Student Categories

Full-time Student

A student must register for at least a total of three (3) load credits during a regular term to be considered full-time. To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (see SAP Chart in the Academic Performance Standards section), the typical course load for Fall and Spring terms is four credits. No student may register for more than four and one-half load credits without obtaining approval from his or her Academic Advisor for an overload. (See “Overloads” in Registration Information section to follow.) Approval from the Office of Academic Services also is required for fewer than a total of three load credits, which is an underload. (See “Request for Part-time Status (Underload)” in this section and “Load Credit” in the Academic Dictionary.)

Part-time Student

A student registered for fewer than a total of three (3) load credits is considered part-time with an underload. See “Requests for Part-Time Status (Underload),” also in the Enrollment Regulations section and “Load Credit” in the Academic Dictionary of this publication.

Degree Candidate

A Degree Candidate is a student working toward the baccalaureate degree at Berea College. Degree candidates normally are full-time students. Part-time status is approved only in exceptional cases.

Domestic Exchange Student

A student enrolled at Berea full-time for a regular term under an exchange agreement with another institution. (Also see "Domestic and International Exchange Programs")

Non-Degree Student

A domestic student (including Berea Community High School students, Madison Southern High School students, members of the community, and Berea College employees) or international students taking courses for personal enrichment or for limited educational gain and who is not pursuing a degree from Berea College. The course load of a non-degree student may not exceed two-and-one-fourth (2-1/4) course credits per term without permission of the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning.  Appeals made be submitted to the Registrar for submission to the Dean.

No more than six (6) course credits earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward a Berea College degree. Non-degree students may participate in the College’s Labor Program. Non-degree students are not subject to the same financial restrictions for admission that apply to degree-seeking students; however, such restrictions are applicable if the student applies to be a degree candidate. To be eligible to attend Berea as a non-degree student, an individual must, at the time of application, reside in Madison, Garrard, Jackson, or Rockcastle counties; be 18 years or older; hold at least a high-school diploma or the equivalent at the time of enrollment; and meet the following additional criteria:

High School Non-Degree Student

High school non-degree students must be a junior or senior enrolled at Berea Community High School,  Madison Southern High School, or a home-school program, have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and the recommendation of the guidance counselor for those in high school or meet the minimum SAT/ACT score for degree-seeking students, submit an essay question response, and have no outstanding student account balances.

Community Non-Degree Student

Not competitive by nature, the admissions process for community non-degree students requires that they meet the same minimum standards for admission as a degree seeker—rank in the top 3/5ths of the high-school graduating class (or pass the GED with a total score of at least 2250 and no less than 410 on any of the five individual tests) and score a minimum of 17 on the ACT or 1210 on the SAT I Verbal, Math, and Writing exams. Exceptions to the stated criteria will be considered for international students and in cases where the non-degree student (either high school or community) can demonstrate basic proficiency in a discipline closely related to the course(s) of interest. Students who have earned more than 12 or more credit hours at a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 are exempt from the standard admissions criteria.

Berea College graduates or former degree-seeking students who did not complete a degree are eligible to enroll as non-degree students in on-campus courses. Work taken as a non-degree student in these circumstances may not count toward a degree at Berea College.

Regular full-time and part-time Berea College employees, with permission of their supervisor and the Director of People Services, may take one (1) course per term. College employees must be in good standing if they are former Berea College students.

International Non-Degree Student

International non-degree students and community non-degree students are not eligible to apply for degree status for three (3) years from the completion of the last term in which courses were taken as a non-degree student. (Berea Community High School and Madison Southern High School students and Berea College employees are exempt from the three-year policy.) Non-degree student applications are available in the Self-Serve Room (101 Lincoln Hall). Completed applications should be submitted to the Student Service Center.

International Exchange Student

An international exchange student is one who attends Berea College as a non-degree student for a term or academic year through a reciprocal exchange program. Reciprocal exchange relationships between Berea College and institutions abroad are based on signed agreements that define the conditions of the exchange for the international students attending Berea College through the exchange and for the Berea College students who attend the partner institution abroad. Exchange students are selected by their home institution to participate in the exchange and meet the admission requirements established for international degree students at Berea College, including evidence of sufficient proficiency in English to have a successful academic experience at Berea. International Exchange students are enrolled as full-time, non-degree students at Berea College and transfer credit to their home institutions. Exchange students are required to participate in the College’s Labor Program. Applications for International Exchange Students are provided to the international office at their home institution by the Exchange Coordinator in the Francis and Louise Hutchins Center for International Education. (Also see Domestic and International Exchange Programs.)

Transient Students

Currently matriculated students in a degree program at another college may apply to take courses at Berea College. With the exception of students whose permanent address is in Madison, Jackson, Rockcastle, or Garrard counties in Kentucky, these students are subject to the same financial restrictions for admission that apply to Berea’s degree-seeking students. Transient students are restricted to two-and-one-quarter (2-1/4) course credits per term of enrollment, not to exceed three consecutive terms. Transient students are accommodated on a space-available basis and may register after degree seekers have completed registration. Ordinarily, transient students are not eligible for off-campus courses, independent studies, team initiated studies, internships, directed studies, and any other credit-bearing exercise pursued outside of the traditional classroom setting.


Students who wish to audit a course are permitted to do so with approval of the instructor. Course credit is not earned when auditing. A nominal fee is charged to audit a course. Ordinarily, participation courses (i.e. Art Studio, Foreign Languages) may not be audited. No transcript record is kept of audited courses.