Policy on Undergraduates Enrolling in Graduate Courses

1.      Undergraduates may take graduate courses, provided they meet the standards set down by each college: e.g., senior standing (in terms of credits, not in terms of years at Villanova), grade point average, and appropriate permissions (advisor, dean, chair, course instructor).  The College of Nursing may exempt certain students from the “senior standing” requirement for a limited number of courses that juniors may take.  Colleges are urged to compile a list of graduate courses that may and may not be taken, and this list should be available to students upon request.  Colleges will ensure that proper advising is provided to undergraduate students with respect to taking graduate courses.

2.      Undergraduates may take a maximum of two graduate courses in any semester.  If an undergraduate takes a graduate class, in that semester s/he is limited to taking a maximum of 16 credit-hours of work.  The deans of the individual college approval procedures may impose more restrictive limits if that is deemed necessary.  In the Colleges of Nursing and Engineering, because of scheduling needs, students may, with permission, slightly exceed the 16 hour limit.

3.     If allowed by the graduate program, up to nine hours or nine credits of graduate courses taken by undergraduates may double count – both for the bachelor’s degree and for the master’s degree, whether or not a student is formally enrolled in a five year bachelor’s-master’s program.  If an undergraduate student completes additional graduate courses beyond the three, the additional course(s) will count toward the undergraduate degree and be included in the student’s undergraduate record unless the Graduate Dean in CLAS, or the appropriate Associate Dean responsible for graduate programs in the other colleges, approves the additional course(s) counting toward the graduate degree only.  

4.   All graduate courses taken by an undergraduate student will appear and remain on the undergraduate transcript, and will be calculated in the undergraduate GPA. When additional graduate courses beyond the three that will double count are taken, and if the additional graduate courses are allowed to count toward a subsequent graduate degree, then the undergraduate college will need to manage the student’s undergraduate degree audit so that the additional graduate course(s) is/are excluded from fulfilling undergraduate degree requirements.  If/when a student becomes a graduate student, and graduate courses taken as an undergraduate student apply to that program, the Graduate Dean in CLAS, or the appropriate Associate Dean responsible for graduate programs in the other colleges, will notify the Registrar’s Office of all graduate courses to be applied to graduate degree requirements, so record adjustments can be made.

Approved by Provost and Council of Deans October 31, 2017

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