Course Auditing

Informal Auditing 

Informal auditing allows any student to visit any class (some exceptions apply). 

The informal auditor visits courses without paying tuition or fees, without completing exams and without receiving credit, grades or records. The instructor determines the level to which the informal auditor participates in the class.  

Note: UAlbany is currently limiting informal auditing of in-person classes to students already enrolled in at least one in-person, on-campus class. Individuals can seek permission from the Office of General Studies and the class instructor to informally audit a fully online class without being enrolled in any other classes.

Informal audits are only permitted under the following circumstances: 

  • If the informal auditor is a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student at UAlbany, they must get permission from the class instructor to visit the class. 

  • If the informal auditor is a non-degree undergraduate student at UAlbany, they must contact the Office of General Studies and then the class instructor to get permission to visit the class. 

  • If the informal auditor is a non-degree graduate student at UAlbany, they must get permission from the class instructor to visit the class. 

 

Formal Auditing 

Formal auditing allows any UAlbany student to attend and participate in any class (some exceptions apply). 

A formal auditor must register for the class as a formal auditor before add/drop (program adjustment period) ends, pay regular tuition and fees, and participate in the course as directed by the instructor. 

You cannot change from formal audit to credit, or vice versa, after add/drop ends. 

At the end of the semester or term, the course and a grade of N (non-credit) will appear on your academic record. Formal auditors who fail to participate satisfactorily will be withdrawn from the course and assigned a W grade, without any refund of tuition or fees. 
 

Instructions for Undergraduate Students

Non-degree undergraduate students should contact the Office of General Studies for instructions. 

Degree-seeking undergraduate students can formally audit up to two classes per semester or term. To formally audit a class, follow these instructions: 

  1. Register for the class as credit-earning student. 

  2. Complete and submit the Formal Audit Change Form. This form must be submitted and approved by the last day to formally audit a class, as listed on the Academic Calendar.

  3. If your request is approved, the Registrar's Office will update your enrollment to reflect that you are auditing the class.

Formally audited classes do not count toward your full-time status for academic retention or financial aid purposes.
 

Graduate-level Courses 

Seniors with superior academic records may formally audit certain 500-level courses with the approval of their academic advisor, their major’s department chair and the class instructor. 

In exceptional circumstances, a senior with a superior academic record may be allowed to formally audit a 600-level course — but only if they have completed most of their upper-division undergraduate courses and any other courses essential for their major. The same approvals required to formally audit a 500-level course would also be required. 

If a senior is approved to audit a graduate course (anything above 400-level), the appropriate department chair will arrange for copies of the written approvals and file them with the Registrar’s Office. 

Instructions for Graduate Students

Both degree-seeking graduate students and non-degree graduate students can formally audit courses. To formally audit a course, follow these instructions: 
 

  1. Register for the course as credit-earning student. 
     

  2. Complete the Formal Audit Change Form, which requires approval from your advisor or department chair, the course instructor and the Graduate School.

  3. If your request is approved, the Registrar's Office will update your enrollment to reflect that you are auditing the class.

Formally audited courses cannot be applied toward your graduate degree or certificate program’s credit requirements. Once you formally audit a course, you cannot repeat it for graduate credit. 

However, credits from a formally audited course may count toward your eligibility to hold an assistantship, fellowship and/or scholar incentive, and toward your full-time status under the University’s residency requirements

Exceptions to these rules may be authorized by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Course Exceptions 

Several types of courses do not allow formal or informal auditing, due to teaching methods and/or class formats. These courses include 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 types of courses must prepare written rationale and submit it to the chair of the department in which the course is offered. 

Additionally, any class that is filled with credit-earning students may not be audited. If a class is full, credit-earning students may displace auditors. 

exceptions