Senior Citizens

Courses with the Christopher Wren Association

The Christopher Wren Association (CWA) offers a variety of courses for adults of all ages. CWA is an organization comprised of people who "share a common interest in continuing learning experiences and intellectual stimulation. There are no tests or grades. Members participate purely for the joy of learning." If you would like to receive a current catalog of CWA courses, please call the CWA office at (757) 221-1506 or send an email to ChrisWren@wm.edu.

Non-Degree Seeking Status at William & Mary

William & Mary offers limited access to non-degree seeking status during each term. Those eligible to apply as non-degree seeking students include senior citizens, who may take courses for audit or credit.

Taking Courses for Audit as a Non-Degree Seeking Student

Courses taken for audit will be assigned a grade that becomes part of the student's permanent academic record and will appear on the W&M transcript. Grading requirements are determined by the individual instructor. Students who stop attending an audited course and do not withdraw from the course will receive a grade of “U”.

  • "O" grades are assigned for Satisfactory Audits
  • "U" grades are assigned for Unsatisfactory Audits
Taking Courses for Credit as a Non-Degree Seeking Student

Courses taken for credit will be assigned a grade that becomes part of the student's permanent academic record and will appear on the W&M transcript. Non-degree seeking students are required to complete all course requirements as determined by the instructor.

Before You Apply as a Non-Degree Seeking Student: Technology Requirement

A laptop and internet access is essential for student life at William & Mary. Many courses include online components on various platforms including Blackboard. Academic programs may have different computer requirements, including graduate programs in the School of Business.

Information Technology (IT) provides information on student computers and software and IT resources for new students. Additionally, students are responsible for understanding the computer service agreement and the acceptable use policy. IT recommends that all students' computers have at minimum:

  • Intel i5 processor or higher
  • 256GB hard drive or higher
  • 8GB of RAM or higher
Before You Apply as a Non-Degree Seeking Student:- Search for Open for Courses

Non-degree seeking students are required to obtain an instructor's approval to enroll in a course as part of the application process.

Apply to Take Courses as a Non-Degree Seeking Student

Please read through each application section to determine which forms to complete. Note that there is a separate process to apply to take undergraduate or graduate courses. Undergraduate and Graduate Arts & Sciences courses are processed through the University Registrar's Office, but students seeking to enroll in Graduate Arts & Sciences courses must complete additional forms. Courses in all other graduate schools are processed by that graduate school and non-degree seeking students must contact those schools directly.

Undergraduate Courses

Complete and submit the following forms to the University Registrar's Office at least 10 business days prior to the first day of the term (check the academic calendar for term dates).

  1. Complete one (1) of the following forms:
  2. Complete the Application to Determine Physical Residency/In-State Tuition (pdf) which verifies eligibility for the tuition waiver

Once your submitted application has been reviewed, you will receive an email containing information on how to activate your William & Mary UserID. This information will be emailed to the email address you provided on your application. If you have not received an email within a week of the beginning of the term, please contact the University Registrar's Office. Registration begins on the first day of classes and the Registrar's staff will register you for courses. Check the academic calendar for term dates.

Graduate Arts & Sciences Courses (Excluding History Courses)

Graduate Arts & Sciences courses (numbered 500 and above) are restricted to degree seeking students. Non-degree seeking students must obtain permission from the instructor and the department's director of graduate studies prior to admission.

Complete and submit the following forms to the University Registrar's Office at least 10 business days prior to the first day of the term (check the academic calendar for term dates).

  1. Complete one (1) of the following forms:
  2. Complete the Permission Form: Graduate Course for Unclassified Students (pdf)
  3. Complete the Application to Determine Physical Residency/In-State Tuition (pdf) which verifies eligibility for the tuition waiver

Once your submitted application has been reviewed, you will receive an email containing information on how to activate your William & Mary UserID. This information will be emailed to the email address you provided on your application. If you have not received an email within a week of the beginning of the term, please contact the University Registrar's Office. Registration begins on the first day of classes and the Registrar's staff will register you for courses. Check the academic calendar for term dates.

Graduate History Courses

Non-degree seeking students seeking to enroll in graduate history courses must submit an application to the Graduate Director of the history department at least three weeks prior to the start of term. Please visit the history department's non-degree seeking webpage for application instructions.

Once you have received notice of acceptance from the history department, complete and submit the following forms to the University Registrar's Office at least 10 business days prior to the first day of the term (check the academic calendar for term dates).

  1. Complete one (1) of the following forms:
  2. Complete the Permission Form: Graduate Course for Unclassified Students (pdf)
  3. Complete the Application to Determine Physical Residency/In-State Tuition (pdf) which verifies eligibility for the tuition waiver

Once your submitted application has been reviewed, you will receive an email containing information on how to activate your William & Mary UserID. This information will be emailed to the email address you provided on your application. If you have not received an email within a week of the beginning of the term, please contact the University Registrar's Office. Registration begins on the first day of classes and the Registrar's staff will register you for courses. Check the academic calendar for term dates.

Graduate Courses in Other Schools

To take graduate courses in a school other than Graduate Arts & Sciences, please apply and register with the appropriate school. All non-degree seeking questions should be directed to the appropriate school.

Policies & Resources for Non-Degree Seeking Students

Please visit the Policies & Resources webpage for non-degree seeking students.

Tuition

Tuition and fees are due and payable by the due date as established by the Bursar's Office. Tuition may be waived for senior citizens taking a course for audit or eligible senior citizens taking a course for credit. Please review the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974 for eligibility requirements.

The Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974

The Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974 - 23.1-639 and 23.1-640 of the Code of Virginia.

Definitions

  • "Course" means any course of study offered in any state institution of higher education including the regular curriculum of any department, or school, or subdivision of any such institution or any special course given for any purpose, including, but not limited to, adult education.
  • "Senior citizen" means any person who, before the beginning of any term, semester or quarter in which such person claims entitlement to the benefits of this chapter, (i) has reached 60 years of age, and (ii) has had his legal domicile in this Commonwealth for one year.

A senior citizen shall be permitted:

(i) To register for and enroll in courses as a full-time or part-time student for academic credit if such senior citizen had a taxable individual income not exceeding $23,850 (Effective July 1, 2015) for Virginia income tax purposes for the year preceding the year in which enrollment is sought;

(ii) To register for and audit courses offered for academic credit (but not receive credit); and

(iii) To register for and enroll in courses not offered for academic credit in any state institution of higher education in this Commonwealth.

Such senior citizen shall pay no tuition or fees except fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials, such as laboratory fees, but shall be subject to the admission requirements of the institution and a determination by the institution of its ability to offer the course or courses for which the senior citizen registers.

The State Council of Higher Education shall establish procedures to ensure that tuition-paying students are accommodated in courses before senior citizens participating in this program are enrolled. However, the state institutions of higher education may make individual exceptions to these procedures when the senior citizen has completed seventy-five percent of the requirements for a degree.

There shall be no limit to the number of terms, quarters or semesters in which a senior citizen who is not enrolled for academic credit may register for courses but he may register for no more than three courses in any one term, quarter or semester.