Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses


Office of Academic Affairs


Dean of the School for Graduate Studies


Graduate Studies



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

This is the first policy of this nature at the college.


Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses, Graduate studies

Background Information:


Provides for undergraduate enrollment in graduate courses with explicit controls for such enrollment and the uses of the credit.    



An advanced undergraduate student (within the last 32 credits of the bachelor’s program) with a concurred degree program may apply to take up to nine credits of selected graduate course work as determined by the appropriate graduate program chair or coordinator (but only six hours during a single term) related to the student’s degree program. If the student is permitted to enroll, graduate-level course expectations and grading policies apply.

Students and mentors should consult with the appropriate program chair or coordinator as they develop a degree program plan that includes graduate study. Students who incorporate graduate studies into their degree program will be exempted from the degree program amendment fee should changes be required to the degree program as a result of not being permitted to enroll in graduate courses.

The appropriate program chair within the School for Graduate Studies determines eligibility on a course-by-course basis, in consultation with the student primary mentor and other mentors as appropriate.  Decision criteria include (1) the student’s preparedness for graduate study based on the academic record, (2) the student’s rationale for enrolling in graduate courses, and (3) the availability of space in the course(s). The graduate course(s) may be used toward the undergraduate degree (subject to undergraduate degree program review). Additionally, if the student is accepted within two years to the graduate program to which the courses apply, those course(s) will apply toward that graduate degree.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Title 8 Chapter II Regulations of the Commissioner part 52.2 (c)(3) “Credit toward an undergraduate degree shall be earned only for college level work. Credit toward a graduate degree shall be earned only through work designed expressly for graduate students. Enrollment of secondary school students in undergraduate courses, of undergraduates in graduate courses, and of graduate students in undergraduate courses shall be strictly controlled by the institution.”

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Procedures for Undergraduate Students to Request Enrollment in Graduate Courses

School for Graduate Studies (SGS) will provide a list of eligible courses on its website with a link from MyESC. The terms for courses are September, January and May.

Undergraduate Consultation with Primary Mentor

The undergraduate student consults with his/her primary mentor and SGS to determine if she/he is ready for graduate-level study, if graduate study is appropriate to his/her goals, and if so, what courses would be relevant to his/her degree program. Some indicators of readiness to engage in graduate study are that students will have been highly successful in upper-level courses/studies demonstrating strong writing and critical thinking skills, and have completed the any prerequisites required for a particular course.

The student completes and signs the application (to be developed) for enrollment in graduate courses, acknowledging the expectations of graduate level-study and grading.

School for Graduate Studies Review

The application is forwarded via email to the student services staff in SGS (GradReg@esc.edu), where it is logged and channeled to the appropriate program chair or coordinator.

The chair/coordinator determines if the student is prepared for graduate study based on the academic record, consultation with the undergraduate primary mentor, the course instructor, other mentors if needed, and the student’s rationale for enrolling in graduate courses. The primary mentor would need to advise as to the appropriateness of the courses selected to the planned DP and provide information about the student’s readiness for graduate level study (or connect the graduate chair or coordinator with other mentors who can provide that advice). The chair or coordinator also ensures that there is space available in the course(s) selected. The chair notifies graduate student services of the decision.

If the request is approved, the graduate student services office notifies the student, the primary mentor, and processes the enrollment (adds the course to the student’s worksheet or manually enters the enrollment) for the appropriate term.

The SGS student services will ensure that undergraduate students so approved do not exceed 6 credits of graduate study in any given term.


Appeals of decisions would follow the college’s academic appeals process and formal appeals would be referred to the appropriate center. For example, appeals of decisions not to allow a student to participate in a graduate course would be directed to SGS and appeals of decisions about the appropriateness of such a course to the undergraduate program would be directed to the student’s home center.