Unofficially auditing university classes?
August 8, 2007 9:03 PM Subscribe
Is it weird to ask a university professor if you can audit his/her class without officially enrolling in the university as an auditor ... and, as part of the arrangement, asking the professor if you can submit papers and have them graded and evaluated?
posted by jayder to education (43 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Asking for a friend:
"I think I mentioned to you that I was going to look into taking a [graduate liberal arts] class at [Prestigious State University] this fall. [Prestigious State] has a program where people who aren't full-time students can enroll in a class, with the instructor's permission, and you even get credit and a real-life grade for it (whether the [graduate liberal arts] department would later count that credit towards a degree is an open question, I think, but that's not the main point here). I've looked into this, and the snag is that if I do this right now I'd have to pay tuition for the class at the out of state rate, which is very expensive for one class. I don't qualify for in-state tuition until I've lived in this state at least 12 months. So, I wondered what you thought about the following: I've considered e-mailing the professor in the class I'm interested in taking and asking if he would allow me to "audit" the class, i.e., take it for no credit, and without being assigned a grade, and essentially no record that I had ever officially taken the class. Of course there's no way to know how a given professor would react to this, but I wonder if you know anyone who's ever done this, or if you think this idea sounds completely crazy or a professor might take offense at it? The problem with it is that I sort of am asking the professor to work "for free", because I would want to do the assignments and have the prof evaluate them, even if I don't get an official grade. On the other hand, the presence or absence of my tuition being paid into the system is not going to make a difference in the professor's pay rate. But it still seems a little like asking for charity when the prof will probably wonder why I don't just wait twelve months. (I'm not sure it would be appropriate to tell the prof I want to get into grad school one of these days and I'm not getting any younger, damn it). So, what do you think about this idea?"