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Prerequisite vs. Requisite: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 18, 2023
"Prerequisite" refers to something required beforehand, while "Requisite" means something essential or necessary.

Key Differences

A "Prerequisite" often denotes a condition or requirement that must be fulfilled before moving on to a subsequent phase or level. In educational settings, it commonly describes a course that students must complete before taking a more advanced course. This word underscores the idea of progression, where one step prepares or qualifies an individual for the next. For instance, in many colleges, an introductory course in biology might be a prerequisite for advanced biology courses.
"Requisite," on the other hand, simply indicates a necessary or indispensable condition, quality, or thing. It doesn't inherently possess the chronological element that "prerequisite" does. Rather, it speaks to the fundamental requirements of a particular situation, task, or role. For example, patience might be a requisite quality for a kindergarten teacher.
In some scenarios, the distinctions between "Prerequisite" and "Requisite" can be nuanced. While all prerequisites are requisites (because they're required), not all requisites are prerequisites. That's because not all essential conditions or things have a preceding chronological order. For instance, water is a requisite for human survival, but it's not a prerequisite in the sense of sequence.
To add further, "Prerequisite" is more about the sequence and order of requirements, indicating a "first-then" structure. Conversely, "Requisite" denotes importance and necessity without emphasizing any prior condition or sequence.
In summary, while both terms revolve around the concept of requirements, "Prerequisite" emphasizes a preceding condition or order, whereas "Requisite" speaks to the fundamental necessity of something without a sequential connotation.

Comparison Chart


Something required before another
Something essential or necessary


Has a chronological element
Lacks a chronological emphasis

Example Usage

"This class is a prerequisite for advanced math."
"Water is a requisite for life."


Often used in educational settings
Used in various contexts to denote necessity


All prerequisites are requisites
Not all requisites are prerequisites

Prerequisite and Requisite Definitions


An action or event preceding or preparing for another
Understanding basic algebra is a prerequisite to calculus.


Necessary for a particular purpose
The requisite skills for the job include multitasking.


Condition that must be satisfied before something else can happen
A driver's license is a prerequisite for this job.


A thing that is necessary for a particular outcome
Trust is a requisite in any relationship.


Something that is mandatory before an event or action
Reading the material was a prerequisite for the discussion.


Made necessary by particular circumstances
She didn't have the requisite experience for the position.


A prior requirement
Good communication skills are a prerequisite in sales roles.


Mandatory for a specific goal or result
The requisite documents must be submitted by Friday.


Required or necessary as a prior condition
Competence is prerequisite to promotion.


Essential or indispensable
Determination is a requisite for success.


Something that is prerequisite, as a course that is required prior to taking an advanced course.


Required; essential.


Required as a prior condition of something else; necessary or indispensable.
The prerequisite warm-up to the match was ignored.
A good command of Spanish is prerequisite for enrolling in this course.


Something that is indispensable; a requirement
Algebra is a requisite for taking calculus.


Something that is required as necessary or indispensable, or as a prior condition of something else.
A degree is a prerequisite for entry into this profession.


Essential, indispensable, required.
Please submit the requisite papers before the end of the financial year.


In education, a course or topic that must be completed before another course or topic can be started. May be colloquially referred to as a prereq.
Algebra is typically a prerequisite for physics.


An indispensable item; a requirement.


Previously required; necessary as a preliminary to any proposed effect or end; as, prerequisite conditions of success.


That which is required, or is necessary; something indispensable.
God, on his part, has declared the requisites on ours; what we must do to obtain blessings, is the great business of us all to know.


Something previously required, or necessary to an end or effect proposed.
The necessary prerequisites of freedom.


Required by the nature of things, or by circumstances; so needful that it can not be dispensed with; necessary; indispensable.
All truth requisite for men to know.


Something that is required in advance;
Latin was a prerequisite for admission


Anything indispensable;
Food and shelter are necessities of life
The essentials of the good life
Allow farmers to buy their requirements under favorable conditions
A place where the requisites of water fuel and fodder can be obtained


Required as a prior condition or course of study


Necessary for relief or supply;
Provided them with all things needful


A necessary condition for a subsequent level
The certificate program has several prerequisites.


Can a course have multiple prerequisites?

Yes, some courses may require prior completion of several others.

Can something be a requisite but not a prerequisite?

Yes, if it's essential but not required beforehand.

Is the term requisite only used in educational contexts?

No, it denotes necessity in any context.

Does prerequisite always imply a sequence?

Yes, it indicates a condition or requirement that precedes another.

Is water a requisite for life?

Yes, water is essential for life.

Are all prerequisites also requisites?

Yes, because they are required.

How do prerequisites and requisites relate to eligibility?

They set the conditions for eligibility in various contexts.

How do I know if something is a prerequisite?

It will be stated as a condition to be met before a subsequent step.

Can requisite refer to personal qualities?

Yes, like patience being a requisite for teaching.

Can a skill be a prerequisite for a job?

Yes, certain skills might be required before applying for specific jobs.

Can experience be a requisite for a position?

Yes, many jobs require specific experience.

Why are prerequisites important in education?

They ensure students have foundational knowledge before advancing.

Are requisites subjective?

They can be, depending on who's defining what's necessary.

Can a personal quality be a requisite for success?

Absolutely, like perseverance being a requisite for long-term success.

Is a passport a prerequisite for international travel?

Yes, it's required before traveling to most countries.

Are prerequisites more rigid than requisites?

They're more about sequence, but both denote some form of requirement.

Are all requisites explicitly stated?

Not always, some are implied based on context.

Can a requisite be a personal preference?

If someone deems it necessary for a specific context, then yes.

Do all university courses have prerequisites?

No, but many advanced courses do to ensure students are prepared.

Is equipment always a requisite for a task?

It depends on the task; some tasks may require specific equipment.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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