Taking Graduate Classes as an Undergrad - 100% Worth It
7/26/2021 by HIGHERGRAD
College is tough enough for most undergraduate students. Not many are asking the question: "Can I take graduate-level classes?" But for those that are high achievers, looking to continue to graduate schools, or just have the time and interest in a graduate-level course, there are many benefits to taking graduate class as an undergrad.
The Difference Between Graduate and Undergraduate Courses
The first place to start is to understand the difference between undergraduate and graduate classes. These differences in themselves are important when considering taking graduate classes as an undergrad. Here are the top differences between a graduate and undergraduate course.
Can Undergrads Take Graduate Level Courses?
Of course! The answer is yes. Undergraduate students, at most universities, can take graduate-level courses. There are, however, different rules at different institutions. For example, some universities limit the number of graduate credits you can take as an undergrad. Additionally, there are academic requirements such as minimum GPA and class year status for certain graduate courses. Finally, not all graduate-level courses are open to undergrads like higher-level graduate courses and classes requiring prerequisites.
As an example, Georgia Tech specifically outlines the process for undergrads who wish to take graduate courses. Another example is the University of Kansas. Their policy is broader but still has requirements for undergrads to be able to enroll in graduate level courses. As mentioned earlier, each school is different and will require you to explore the policies where you are enrolled before considering taking graduate classes as an undergrad.
Considerations for Taking Graduate Classes as an Undergrad
There are several considerations when thinking about taking a graduate course as an undergrad and without being enrolled in a graduate program. First graduate courses are an order of magnitude more difficult in most situations. They require more study time than "normal" courses even if they are online graduate courses. Next, you need to consider if taking the course will benefit your degree and ultimate plans after graduation. Questions like "are you planning to go to graduate school?" or "does this course(s) help me find a job after college?" you ask yourself before signing up for a grad class. Finally, You should consider the requirements needed to enroll in the course and if you meet them. If not, what do you have to do in order to get there?
It is not a small task to take a graduate course as an undergraduate student. The course will impact your GPA and be a significant challenge. Even with all that said, there are good reasons to take a graduate course (or two) before you graduate with your undergrad degree.
4 Reasons to Take Graduate Classes as an Undergrad
Should I be taking graduate classes as an undergrad? The short answer is it depends. Not all that helpful, we know. However, there are certainly benefits to doing so. You need to consider your situation and what plans you have after completing your undergraduate degree. The answers you gather from that exercise will allow you to make the best decision for you within the guidelines of your university.