Auditing a Class

To “audit” a course is take the course in all respects except for one: taking the final exam. Students who are auditing thus prepare for class, attend class, participate in class, and perform all other work associated with the course. Where the course involves interim assessments (such as a mid-term exam or written assignments), the professor has discretion to exempt auditing students from such assessments.

Auditing a course is a good option for students who want to learn topics covered in a course but find that the burdens of a final exam outweigh the benefits of receiving a grade and credit towards their degree. This is a fairly uncommon situation; the vast majority of law students never audit a course. 

For more information about auditing a class, please review the questions and answers below.

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  • Does an audited course appear on my transcript?

    Yes. Your transcript is a record of your academic achievements at law school. The fact that you have audited a course demonstrates to others that you have studied the subject matter covered in that course. Of course, because you did not receive a grade, your transcript will not indicate any particular level of accomplishment.

  • How do credit rules apply to audited courses?

    There are two main rules regarding credits: (1) the minimum you need to earn a J.D. and (2) the minimum and maximum credits you may enroll in during a single semester.

    1. Audited credits do not count towards your total credits. J.D. students must earn 87 credits in graded courses (including letter grades or pass/fail grades). Because audited courses are ungraded, these courses cannot be used towards your J.D. degree.
    2. For classes in a single semester, audited courses do count towards the minimum and maximum credits that full-time students may take. To earn a J.D. degree, students must complete six semesters as a full-time student, and full-time status requires students to be enrolled in at least nine, but no more than 17, credits. This means that, if you are enrolled in six credits of graded coursework in a given semester, and audit a three-credit course that same semester, you will be considered a full-time student. Similarly, if you are enrolled in 15 credits of graded coursework, you may not audit a three-credit course because that would put you over the 17-credit limit for full-time status.  
  • How do add/drop and attendance rules apply to audited courses?

    They apply in the same manner as with other courses. Thus, you cannot add or drop an audited course after the 5 p.m. on the second Friday of the semester. Additionally, the school’s attendance policy applies to audited courses, as well as any additional attendance rules imposed by the professor. If you do not comply with applicable attendance rules, the course will not appear on your transcript.  

  • What if I just want to intermittently sit in on a course?

    Sometimes students are curious about a particular topic and want to attend some classes, but not enough to comply with the attendance policy, which is applicable to audited classes. This practice is generally frowned upon but it is ultimately up to the professor whether to allow it. While professors teaching small classes are unlikely to allow this,

    professors teaching large classes might be more open to it—particularly if the student has a good reason for wanting to take less than the full class, such as refreshing one’s knowledge of a discrete topic. 

  • How do I enroll as an auditor?

    There are two steps:

    1. First, seek permission from the professor. Depending on the class, the professor may not find auditing appropriate. Or the professor may be fine with it. Or alternatively, the professor may be open to auditing but only on certain conditions.
    2. Second, once you have obtained the professor’s permission, obtain an audit application form either emailing Sharon Krol or by picking one up in the Dean’s Office. Complete the form and return it to Sharon Krol and she will enroll you in the course. Note that you will not be able to enroll in audited classes through the ordinary registration process on BannerWeb. 
  • What if I want to audit a class outside the law school?

    You can do that. To do so, however, you will need to complete a Cross School Registration Form that you can get in the Dean’s Office. The form will require you to get permission from several people, including the professor teaching the course you wish to audit. Keep

    in mind that, as noted above, the professor may not find auditing appropriate. Also, note that the undergraduate classes operate on “units” rather than credits and a one-unit course counts as 3.5 credits in the Law School.