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Non-Degree Study

Students who study at American University without formal admission are referred to as non-degree students. You may request non-degree status for various reasons, such as:

  • If your school does not offer a particular course;
  • If you've been admitted to a program elsewhere, but would like to take a class during a semester in Washington, DC;
  • If you need a class or certification for your job; or
  • To improve your academic record and prepare for admission to a specific program.

In order to become a non-degree student at AU, you may not be currently enrolled in a degree program at any other school in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. You also must be good standing with any other college or university in which you are currently enrolled. Students dismissed from another institution during the past year are not eligible to enroll as non-degree students at AU. If you are an international student, you would be ineligible for a student visa under non-degree status, so you may not enroll this way. 

Students who wish to take non-degree coursework for the first time should register through the AU Central web portal for visiting students. If you have previously taken courses at AU under non-degree status, you do not need to resubmit the enrolled application. Undergraduate courses can be approved by your academic advising office, and graduate-level courses are approved by the academic department. 

As long as you meet all prerequisites for a particular course as noted in the Schedule of Classes, you may take that class in non-degree status. You will need to e-mail your advisor or the academic department with your name, your AU ID number, the course number, evidence of having met prerequisite requirements, and the fact that you are a non-degree student. 

Non-degree students pay the same per-credit tuition as our degree-seeking students. For purposes of non-degree study, any course numbered 500 or above is considered graduate level. Financial aid, grants, and merit awards are not available for non-degree study.