Senior Guest Auditors

Welcome!

Senior Guest auditors are Wisconsin residents aged 60 and older auditing UW–Madison classes cost free.

Whether you are new to auditing or returning, the steps on this page will help you get enrolled.

If you are returning, go to the section for returning auditors.

New to auditing? Follow these 8 steps:

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1. Review guidelines

Please take a moment to review our Established Rules and Requirements for auditors.

What is auditing?

Auditing is defined as sitting in on a lecture course and not actively participating. Auditors may not recite, perform, or take examinations. Auditors are not graded and do not receive credit for the courses they enroll in. Space availability and instructor permission are required to audit.

Courses NOT typically available for auditing include:

  • conversational languages, including American Sign Language (ASL)
  • studio and performing arts including music
  • writing, math, computer, and lab courses
  • independent study and directed study
  • seminar, research, and colloquium courses

Questions? Email seniorauditor@dcs.wisc.edu

2. Apply for admission

Apply

Application tips:

New applicants:

  • There are six sections to the application: Personal Information, Contact Information, Background Information, Program, Educational History, and Review & Submit
    • Click “Start Application” to begin
  • Be sure to complete all fields marked with an asterisk (*)
  • Navigate through the application using the “Back,” “Save,” and “Save & Continue” buttons at the bottom of each screen.

Existing (former) applicants:

  • Your UserID will be the email you used when you originally completed the application (not your UW–Madison NetID).
  • Once you login, you’ll see a list of previous applications. Click “Create New Application” to begin.

Personal information

  • If you have changed your name and were previously a UW–Madison student, please update your name.
  • If you have a preferred name, you can enter that along with preferred gender and pronouns.

Contact information

  • Use the + sign to add addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses
  • Click the stars to the right of your preferred phone number and email address

Program section: Academic interests

  • Select the admit term for which you are applying. Ex: fall 2023
  • Select the student type:
    • Guest student, Senior Guest auditor (60+), UGSR

Education history

  • Indicate dates to the best of your ability
  • If you have not previously attended a post-secondary institution, choose “No College Courses” from the drop-down menu
  • Previous UW–Madison students: If you have your ten-digit UW campus ID number, please enter it in the UW Attendance section. Note for staff (current or former), enter your student ID number, not your staff ID number.

Academic plans

  • A few sentences here will suffice (there is no need to list specific courses).
    • Example: I want to audit classes as a senior guest auditor. I am most interested in history and psychology courses.

Residency Evaluation

Review and submit

  • Click gray “Submit Application” button
    • The “Application Submitted” box will pop up. You may close it.
    • You are done with the application!

After you apply

  • You’ll receive an email indicating your application was received
  • You may be contacted by the Office of the Registrar regarding Senior Guest auditor requirements
    • If you have been a student here previously, please check your wisc.edu email
  • Within 1 to 2 weeks you’ll receive an admission email.
  • Your Guest auditor status will remain active as long as you are fully enrolled in courses each fall and spring semester.

Questions?

If you have questions while completing the application, please email seniorauditor@dcs.wisc.edu or call 608-263-6960.

3. Wait to be admitted

Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email and our office will begin processing your application.

Processing your application will take between 2 and 7 business days. During this time, please keep an eye on your email. You will receive an email once you have been admitted. This email will contain your campus ID number which you can use to proceed to the next step.

While you are waiting to be officially admitted, you may proceed to Step 5; however be sure to complete Step 4 once you receive your admission email.

4. Activate your NetID and wisc.edu email

Your NetID is a university-assigned username which will allow you to access your MyUW student portal. You must activate your NetID and create a password for your account. Your wisc.edu email account will be automatically activated through this process.

Use the following steps to help you.

  1. Go to www.mynetid.wisc.edu.
  2. Enter your 10-digit campus ID number (this was provided to you in your admission email and letter) and your Date of Birth.
  3. Click activate.
  4. You will be given your NetID (this will be some combination of your first and last name).
  5. Create a password unique to you and your account.
  6. Be sure to write down your wisc.edu email address, NetID, and password as you will need to use this frequently.

Additional information about activating your NetID and email.

If you’re a returning Guest auditor and have forgotten your NetID and/or password, please contact the DoIT Help Desk (608-264-4357).

5. Search for classes

Summer 2024

Schedule of classes

Search for courses utilizing the official, up-to-date Course Search & Enroll tool:

  • Admitted senior guest auditors can follow these Course Search Instructions or view the Course Search Tutorial on this page.
  • Anyone can browse the online Public Class Search tool regardless of admission status.
  • Use the search feature on the left-hand side of the page and select desired term.

History and History of Sciences courses are not auditable for summer term.

Music performance classes are not auditable.

6. Request permission to enroll in class(es)

Summer 2024 permission-to-enroll form

Complete the permission-to-enroll form for the course(s) you would like to audit. Your submitted form will go to the professor and/or department. Please do not reach out to the professor or department directly.

Remember, once you receive permission to enroll you need to enroll in the class via the Class Search and Enroll tool. Senior guest auditors can enroll starting the first day of class. To enroll, follow the instructions in the Enroll in classes step.

If it is less than a week before the start of the term and you haven’t had a response about your request, please see our related FAQ under the enrollment section of our FAQ page.

7. Enroll in classes

Once the department has entered an electronic permission into the system and it is the first day or the term or later, you will be able to enroll.

You will enroll online using the Course Search & Enroll tool which can also be found in your MyUW portal. Use our enrollment instructions guide to walk you through the enrollment process.

Note, if you added a class to your cart before permission was granted remove the class from your cart at this time to avoid any errors. Then proceed with the enrollment process found on our enrollment instruction guide.

Enrollment troubleshooting and tips

Canvas access:

Additional Notes:

  • You must enroll by the end of the second week of classes to avoid the late enrollment fee.
  • You MUST complete the enrollment step for your Guest auditor status to remain active.
  • Senior Guest auditors will be automatically opted out of any Digital Course Materials (eTexts). There is not an option to opt in, however you may independently obtain the materials in an alternative version.

8. Get your Wiscard

The day after you enroll in at least one course, you can pick up your Wiscard at Union South.

Your Wiscard is your UW–Madison photo ID card and will be needed to access campus libraries and computer labs. You will also need a Wiscard if you plan to purchase an affiliate membership for access to the recreational facilities.

Returning auditor? Follow these 5 steps:

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

1. Review guidelines

Even if you have previously audited courses, please take a moment to review our Established Rules and Requirements for auditors.

What is auditing?

Auditing is defined as sitting in on a lecture course and not actively participating. Auditors may not recite, perform, or take examinations. Auditors are not graded and do not receive credit for the courses they enroll in. Space availability and instructor permission are required to audit.

Courses NOT typically available for auditing include:

  • conversational languages, including American Sign Language (ASL)
  • studio and performing arts including music
  • writing, math, computer, and lab courses
  • independent study and directed study
  • seminar, research, and colloquial courses

Questions? Email seniorauditor@dcs.wisc.edu

2. Check eligibility to enroll

If you enrolled in and audited a class in the most recent term, you should be eligible for the upcoming term.

To confirm:

  • Login to your MyUW account
  • Select the Course Search and Enroll tile
  • Look for your earliest enrollment date and time. Note, if you check before mid-October for spring or before mid-March for summer/fall you will not yet see an earliest enrollment date.
    OR
  • Email our office to ask about your eligibility for the upcoming term: seniorauditor@dcs.wisc.edu

Apply again only if you are not eligible for the current term. (You will be ineligible to enroll if you skipped a semester, not counting summer.)

3. Search for classes

Summer 2024

Schedule of classes

Search for courses utilizing the official, up-to-date Course Search & Enroll tool:

  • Admitted senior guest auditors can follow these Course Search Instructions or view the Course Search Tutorial on this page.
  • Anyone can browse the online Public Class Search tool regardless of admission status.
  • Use the search feature on the left-hand side of the page and select desired term.

History and History of Sciences courses are not auditable for summer term.

Music performance classes are not auditable.

4. Request permission to enroll in class(es)

Summer 2024 permission-to-enroll form

Complete the permission-to-enroll form for the course(s) you would like to audit. Your submitted form will go to the professor and/or department. Please do not reach out to the professor or department directly.

Remember, once you receive permission to enroll you need to enroll in the class via the Class Search and Enroll tool. Senior guest auditors can enroll starting the first day of class. To enroll, follow the instructions in the Enroll in classes step.

If it is less than a week before the start of the term and you haven’t had a response about your request, please see our related FAQ under the enrollment section of our FAQ page.

5. Enroll in classes

Once the department has entered an electronic permission into the system and it is the first day or the term or later, you will be able to enroll.

You will enroll online using the Course Search & Enroll tool which can also be found in your MyUW portal. Use our enrollment instructions guide to walk you through the enrollment process.

Note, if you added a class to your cart before permission was granted remove the class from your cart at this time to avoid any errors. Then proceed with the enrollment process found on our enrollment instruction guide.

Enrollment troubleshooting and tips

Canvas access:

Additional Notes:

  • You must enroll by the end of the 2nd week of classes to avoid the late enrollment fee.
  • You MUST complete this step for your Guest auditor status to remain active.
  • Senior Guest auditors will be automatically opted out of any Digital Course Materials (eTexts). There is not an option to opt in, however you may independently obtain the materials in an alternative version.

 

Accommodations

If you require accommodations for a disability, see Reasonable Accommodations and Guest Auditor/Senior Guest Auditor Students.

Additional senior learning opportunities

Local

PLATO (http://www.platomadison.org) is a nonprofit organization serving more than 1,200 lifelong learners living in and around Dane County. All our members share a passion for learning and a desire to stay engaged with the world and with others who share their interests. PLATO is an ideal way to learn, contribute to others’ learning, enjoy new experiences, and meet new friends. No formal education or university affiliation is necessary to join.

The UW Retirement Association (https://uwramadison.org) is a membership organization for retired faculty and staff. The association promotes the interests, health, and welfare of its members through a diverse program of activities and information, including presentations on topics of interest to retired members. The annual membership fee is $20.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association (https://www.uwalumni.com/resources-services/alumni-learning) offers UW alumni and friends a campus connection through educational programs, including the annual Grandparents University®.

Websites of interest

National Resources Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

UW–Madison Institute on Aging

AARP

Peace Corps