An audited course is a class attempted for no grade and no academic credit. Audits are usually pursued for personal, professional, and/or academic enrichment.
While there is no grade recorded and no credit given, faculty may establish standards of class participation and attendance for auditing that must be met if a student is to remain in audit status.
At American University, audited courses are reported on an individual's transcript, and all receive a notation (instead of a grade) of either L (successfully completed) or ZL (audit withdrawal). More information about audit grading is available here.
Audits for current students
Current students can audit a course at any time in their academic program. Students wishing to audit a course register for the course like any course, but specify at the time of registration that they will be taking the course on an audit basis. Audit registration is subject to the same regulations as credit registration, and a student can change his/her enrollment to or from audit during the Add/Drop period.
Audited courses for current students are charged at the same tuition rate as courses attempted for academic credit. They do not enable students to maintain financial aid eligibility or enable students to make academic progress. An audited course also does not serve to keep a graduate student in active status.
Audit courses are not counted toward a full course of study for the purpose of maintaining an F-1 or J-1 visa status for international students. Therefore, F-1 and J-1 students may audit courses only if they are registered full-time for courses taken for credit.
Courses taken through the consortium cannot be audited.
The SIS Graduate Advising team generally does not recommend that current students pursue courses on an audit basis.
Can I just sit in on a class? Or can I audit without registering/paying?
American University requires all individuals attending a course to be registered in some capacity, and sitting in on a course without being registered either on a for credit or audit basis is prohibited. This enables the University to ensure that it meets fire code regulations and can account for individuals in an emergency situation.
American University's Alumni Office offers alumni the opportunity to pursue one non-tutorial (i.e. not an internship or independent study) course per semester and one in the summer for $100 each (plus departmental fees, if applicable). All alumni audit requests are processed through the Alumni Office. Interested alumni can get additional information about alumni audit procedures on the Alumni website.