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Taking Graduate Courses as an Undergraduate Student

Can undergraduate students take graduate-level courses?

Generally, yes. However, eligibility for individual courses will depend on the specific course.

How do I register for a graduate-level course?

  • Try to backpack and register for the course. 
    If it allows you to enroll, you should be all set. You can always contact the instructor to confirm that their course is appropriate for undergraduate students. This will also give you an opportunity to inquire about the workload and expectations of the course.
  • Contact the course instructor and/or department that owns the course.
    Most graduate-level courses have restrictions within Wolverine Access that limit enrollment to only master’s students. However, faculty may be able to make exceptions and approve your participation in the course. For Taubman College courses (ARCH, UD, URP), the instructor needs to email their approval to TaubmanCollegeAdvising@umich.edu and we can enter a permission for you to enroll in the course.

What should I keep in mind when considering graduate-level courses as an undergraduate?

  • Course access: Some courses are firmly restricted to only students in a specific program, students at a specific level of study, or students who have completed required prerequisites. If your request to join a graduate-level course is denied, it’s not a reflection of you as a person or student. 
  • Workload: Graduate-level courses involve more advanced work as a goal of graduate education is to help you become an expert in your chosen field of study. Graduate courses often involve much more reading and research and typically fewer assignments compared to undergraduate courses. Because there are usually fewer projects, papers, and exams for graduate-level courses, each item is worth more and expected to be a true demonstration of your expertise and understanding of the subject. 
  • Future studies: Graduate-level courses you take as an undergraduate will not also count toward your graduate studies at U-M.
    • Example #1: If an Urban Tech student takes URP 506 as a policy/tech elective for their BS UT degree and then enrolls as a MURP student, they will still need to take 48 credits to complete their MURP. They may be able to waive the URP 506 requirement, but will need to take another URP elective to replace the credits.
    • Example #2: If an undergraduate architecture student takes a graduate-level course as their required 300/400-level architecture elective, they will not be able to also count that course toward an M.Arch.
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