Auditing a Course (AU)

If a student wants to officially register for a class without earning a letter grade or credit, the course may be scheduled as an audit. The cost incurred is the same as if the course were taken for credit.

Academic Requirements

A student auditing a course may be required to participate fully in the class. Expectations should be clarified with the course instructor at the start of the semester.

Scheduling an Audit

To schedule an audit, the student processes a registration drop/add form. The student should write "AU" in place of credits on the form, which is processed in the department offering the course or at the Registrar's office at the campus offering the course either prior to the semester/session or during the drop/add period for the course. The course will appear on the student's semester schedule as though it has been scheduled for credit. Authorized advisers can use ISIS screen ARURD to verify that the course has been registered as an audit: the letter "A" will appear in the "ACT" column on the far right side of the screen.

A course may be dropped for credit and added for audit or dropped for audit and added for credit only during the drop/add period for the course. A course may be late-added for audit only if the course was never scheduled by the student at any time during the semester.

Impact of an Audit on the Student's Record and Enrollment Status

A course scheduled for audit will appear on the student's record with the symbol "AU" if attendance was regular or "W" if the attendance was unsatisfactory. No credit is earned, and the student's grade-point average is not affected. Therefore, a course that is being audited should not be late dropped because this action will use late drop credits unnecessarily.

Credits for a course being audited are counted by the Registrar as part of a semester credit load in determining an overload. Credits for a course being audited are not counted for the following:

  1. Determining enrollment (see implications of part-time status)
  2. Calculating semester standing
  3. Determining eligibility for financial aid (students cannot receive aid for an audited course)
  4. Determining full-time status for international students reporting to SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) under federal requirements.

Caution for nondegree-conditional students: Students in this status should be cautioned if considering auditing a course because audit credits are included in their limit of 12 credits per semester. Because audit credits do not count in determining a student's enrollment status, a nondegree-conditional student who schedules an audit would be considered part-time.

Caution for international students: Credits for a course being audited are not counted when determining full-time status for international students reporting to SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) under federal requirements.

The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. Please consult a Penn State academic adviser for more detailed information.


Reviewed: August 2014
Last Update: September 2003

Reference(s): Senate Policies 34-68, 48-80

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