Crashing a class means attending an academic course without being formally enrolled. This is also known as auditing or "sitting in" on a class. Large universities are best for class crashing, since they have a wide variety of subjects, and since many classes are large enough that additional students will not interfere with enrolled students. Don't rule out smaller classes, though; many professors are happy to have nonenrolled students, if they are asked.

How to crash classes

  1. Visit the UC Davis Schedule of Classes

  2. Find the meeting times, meeting location, and instructor name of classes you would like to attend.

  3. Email the instructor, explain your interest in the class, and ask if they would mind if you sat in. Offer to meet with them in person. The absolute worst time to talk to a professor is before class; they are trying to get ready for their lecture and may feel hassled if they are peppered with questions then. This is especially true on the first day of classes when everything is hectic.

  4. Be quiet and pay attention! Ask questions if you have gotten prior permission to do so from the instructor.

  5. Have a good reason for being there beyond "it sounds cool". If you have clarity of vision in your purpose, you won't only be much more persuasive in asking, you'll also sometimes find recommendations for other, related classes to audit. Professors in related fields know each other, and if you can say "I sat in on Dr. Foo's class in representational metasyntax and he recommended your class", Dr. Bar is more likely to say yes.

See also UCD Classroom Etiquette and UCD Email Etiquette.