Taking Courses as a Special Student
Which Courses May I Take?
View the Brown University Online Course Catalog (“Banner”) for a full listing of courses for current terms, including meeting dates and times, prerequisites, and current enrollment. A listing of summer courses is also available on the Summer Session website.
- Special Students may take a maximum of two courses in any one term.
- First priority for enrollment is given to Brown degree candidates; therefore, Special Students may not enroll in “limited enrollment” or most “special permission required” courses. Check the “seats available” listed in red in the online course description to make sure there is room in the course you wish to take.
- Undergraduate courses at Brown are identified by course numbers that start with a zero or “1…”; graduate-level courses start with a “2.”
- Check the course catalog listing for any course prerequisites; if there are any, please note in your statement of interest which coursework in your past experience meets those requirements.
- Special Students must obtain the permission of the course instructor on the registration form that will be provided to you; if you have any questions about your eligibility for a course, you may wish to reach out to the instructor (listed in the course catalog) in advance of submitting your Special Student application.
- If you have questions about specific course content, contact the course instructor or department directly.
If you are an AICU Language Consortium student:
- Most language courses at Brown are year-long courses; enrollment for two semesters is required and grades and credit are awarded at the completion of the second semester. If students do not complete the second semester of a year-long course, credit and grades for the first semester are forfeited. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted to the second semester of a year-long course and can earn credit for the one semester.
- If you are seeking enrollment in a course beyond the 0100 level, you must schedule and complete Brown’s language placement procedure. You must coordinate this assessment with Brown’s Language Resource Center or by meeting with the designated faculty member in your selected language department for an assessment interview.
- Summer Session courses are not included in the AICU Language Consortium agreement.
Credit and Audit Options
In the fall and spring semesters, Special Students may elect either to receive academic credit or to audit a course. In Summer Session, courses are available on a credit basis only; auditing is not permitted in the summer. Each Brown course carries four semester credit hours.
Taking a Course for Credit
- Special Students must meet all the course requirements specified by the course instructor.
- Special Students may choose to be awarded credit either by letter grade (A, B, C; Brown does not award “plus” or “minus” letter grades) or Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC).
Auditing a Course
- Auditing is permitted only at the discretion of the instructor; you must obtain the instructor’s signature on the Audit Authorization Form that will be provided to you by Continuing Education in order to complete your course registration.
- Students generally are not permitted to audit laboratory, writing, or language courses.
- No transcript is generated for auditors.
- Auditors are not issued a University identification card, nor are they granted access to University facilities beyond the classroom where their course is scheduled to meet.
- Auditors can be provided with access to course websites; if needed, indicate this on the Audit Authorization Form.
- In Summer Session, courses are available on a credit basis only; auditing is not permitted in the summer.
- AICU Language Consortium students are not permitted to audit courses.
Additional Academic Policies
- Special Students are subject to the same academic policies regarding course prerequisites, grading options, extension of work, etc. as any other Brown student. Please refer to Brown University’s Academic and Student Conduct Code.
- Students who wish to have additional time to complete a final paper or assignment must ask their instructor for an extension. The instructor will then submit a grade of “INC” and specify in Banner (Brown’s course registration system) the date by which the work must be completed.
- All incomplete coursework must be finished within one year for Fall or Spring semester courses or by the start of the fall semester for Summer Session courses.
- Excuses from final examinations require the permission of an academic dean.
Contact the Dean of the College with any questions about exam excuses and incompletes.