Can You Take One Class At A Different College?

Course selection is one of the most strenuous times for all students. Unfortunately, even against our best efforts of furiously typing course codes and feverishly looking at the appearance of desired classes on transcripts. Although, what happens when you are unable to register for a class? The next question you ask yourself can be: “When can I take this?” “Should I E-Mail the professor for access?” or even “Can You Take One Class At A Different College” 

Can You Take One Class At A Different College?

Luckily there are multiple options for those seeking the ability to register at other universities and colleges than the one you attend. Those options are notably registering under the status of the non-degree seeker, transient student, and the possibility of summer enrollment.

There are distinct and subtle differences between these options by their definition for each type of student application:

1. Non-degree Seekers are students that take courses at one institution without the intent of obtaining a degree; in some cases, they attend another institution’s program full time.

2. Transient students are enrolled at an institution; the student can elect to take classes elsewhere and receive credits toward their degree. A college or university can allow admission for less than a full term of courses while being considered Transient. This status can occur while taking a full course load at their primary state college or university.

3. Summer Enrollment is an option most colleges and universities give to take courses through the summer with smaller class sizes. Traditionally, these a broken up into sessions ranging from A-D. Within these segmented times of classes, course completion takes approximately one to two months to complete. 

However, before applying to universities to take makeup or replacement courses, ask your college’s registrar if the courses you hope to take are transferrable between the two colleges. This step allows you to have an open conversation about a school’s transferrable credit hours toward graduation. You ensure that the classes taken at another school are applicable and transferable back to your original school. Meeting with your university registrar will help your collegiate experience toward graduation if you are thinking about taking courses other than your presumed university. Now that the differences between the enrollments have been explained let’s talk about applying for each. 

Steps For Enrolling into Another University or College

1. Talk to your university or college registrar to see course equivalents and transferable credits.

2. Research the cost of attendance, scholarships, admissions requirements of prospective offerings, the curriculum for degrees, and possibly areas of interest.

3. Arrange for transcripts to be sent to schools and colleges. 

4. Prepare admission applications, including letters of recommendation, preferably consisting of professors at your current school. This step allows college admission boards to have recent insight into your academic habits and capabilities.

5. Apply for your desired courses and submit your application to the selected universities or colleges of your choice. (It is good to apply based on class size and availability.)

6. Wait for the admissions decision. 

These steps are paramount to having a less stressful time when selecting classes and schools from a small pool of choices—allowing you to have more time to deal with your current exams, papers, and lectures. No matter which option is the best for you, these should help with registration and enrollment into the schools that will be more than happy to have you amongst the student body’s ranks. 

Getting Denied Attendance to Another University or College

Getting denied is statistically possible depending on where you may be able to get into coursework for your completion in undergraduate work. The chances of this happening are based on where you use it and your current academic standing. If your GPA, academic standing, and accolades don’t align with the schools, you apply. There is always an opportunity to use a year after initial attempts of enrollment. Giving time for you to raise your GPA, work on your resume, or get paperwork for reapplying. 


In conclusion, someone can attend another college where they are currently enrolled. Although it requires more paperwork on your behalf, it can allow you to graduate early or on time, depending on your academic history. In the case of those who go to private institutions, this option could even lower the overall cost of your education.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find programs with courses I need?

This information can easily be acquired by contacting the school for details on their programs or a list of faculty and staff. Additionally, department websites for schools you may be looking at will often list coursework offered by the school.

How long can I be transient or non-degree seeking?

There is no official deadline for when your status changes. This depends on the length of time you take classes at your other college or university.

Can I take classes simultaneously during fall and spring at another school?

Yes, although you will have to apply as a non-traditional student, which begins around the time of early spring and late fall. However, there is always the possibility that rolling admissions may occur.