Senior Guest Auditors

Wisconsin residents age 60+ by the first day of class are eligible to audit lecture courses with instructor approval on a space available basis tuition-free. Some exceptions do apply.

Explore our Schedule of Classes using the Public Class Search.

About auditing a class

Watch our video about auditing

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 University Guest auditor basis, but may be taken as a University Special student in a credit-earning classification. 

Classes NOT available to audit (call 608-263-6960 for clarification) include:

  • physical education activity classes
  • conversational languages
  • studio and performing arts
  • writing, math, computer, and lab courses
  • Independent Study, Directed Study, and other courses ending from -90 to -99
  • seminar, research, and colloquium courses
  • online courses

Application process for Senior Guest auditors

Watch our video about applying

Please complete all sections of the University Special student online application. Verification of Wisconsin Resident status and age is required. Questions on the application will determine if these requirements are met.

Reentry application process-for returning auditors who have missed the most recent fall or spring term. 

Once we receive your application, you will get a confirmation email from us with additional information. 

Deadline to apply: 3 weeks before the start of the term. 

Not 60 yet but interested in auditing a course? Find out how.  

Enrollment instructions for Senior Guest auditors.

Tuition and fees

As a Senior Guest auditors you will not be billed for tuition but a $50 late enrollment fee may be assessed if you do not enroll by the enrollment deadlines (usually end of the second week of classes).

Senior Guest auditors have access to campus libraries and computer labs but do not pay segregated fees so do not have access to a free bus pass, University Health Services, or recreational facilities. It is possible to pay a Recreational Membership Fee to use campus recreational facilities. 

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, Senior Guest auditors discuss with the instructor the standard for earning an "S" in the particular course. With the instructor's authorization, Senior Guest auditors enroll the first day of the term. For University Senior Guest auditors, course enrollment occurs on the first day of the term with the instructor's permission and after departmental authorization is entered in the enrollment system. 

Note: If you require accommodations for a disability, see Reasonable Accommodations and Guest Auditor/Senior Guest Auditor Students (pdf). 

Additional senior learning opportunities