Graduate Students-at-Large (GSAL) can take courses for credit and receive a letter grade for each course taken, and receive a transcript. Returning Scholars (RS) take audit courses, and do not receive academic credit or a grade but receive a transcript.
GSAL students are charged the Student Life Fee, but RS students are NOT charged the Student Life Fees.
GSAL students choose USHIP Health Insurance, or Waive it with comparable coverage. RS students may OPT IN for USHIP Health Insurance.
Yes. GSAL and RS students take courses with both full-time and part-time College, master's, and PhD students, at the University of Chicago, and are similarly held to rigorous academic standards.
No, the Graduate Student-at-Large program is a non-degree program. You will receive an official University of Chicago transcript, which lists the courses you have taken.
You are able to take all graduate, undergraduate, or professional school courses for which you have the prerequisites and there is seat availability, except in the Pritzker School of Medicine. If you want to take an undergraduate course, you’ll need to obtain instructor consent in advance. GSAL/RS students are taking regular university courses, not continuing studies courses. GSAL students can request to take any graduate course they are qualified for (i.e. have the prerequisites for); follow particular department’s registration policy, and have obtained approval from department. No courses in the medical school.
GSAL and RS students are diverse in age, academic background, and goals in pursuing the GSAL and RS programs. Students are seeking to explore a particular field of discipline, to preview graduate level courses and seminars, to switch to a new field of study and need a transcript with courses and grades, professional development, or simply personal edification. Students planning to apply to graduate and professional programs remain in the GSAL program for two or more quarters, building their transcript and receiving academic and professional/career advice from the Associate Director and her advising team. Domestic and international GSAL students have gone on to successfully apply to master's and PhD Programs in the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, medical school, law school, public policy, social work, and other fields, both in the United States and overseas. The Associate Director of GSAL and RS plans an annual “Exploring Graduate School Seminar,” inviting directors of programs and admissions personnel representing different fields of study to talk about their fields of research and what factors they look for in successful graduate school applications. There are also quarterly workshops and social events and mixers for GSAL and RS students to build community and learn about campus-wide resources.
"We just don’t have [discussion-based Socratic method of the UChicago classrooms] in France. Professors lecture and only rarely engage students directly—in or out of the classroom. For me, it was doubly beneficial, because it not only exposed me to a critical aspect of American culture, which will be important down the road, but also it pushed me into situations where I had to use the English language in ways I never had before. It was a tremendous learning experience for me and has allowed my confidence to grow in any number of ways."
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