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Course Audit Policy


Some students, employees of the college, or members of the community may wish to audit or "sit in" on a class, without earning course credit, for the sake of learning. Because auditing a class fundamentally means to listen rather than participate, it generally is not appropriate to audit a course that depends strongly on a student's individual participation (e.g., lab courses, studio art courses, writing courses, performance art courses).


The college aims to enable appropriate constituencies to audit Davidson College courses, while avoiding undue costs to full-time students, instructors, and administrators. This policy sets forth the conditions under which a student, employee, or member of the community may audit a Davidson College course.


To audit a Davidson College course, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The auditor must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and be at least eighteen years of age.
  2. The auditor must receive the advance permission of the college Registrar and the course instructor. The college Registrar and the course instructor may approve or decline any request in their sole discretion. Final approval to audit a course shall not be given until the first week of class has concluded.
  3. Upon receiving final approval to audit a course from the college Registrar, the auditor must pay a nonrefundable course fee of $250, in addition to any other costs for books or materials, and a fee of $25 for access to electronic services if the auditor elects to have such services and does not already have access to them. The course fee (but not the access fee) shall be waived for the following categories of auditors:
    1. Currently enrolled students in good standing with the college;
    2. Current employees of the college, including fellows, and their spouses/partners and dependents;
    3. Retired employees of the college and their spouses/partners;
    4. Alumni and their spouses/partners;
    5. Current and former Trustees of the college and their spouses/partners;
    6. Current residents of The Pines at Davidson

The course instructor may impose additional conditions, and the auditor is expected to comply with the college's policies and the course instructor's instructions. No academic record of participation, including course credit or grade, will be awarded to the auditor for completion of the course. A course auditor may take up to, but no more than, two courses per academic semester.

Administration of Policy

Any person seeking to audit a course must submit to the college Registrar a completed audit request form, available at the Office of the Registrar. The audit request form will include a section for the course instructor to give written permission for the auditor to attend the course. The signature of the course instructor must be obtained before the audit request form is submitted to the Registrar. If the auditor is a current Davidson College employee, the audit request form also must be accompanied by the written permission of the auditor's supervisor.

It is the college's priority to first ensure that there is space in a course for enrolled students seeking course credit. Accordingly, final approval from the college Registrar to audit a course will not occur until the first week of class has concluded. Upon receiving final approval from the college Registrar, the auditor must pay the $250 nonrefundable course fee payment or provide evidence that the auditor is entitled to have the course fee payment waived.

Current Davidson College employees seeking to audit a course may do so only upon receiving supervisor approval. Time spent auditing the course shall not count towards a non-exempt employee's hours worked unless the course is relevant to the employee's work at the college and the employee's supervisor has approved the course time as training relevant to the employee's work at the college.

The extent to which an auditor participates in graded exercises and the extent to which an instructor grades an auditor's work shall be determined by the course instructor.

Auditors who do not otherwise have access to the college's electronic services may elect whether or not to receive electronic services from the college, the connection fee for which is $25 (in addition to the course fee, when the latter is applicable). These services include access to Blackboard, electronic course materials, electronic library databases, and inclusion on the class e-mail list. Auditors will be subject to the college's policies regarding use of electronic services. Electronic services will cease on the tenth day of the month following the last day of classes for the academic semester.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs and the General Counsel/Special Assistant to the President shall oversee this policy, may allow exceptions to the requirements set forth in the policy where appropriate, and shall assess its effectiveness at least once every two years.

Date of Adoption: Summer 2010
Last Revised: January 2012