Free Course Auditing Available to Members of Upper Manhattan Community

Maggie Barrows
December 14, 2018

One of the Columbia programs available to members of the community as part of the benefits associated with the Manhattanville campus is free course auditing through the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. Providing access to lecture courses in a broad range of academic disciplines, auditing is an opportunity to be present in a classroom setting and engage intellectually with readings without being required to complete assignments, take examinations, or receive a grade.

Through the Manhattanville Course Auditing and Lifelong Learners Program, interested applicants pay no fees for the application or courses and can audit up to two courses per academic year. In order to participate, interested parties must fill out the online application and provide proof of residence such as a state-issued ID or a current utility bill. This program is open to residents of specific zip codes in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx who are not currently enrolled in higher education, with 50 spaces reserved specifically for residents of Grant and Manhattanville Houses. Because there are a limited number of spaces available and seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as courses are posted.

Current Lifelong Learning auditor Marlene Taber was born in 1939 and lives in Inwood. She got involved with the program after hearing about it from a friend and has audited classes in English and music. She says the program has helped her become “more aware of the importance of technology in our lives,” as well as provided her with updates on the social and political values of the country. It has also allowed her to get involved with the Roma People’s Project, which is based at Columbia and works to expand Roma studies.

Another current Manhattanville auditor is Ernest Hernandez, who got involved with the program after discovering it on the School of Professional Studies website. Ernest is using the program to become involved with the campus community and get used to business school classes, prior to applying to the Columbia Business School in a few years. He is also auditing classes that he can apply to his current career in hotel management.

More information on Manhattanville Course Auditing is available through the School of Professional Studies website, or by contacting or 212-854-9666.

This article was originally published in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of The Columbia Newsletter, which is available for download.