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Senior Citizens

Courses with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (formerly the Christopher Wren Association) offers a variety of courses for adults of all ages. Osher 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 Osher courses, please call the Osher office at (757) 221-1506 or send an email to [[w|osher]].

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

If you are interested in taking undergraduate courses as a non-degree seeking student, complete the online non-degree seeking application at least 10 business days prior to the first day of the term (check the academic calendar for term dates). No supplemental documents are required to accompany your online application.

Apply Now - Undergraduate NDS

After You Apply: Undergraduate NDS Next Steps for Senior Citizens
I have submitted my NDS application. What comes next?

Once your complete undergraduate NDS application has been submitted and any documentation that is required to accompany your application has been received by the University Registrar's Office, your application will be reviewed and you will receive an email within 7 days. Please check the email address listed on your application regularly, including your email's spam folder.

I have been approved to enroll as a NDS student. How and when can I register?

Once you have been approved to enroll as an Undergraduate NDS student, you will receive an email containing information on how to activate your W&M Username. If you have not received an email within a week of the beginning of the term, please contact the [[w|registrar,University Registrar's Office]].

Registration

Your W&M Username enables you to register for courses through Banner. Registration for fall and spring terms begins on the first day of classes. For summer terms, the date registration begins will be listed on the academic calendar. Remember to check the academic calendar for important term dates.

Audit a Course

You will not be able to select audit status when you register in Banner. If you wish to audit an undergraduate course, fill out the Undergraduate Permission to Audit form (pdf), have your instructor sign off, then submit the completed form to the University Registrar's Office for processing by the add/drop deadline for the term.

 
Graduate Courses 
Graduate Arts & Sciences 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.

Additional Requirements for Graduate History Courses

NDS 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 NDS webpage for application instructions. Once you have received notice of acceptance from the history department, continue with the application process as outlined below.

Application Instructions

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
After You Apply: Graduate Arts & Sciences NDS Next Steps for Senior Citizens
I have submitted my NDS application. What comes next?

Once your complete Graduate Arts & Sciences NDS application has been submitted and any documentation that is required to accompany your application has been received by the University Registrar's Office, your application will be reviewed and you will receive an email within 7 days. Please check the email address listed on your application regularly, including your email's spam folder.

I have been approved to enroll as a Graduate Arts & Sciences NDS student. How and when can I register?

Once you have been approved to enroll as a Graduate Arts & Sciences NDS student, you will receive an email containing information on how to activate your W&M Username. If you have not received an email within a week of the beginning of the term, please contact the University Registrar's Office.

Registration

Registration for fall and spring terms begins on the first day of classes and the Registrar's staff will register you for courses. For summer terms, the date registration begins will be listed on the academic calendar.

Mason School of Business

For questions about the process, or to enroll in graduate courses in the Mason School of Business, please contact them at (757) 221-2921.

School of Marine Science (VIMS)

For questions about the process, or to enroll in graduate courses in the School of Marine Science (VIMS) (pdf), please contact them at (804) 684-7106.

School of Education

For questions about the process, or to enroll in graduate courses in the School of Education, please review the School of Education Non-Degree Seeking Students webpage, or contact them at (757) 221-2317.

For those seeking Teacher Certification, contact the School of Education prior to submitting the NDS application.

Law School

For questions about the process, or to enroll in graduate courses in the Law School, please contact them at (757) 221-3782.

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.