If you do not have interest in or need to earn college credit, but want to attend a university class on campus, guest auditing may be for you. The opportunity is only for lecture courses with the instructor's approval and if space is available. Established by Wisconsin law and Board of Regents policy, the tuition is reduced or waived depending on the type of guest auditor. There are two types:
- Senior Guest Auditors are Wisconsin residents age 60 and older. Tuition is waived.
- A Guest Auditor is any student who is not currently enrolled in a degree program or does not plan to pursue a degree. Tuition for Guest Auditors is set at approximately 30% of the University Special/Undergraduate student tuition rate (and approximately 50% for non-Wisconsin residents).
- Disabled persons receiving SSI and SSDI may qualify for a tuition waiver under UW Board of Regents policy. See How to Get In.
Auditing is defined as sitting in on a lecture course and not actively participating. Auditors may not recite, perform, or take examinations, although regular attendance is expected. Courses that by their nature require active participation or performance are not available on a Guest Auditor basis.
Classes typically not available to audit are conversational languages, studio and performing arts, writing, math, computer, lab, Independent Study, Directed Study, seminar, research, and colloquium courses.
Instructor permission is required.
Grading for auditors
Audited courses are listed on a student's official UW–Madison transcript with "AU" in place of number of credits and either "S" (satisfactory) or "NR" (no report) listed for the grade. Prior to enrolling, Guest auditors discuss with the instructor the standard for earning an "S" in the particular course.
Senior Guest Auditor admission
If you are a Wisconsin resident, 60 years or older, and wish to qualify for tuition-free status, apply using the University Special student online application at least three weeks before the start of the term. UGSR is the designation on the admissions application and course roster.
GUEST AUDITOR Admission
At least three weeks before the start of the term, apply using the University Special student online application. UGST is the designation on the admissions application and course roster.
Disabled persons receiving SSI and SSDI: Wisconsin residents receiving SSI or SSDI and intending to enroll as a Guest Auditor may qualify for a tuition waiver under UW Board of Regents policy. Visit https://acsss.wisc.edu/guest-auditors/ for detailed instructions.