Reasons to Audit a Class

  • Before Declaring a Major
  • You Need Help in Another Class
  • Take a Break
  • Go Outside Your Major
  • Gain More Knowledge

Auditing a class gives you the chance to sit in on a class and learn from a professor without actually receiving a grade in that class. Though you’ll still complete the same assignments and even take the same tests, you can learn more about an interesting topic without worrying about the grade the teacher gives you in the end. There are some great reasons why many students opt to audit at least one class while in college.

Before Declaring a Major

Before you declare major or change majors while in school, ask if you can audit a class in that major. Even taking a lower level introductory course will let you learn more about the topic and pick up some of the skills you might need in higher level courses within that major. You’ll also have the chance to see if that major fits with your interests and career goals. It’s easier to take one class ahead of time than to switch majors again in the future.

You Need Help in Another Class

USA Today College recommends that students audit courses when they need help in another course. If you take a course on abnormal psychology and have problems keeping up with your peers, you might take an introduction to psychology course before trying to take abnormal psychology again. This teaches you the basic principles of psychology and gives you more knowledge about topics like measurements, assessments and evaluations. Not all colleges require that you take introductory courses that give you a solid foundation before taking those more advanced classes.

Take a Break

A common reason why students audit courses in college is because they want to take a break. Full-time students usually take a minimum of 12 credit hours of classes, and some full-time students take 18 or more credits every semester. Those courses will require that you research different topics, prepare for exams, do homework and even complete group projects with other students. Auditing a class lets you take a break from your studies and learn more about a new subject. As you do not receive a grade at the end of the term, you can focus less on that class.

Go Outside Your Major

Some college students focus more on the classes required of their majors without thinking about their own interests. When you audit a class, you have the chance to go outside of your major and learn about a related subject or a completely different topic. As a science or engineering major, you might enjoy taking a ceramics or a performing arts class that lets you express your creative side. You can also take classes that will help supplement your major like a drama major who takes classes on creative writing.

Gain More Knowledge

One of the best reasons to audit a class is because it lets you gain more knowledge. College is your chance to learn more about subjects you never heard of while in high school and subjects your textbooks only glossed over. Instead of cramming in decades of history in a few months, you can take classes on specific areas or types of history such as women in the United States, architectural history, art history or World War II. The classes you audit can help you graduate as a more well rounded student.

College students don’t always take classes just to earn credit that counts towards graduation. Some audit classes and learn the same things as other students without worrying about their grades. A few reason students might prefer auditing a class include taking a break, learning outside of their majors and getting help chosing a major.

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