I recently noticed that a few of the courses I am required to take for my undergraduate program are also offered by an online university, and that they allow you to audit said courses relatively cheaply. Would it be a good idea to study ahead using these courses, or is such a thing considered unethical as it would give me an advantage when I take the course at my own institution? Am I generally required to report the audited courses when I later apply for graduate school (which would presumably look 'bad')?

Specifically I am in Canada if the rules vary by region.

  • 1
    Why do you think work and effort is bad?
    – Solar Mike
    May 19, 2018 at 18:11
  • @SolarMike Would I be considering this at all if I thought that?
    – Segmented
    May 19, 2018 at 18:19
  • Because you say “would it be a good idea to study ahead...” your very words...
    – Solar Mike
    May 19, 2018 at 18:21
  • @SolarMike You are omitting "... using these courses"; I am asking about auditing online courses ahead of taking them at my own institution...
    – Segmented
    May 19, 2018 at 18:26
  • My question was based on the way you phrased your question ... if you had asked it differently you may have given a different impression...
    – Solar Mike
    May 19, 2018 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


Don't worry about it.

I don't believe I've ever heard of a school requiring that audited courses must be reported when applying for admission. Essentially, if you're not getting some sort of official recognition for having taken the course (credit or placement in some form), then you don't have to report it.

As far as "getting an (unfair) advantage" from it, you could get a similar advantage by getting the textbooks for your courses over the summer and reading them ahead of time. Nobody would expect you to report that or call it unethical, so why would it be any different just because you audited an online course?

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