You are here

Graduate and Professional Courses

Undergraduate students are permitted to count no more than 6 graduate and professional school courses among the 34 courses needed to graduate.  These courses include all courses offered by the Schools of Business, Law, Divinity, Medicine, and Nursing, and all 700-level and above graduate coursesThese courses are generally not open to undergraduate students and special permission is required for enrollment by undergraduates.

500- and 600-Level Courses

500- and 600-level courses are graduate courses open to advanced undergraduates, normally seniors but well-qualified juniors may also enroll in them. If you are a sophomore or freshman interested in taking a 500- or 600-level course, please consider that you will likely have ample time later in your studies to take such a course.  In any case, you need to be aware of the following restrictions on first- and second-year students taking 500- or 600-level courses:

  • If you are a sophomore, you can enroll in a 500- or 600-level course if you have declared a major.  If you haven't  declared a major but have a strong background in the subject area,  meet all prerequisites of the course, and obtain written permission from the instructor and your academic dean, you can enroll in a course at the 500- or 600-level;
  • If you are a first-year student, you are not allowed to take 500- or 600-level courses.  Exceptions are extremely rare and are granted only when it can be demonstrated that you have a truly exceptional background in a subject and are already familiar with available 200- or 300-level course work. If the instructor of a 500- or 600-level course supports your enrollment, the instructor will need to provide you with a letter to your academic dean, justifying it and addressing your special qualifications for it. You will then schedule an appointment with your dean to review the letter and to discuss whether your enrollment is appropriate. Your instructor's endorsement does not necessarily mean that you will receive approval.
  • For sophomores (and exceptional first-year students) seeking to enroll in a 500- or 600-level independent study course, you must also have written permission from the director of undergraduate studies in the discipline or, if the independent study is in a certificate program, from the director of the certificate program.

700+-Level Courses (Graduate School)

Course numbered 700 or higher are not generally open to undergraduate students. This prohibition extends to all first-year students and sophomores. On rare occasions, a junior or senior may request permission to enroll in one of these courses. 

This requires written permission from:

  1. The course instructor
  2. The Director of Graduate Studies in the department or program offering the course, and
  3. The Dean of the Graduate School

Then, the student should present the letter to their academic dean, who will make the final decision. The dean may wish to consult the DUS

Professional School Courses (Divinity, Business, Law, Medicine, Nursing)

First-year students and undeclared sophomores may not enroll in professional school courses that are not listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

More advanced students seeking to enroll in a professional school course must have written permission from:

  1. The course instructor and
  2. The dean of the professional school

Students then present these to their academic dean, who will make the final decision. The dean may wish to consult with a DUS.  If approved, enrollment must be done through the office of the academic dean.

For a professional course to count toward a major, the student must obtain the permission of the DUS.

To apply for permission to take a graduate (700-level or above) or professional school course, you must complete the following request form and secure the required signatures before taking the form to your academic dean for final approval.  The form must be submitted to your academic dean's office by 5 p.m. ET on the Last Day of Drop/Add.

Last updated: January 23, 2013