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I am a chemistry major and I want to shift towards the more computational and "data-driven" side of things later on. Towards that end, I have started taking relevant courses outside my major. However, since we are only allowed a limited number of electives per semester, hence I thought about taking the remaining related courses as audits.

Now in my university, taking an audit course has very strict evaluation guidelines. You have to attend all the classes (that is, pass the 70% attendance criteria), submit all the assignments regularly, and appear in all the examinations (including mid-semester and end-semester exams). All these evaluations will be graded in a similar fashion as credited courses, and a final grade will be issued which will be printed in my transcript under an additional section called "Audit/Additional Courses". In fact, the only difference between "regular" credited courses and such audit courses is that the final grade obtained in the latter will not be considered for CGPA calculation.

Barring that, all modes of evaluation are held at the same standard as the actual credited courses (meaning that you can even fail audit courses if you don't clear the exams)

Given the "rigor" of imparting audit courses at our university, will taking up such courses help in making graduate applications more competitive in such a scenario?

(Attached below are the official guidelines on audit courses at our university for reference.) enter image description here

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Given the rules, I suspect that nearly everyone would treat these as regular courses since there is a grade on the transcript. Of course, we can't know what is in the minds of others and the rules are unique enough that there are unlikely to be policies that govern the application.

Admissions varies a lot, but the CGPA alone is unlikely to be the only thing a committee or potential advisor looks for in the transcript unless they are overly lazy. If the courses are important to the field of study the grades will most likely be considered. If not, they have lesser weight. So, a chemistry student taking a philosophy course for audit won't see much consideration given to any grade in that course.

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  • Yes I have a clear-enough idea of the relevant courses I wish to take related to my field. However, since the rules for audit courses at my university doesn't necessarily match with the common idea of "audits" around the world (for us audit courses are seriously graded, in other places "audit" is mostly a term to just sit in a class). So would I have to somehow explicity clarify this on my application for the admissions committee? Nov 14 '21 at 20:22
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    You might want to point people to the policy, say on a website. But it is also possible that the policy appears on the transcript itself. But seeing "audit" along with a grade will be enough for some and others may ask if they are confused.
    – Buffy
    Nov 14 '21 at 20:40

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