Taking a physics class pass/fail

abeboparebop
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Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby abeboparebop » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:47 pm

I'm currently taking a medium-heavy slate of physics classes. However, it being 2nd semester senior year, I'm already finished with the physics major, and none of these classes I'm taking are actually required either for major or elective requirements. Thus I can take any of them pass/fail.

(I don't know exactly how common this system is at other schools, so here's a quick explanation: If you take a course P/F, the professor grades you as he normally would, without knowledge of your P/F status, but as long as he gives you a passing grade, you get a P on your transcript. It's a way to basically take a course for fun without worrying how the grade you might get would affect your GPA.)

(A quick Google suggests it's pretty common. Anyway...)

I'm finding the workload a little bit heavier than I expected, and so I'm thinking about taking either Quantum II or Condensed Matter on a P/F basis. I don't know exactly how much I'll let myself slack off this semester, but with senioritis setting in, I could conceivably see myself getting a C in either class. The only person who will see these grades is somebody at a graduate school who already will have accepted me. The P option lets me keep my GPA a bit shinier but might look a little sketchy on a transcript.

My slightly-paranoid question is this: in what kind of situations are admissions offers rescinded? Are either of these situations (two Cs or two Ps) anything to worry about?

My brain says that once I'm in, whatever school I end up going to won't care a bit. But I'd like to confirm it with people who might know better. Does anybody have any experience with admissions offers being revoked?

nathan12343
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby nathan12343 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:19 pm

I wouldn't know about admission offers being declined, but I don't think they can penalize you for taking classes pass/fail.

coffeecoffeecoffee
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby coffeecoffeecoffee » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:28 pm

abeboparebop wrote:My slightly-paranoid question is this: in what kind of situations are admissions offers rescinded? Are either of these situations (two Cs or two Ps) anything to worry about?

My brain says that once I'm in, whatever school I end up going to won't care a bit. But I'd like to confirm it with people who might know better. Does anybody have any experience with admissions offers being revoked?


A P/F can't be looked at less positively than a C grade. Go for P/F in one of the courses.

I don't have any experience with this....but I'd like to know as well. Is a spring-semester B- average a ticket out of grad school?

mhazelm
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby mhazelm » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:39 pm

yes, I wondered about this too. I am not at all concerned about math and physics classes this semester, but I have to take a music class to fulfill my humanities requirements for graduation, and Gen. Chem. II to fulfill college of science requirements. I was considering taking the music class or chemistry pass/fail, as that will give me less to worry about and I can focus on physics... but will it look bad? It isn't physics, so I thought maybe I could get away with it...

not that I expect Cs, but I don't want B's to damage my GPA. I don't like B's. I had straight As last year and loved it.

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grae313
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby grae313 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:59 pm

coffeecoffeecoffee wrote:....but I'd like to know as well. Is a spring-semester B- average a ticket out of grad school?


I slacked off spring semester after admissions and got just about that (B- gpa). No one is going to rescind your offer. They won't even see your grades for a while after you've already started in the program, and I don't think they care anyways. Now, if you are trying to get into a super competitive theory research group or are applying for lots of fellowships, it would have more of an impact.

coffeecoffeecoffee
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby coffeecoffeecoffee » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:34 pm

grae313 wrote:I slacked off spring semester after admissions and got just about that (B- gpa). No one is going to rescind your offer. They won't even see your grades for a while after you've already started in the program, and I don't think they care anyways.


Cooooool.

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coreycwgriffin
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby coreycwgriffin » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:14 am

At my school I think over your whole undergrad career you can opt to take up to 3 classes pass/fail as long as the professor approves. I was always told that it's looked down upon a little, but not as much as a withdrawal from a class would.

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zxcv
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby zxcv » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:25 am

In my senior spring, I took one course for a grade and three others pass/fail. The pass/fail courses included a student run physics course, a religion course and a psychology course.

Of course, then I went on to earn an A in the religion class anyways...

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coreycwgriffin
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Re: Taking a physics class pass/fail

Postby coreycwgriffin » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:31 am

zxcv wrote:In my senior spring, I took one course for a grade and three others pass/fail. The pass/fail courses included a student run physics course, a religion course and a psychology course.

Of course, then I went on to earn an A in the religion class anyways...


See, that's exactly why I don't choose to do this this semester. I mean, I'm taking an elementary differential equations class just for the hell of it. I basically taught myself diff eq when I took the Math Methods of Physics course here, and have never had a problem solving any I've encountered. So the class is a snooze fest that I could probably take pass/fail and just show up to exams, or just get a 4.0 and pull up my GPA a little. I mean...there are kids in there who still have trouble with the integral of 1/x.




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