What Does It Mean To Audit A Course?

in Education6 months ago

Hi there. In this education post, I cover the concept of auditing a course. A course audit involves a student that would attend lectures for a university/college course without having to do assignments, tests. There is no course credit earned for auditing a course. Course audits are appealing for those who are interested in a course only for the lectures.

I have done one course audit in my school lifetime in which I can share my experiences. Other places have their own rules and paperwork when it comes to course audits.

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My Experience In Auditing A Course

The time I audited a course was when I was in graduate school. This course was about Financial Markets from the math perspective of things. It was for year 4 undergraduate financial math students as well as for graduate school students. The topics in this course covered topics such as financial options, Brownian Motion, Black-Scholes Formula and trading strategies.

The paperwork involved with auditing a course was minimal if I recall correctly. After sitting in the first class, I talked to the professor and simply requested for a course audit. I had fill in a piece of paper which required my signature and the professors signature. There was no cost for auditing this course. (Other places would require some sort of monetary cost of auditing a course.)

I wanted to audit this course as I had some free time plus I was interested in this subject.


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Pros & Cons Of Course Audits

Course audits do sound interesting in some aspects. I am not sure if many know that course audits exists. Undergraduate students in general are busy with courses that are required for their degrees and typically do not have room for any course audits.

Here are my pros & cons of course audits.


  • Exposure to a subject without risking your grade point average (GPA)
  • Learning concepts without worrying about assignments and tests
  • Course may not appear on transcript.
  • Possible access to learning materials



  • Time commitment
  • Costs can vary in auditing a course depending on school
  • Classmates may know if you are auditing a course if class size is small. (I had this)
  • Course audit is possible if there is room.




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You would have to check the school's website when it comes to their policies on auditing courses. Course audits I would assume are for enrolled students. There could be an option for non-enrolled individuals who wish to listen into lectures from a course. McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada has this thing for listeners. A listener would be someone who attends all classes but not do assignments or tests. This listener option at McMaster is for those who are interested in taking courses at this university but not for credit.

Thank you for reading.



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