide numbering system independent from the course numbers assigned by local California community colleges. The purpose of a C-ID designation is to identify comparable courses within the California community college system.

When a C-ID number is listed in the catalog or schedule at the end of a MiraCosta course description (e.g., C-ID AJ120), students can be assured that it will be accepted in lieu of a course bearing the same C-ID designation at another community college.

However, many universities, including the University of  California (UC), do not participate in the C-ID numbering system. Therefore, students should always go to http://www.assist.org/ to confirm how each community college’s course will be accepted at a specific four-year college or university for transfer credit.

Course Outlines

Students seeking detailed information about courses, such as their content, objectives, types of assignments, and fulfillment of a degree, certificate, or general education requirement, may access course outlines from the Courses and Programs webpage.

Course Selection

Course selection is generally the student's responsibility and is based on the student's education plan and previous academic record. Enrollment in English and math courses may require placement testing, which is described under "Assessment" in the Matriculation section of the catalog (see Matriculation). Members of the counseling staff are available to assist students in evaluating their academic potential and in making proper class selections.

Requisites & Other Enrollment Limitations

Prerequisites and corequisites are conditions of enrollment that students have to meet in order to register in a specific course. A prerequisite is a course that must be completed with a "C" or better prior to registration in the specific course; a corequisite is a course that is required to be taken the same semester as another course. Prerequisites and corequisites may be established for any of the following reasons:

  • They ensure students have the knowledge and skills that are necessary for success in a specific course.
  • They are required by a four-year public institution.
  • They are part of a closely related lecture/lab pairing within a discipline.
  • They are required by statute or regulation.
  • They are necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.

Some courses place restrictions on enrollment to prevent students from duplicating course work. Others specify something the student must do prior to enrolling in a course, such as audition or obtain special approval. For example, some intercollegiate competition and public performance courses have auditions or try-outs that restrict enrollment to those students judged most qualified. Some enrollment limitations restrict the number of units a student can earn or the number of courses a student can take within a group of courses that share a similar primary educational objective.  

Meeting & Clearing Prerequisites

Students may meet prerequisite requirements through satisfactory completion of designated MiraCosta courses or by completing course work from other United States regionally accredited post-secondary institutions.

To clear prerequisites taken at another institution, students need to provide a transcript or other evidence, such as a grade report, to the Admissions and Records Office along with a Prerequisite/Priority Enrollment form. The office reviews the transcript or other evidence to determine applicability. It generally takes 3 to 5 business days to clear a prerequisite taken at another institution.

Additionally, students may meet prerequisites by qualifying through appropriate MiraCosta competency or other approved exams. High school course work may not be used to clear prerequisites unless the prerequisite listed in the course description specifically allows for it.

Only grades of "C" or higher (2.0 grade points based on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent) may be used to clear a prerequisite unless the course description states otherwise. A grade of "C-" is not sufficient to clear a prerequisite.

All prerequisites need to be cleared before students can enroll online. Students who are enrolled in a requisite course can enroll in a course that requires the prerequisite for the following semester pending proof of the requisite course's satisfactory completion. If a student does not pass the requisite course with a "C" or better, he or she will be involuntarily withdrawn from the course and refunded applicable fees.

Challenging Requisites & Other Enrollment Limitations

A student may challenge any prerequisite, corequisite, or other enrollment limitation by submitting a MiraCosta College Challenge form at the time of registration to the Admissions and Records Office. The student will be enrolled in the requested class if space is available.

The department whose course requisite or enrollment limitation is being challenged will review the challenge and notify the student of the department's decision within five instructional days (excluding weekends and holidays). If the challenge is upheld, the student may remain in the course; if it is denied, the student will be dropped from the class and refunded all applicable fees.

The only grounds for challenging a prerequisite or corequisite are as follows:

  • It has not been established in accordance with the district's process for establishing prerequisites and corequisites.
  • It is in violation of Title 5.
  • It is either unlawfully discriminatory or is being applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.
  • The student has the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course despite not meeting the prerequisite or corequisite.
  • The student will be subject to undue delay in attaining the goal of his or her student educational plan because the prerequisite or corequisite course has not been made reasonably available.

The only grounds for challenging an enrollment limitation are as follows:

  • It is either unlawfully discriminatory or is being applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner.
  • The district is not following its enrollment procedures.
  • The basis for the limitation does not in fact exist.

Multiple & Overlapping Enrollments

Students may not enroll in two or more sections of the same credit course during the same term unless the length of the courses allows enrollment without the student being enrolled in more than one section at any given time.

Enrollment in two or more courses that have overlapping meeting times is not allowed except in special circumstances. To request approval for such an exception, the student needs to submit a Time Conflict Approval form. If the student is allowed to enroll in overlapping classes, then for attendance accounting purposes, he or she must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • The student provides sound justification other than scheduling convenience.
  • The Director of Admissions and Records approves the schedule.
  • MiraCosta maintains documentation describing the justification and showing the student made up the hours of overlap during the same week under the instructor's supervision.

Adding Classes

Full-semester-length and 15-week classes may be added through the first week of the semester (or session) or, at the instructor's discretion, through the second week. If a student wishes to add a class that is closed (full), he or she may attend the first class meeting and request a permission number from the instructor if space becomes available.

A student has not successfully added a class until he or she has officially enrolled and paid the appropriate fees. The instructor will ask the student to verify enrollment with the receipt obtained from SURF or the Admissions and Records Office/Student Accounts.

A student may not add a class after the deadline listed in the class schedule. Students who believe they have extenuating circumstances for adding late may petition the instructor and appropriate dean. Deadlines for short-term, late-start, and open-entry classes are available in the Admissions and Records Office.

Dropping Classes

Students are responsible for dropping their own unwanted classes; however, instructors may drop students who are absent for the first class meeting or who have excessive absences thereafter. In addition, students may be dropped for non-payment, for failing to meet prerequisites, or as a result of disciplinary action.

To avoid receiving a failing grade, a student must officially drop a class either by using the online SURF system or by submitting a Drop Card to the Admissions and Records Office by the appropriate deadline. The instructor's signature is not required on the Drop Card.

Four deadlines pertain to dropping a class:

  • The first deadline entitles the student to a refund and no record on his or her transcript.
  • The second deadline results in a "W" (withdrawal) rather than an evaluative grade and no refund.
  • The third deadline is the 60 percent withdrawal date for calculating return of Title 5 funds for financial aid purposes.
  • The forth deadline is the 75 percent withdrawal date after which the student will be issued an evaluative grade and no refund.

Each semester's class schedule lists the deadlines for dropping standard full-semester and short-term classes.

Wait List for Full Classes

Some classes fill quickly. Prior to the start of the class, students have the option to be placed on a wait list for full sections. The last day students can add themselves to a wait list is the Saturday before the start of the class. Students will be auto-enrolled daily until the Sunday before the first day of classes. Information regarding success, payment required and problems will be communicated to students via email.

If not auto-enrolled, wait list students (along with all enrolled students) are required to attend the first meeting of the class. If enrolled students are not present or other students decide to withdraw from the class, the instructor may allow students from the wait list to enroll. The instructor issues those students a permission number to use for adding the class on SURF.

Students who wish to waitlist online courses should select wait list and contact the instructor via email once the class begins to inquire about possible openings.

Classes for which a student is waitlisted do not count as official enrollment and may not be used to fulfill enrollment requirements toward financial aid or verifications of enrollment.