Auditing Courses

INFORMAL AUDIT: This category of audit permits any student to visit any course (except those described below).

Due to COVID-19 and the need to reduce density and practice physical distancing, the University at Albany will be suspending informal auditing in ALL courses, in person as well as remote/online, for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. We will revisit our ability to allow course auditors for Fall 2021 at the end of the Spring 2021 semester.

The informal auditor visits courses without tuition, fees, examinations, grading, or credit and no record is maintained.  The instructor determines the level of participation of the informal auditor.  A degree-seeking student at the University at Albany confers with the instructor of the course and requests permission to visit the course.  A non-degree student at the University who wishes to informally audit an undergraduate course should contact the Office of General Studies and then the individual instructor of the course.  Non-degree graduate students should consult with the individual instructor.

FORMAL AUDIT: This category of audit allows any undergraduate student or graduate student to formally audit any course (except those described below).  The formal auditor must register for the course as a formal auditor, pay regular tuition and fees, and must participate in the course as determined by the instructor.  The course will appear at the end of the term on the student's academic record with the grade of "N" (non-credit).  A student failing to participate satisfactorily will be withdrawn and assigned a grade of "W".  The student must register as a formal auditor no later than the last day to add a course for the term.  A student may not change from formal audit to credit or vice versa after the last day to add a course.

Degree-seeking undergraduate students who wish to formally audit courses (maximum of two each term) must first register for the course for credit, then obtain the written approvals of their advisors and the course instructors.  Such approvals are indicated on the Formal Audit Change Form by the signatures of the advisor and course instructor.  The student must register for the formally audited course(s) during the term's Program Adjustment Period.  A senior with a superior academic record may formally audit certain 500-level courses with the approval of the academic advisor, the major department chair, and the course instructor.  In exceptional circumstances, a senior may be authorized to formally audit a 600-level course provided the student has completed most of the upper-division undergraduate and other courses essential to the major.  To qualify for such enrollment, seniors must have a superior record, particularly in the major field, approval of their advisor, and written permission from the department chair and the instructor offering the course.  The department chair will arrange for copies of these permissions to be distributed to the persons involved and filed in the Registrar’s Office.  Non-degree undergraduates admitted through the Office of General Studies should contact the Office of General Studies.  A formally audited course does not count toward full-time status for academic retention purposes.  An undergraduate formal auditor may withdraw from a formally audited course no later than the last day to drop courses.

A graduate student who wishes to formally audit a course must first register for the course for credit.  The student then obtains written approvals of the course instructor and either the student's advisor or the chair of the department offering the course, and then the Office of Graduate Studies.  Such approvals are indicated using the Formal Audit Change Form.  A formally audited course may not be applied toward satisfying the credit requirements established for any graduate degree or certificate program.  Once formally audited, a course cannot be repeated for graduate credit.  If, in the instructor's judgment, the student, by the midterm date, is not satisfactorily auditing the course, the instructor will report a "W" grade and the student will leave the course.  There will be no refund of tuition and fees.  After the midterm date, the Office of Graduate Studies and Policy may assign a "W" grade upon the instructor's recommendation for reason of non-attendance or non-participation.  Credits taken on a formal audit basis may count toward the graduate student's eligibility to hold an assistantship, fellowship, scholar incentive, and toward full-time status under the residency requirement.

EXCEPTIONS:  There are several categories of courses, which because of the teaching method or format, may not be audited either formally or informally.  These include the following: practicum, internships, research and independent study courses; field courses; clinical courses; workshops; and foreign study programs.  Students who feel they have an extraordinary need to audit these courses must prepare written rationale and submit it to the chair of the department in which the course is offered.  In addition, any course that is filled with students taking the course for credit may not be audited.  Students taking courses for credit may displace auditors, if the courses are full.