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Every semester, Princeton University opens a bunch of its classes to local auditors. Princeton residents get first dibs, but the program is open to anyone committed enough to jump through the hoops and register. On a space available basis, you can audit up to 3 university classes (plus an additional auditor only class) at a cost of $175 each, about 2.7% of the full tuition costs if you were enrolled in the undergraduate degree program.
To be clear, the program requires you to be seen but not heard when you attend the university classes. You can’t ask questions, you can’t contact the professors, and you need to sit in the back row.
University classes are typically large lecture courses. Still, they’re taught by some of the top professors in the world with more than 100 courses available. Interested in Information Technology and Public Policy? Sit in on a graduate course at the Woodrow Wilson School. Courses in Music, Philosophy, Operations Research, Engineering, Mathematics, History, Music, African American Studies, and much more, are all on offer.
So, what are the hoops? There are really three, and they require advanced planning and attention to the calendar (because auditor seats in popular courses fill up fast).
- Register online to create an account (see website link above)
- Activate your account by showing up at the Community Auditing Program Office in downtown Princeton during their limited activation periods, which take place a couple of times per year. You only need to do this once.
- Sign-up for the class(es) you want and pay your fees during the audit registration period just prior to each semester.