I'm an undergraduate student in Turkey, and am planning to do my Phd in US/Canada/Europe.

I've taken various graduate courses from my departments - Physics and Mathematics - in following status:

I enrolled to course, but it status was NI (not included), which means I didn't take any credit from the course, and it's grade didn't affected my GPA.

In this case, when I start to my Phd, is it possible to count these graduate courses toward the course load that I need to take during my Phd ?

As a side question, if I had enrolled those course in the normal way, i.e took credit from the course, and it's grade affected my GPA, could I still make them count for the course load that needs to be taken during my Phd ?


2 Answers 2


I'm a bit confused about terminology here. In the US, "course load" typically means the courses that you are currently taking, not those you have taken in the past that might support an application. I think you may mean something different.

However, graduate courses taken in the past will almost certainly support an application. But they may not reduce the number of courses that you need to take within the program you are accepted into. Some programs (not all) have actual credit hour requirements. If you have taken certain courses, you won't be required to repeat those (most likely) but would substitute other, more advanced courses or seminars. Sometimes, however, it is appropriate to re-take a course you've already had if there is some assurance that it is at a higher level than the one you previously attended. Some programs can be quite flexible and others not. Some programs, in fact, only require that you pass certain exams and write an acceptable thesis, with no course requirements at all.

So, the correct answer to your query is "it depends". But most likely the decisions won't be made in some fine-grained way. Acceptance into a doctoral program depends on an overall analysis and a decision that you are a good candidate with high probability of success in the program.

  • 1
    In this particular case, since the OP seems to have audited the grad course (in NA parlance), they would have no chance of being accepted as credit at the new institution. And, with no record of how well they performed, they will need to take them again if they are required courses. (If they did well, of course, that class should be easy and not take much effort).
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 11, 2019 at 14:08
  • @JonCuster I took a letter grade from that course; it is just not included into my overall GPA.
    – Our
    Feb 11, 2019 at 15:08

Most likely the key issue is your knowledge of the topic. If you can pass a final, pass an informal oral exam, etc. Obviously courses can vary in difficulty and students in how much they learned.

Depending on the school, it might lighten your overall course load or they might expect same number of total courses to be done, with you enriching by taking something else to replace what you validate.

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