Can a graduate student take undergraduate course?

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Can a graduate student take undergraduate course?

Postby HwaS » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:48 pm

I'm looking at pages of QFT books these days.
That makes me think that I should have taken Lie group courses as a undergraduate.
Can a graduate student take undergraduate course? like junior/senior math courses.
Futhurmore some biology and organics chemistry for biophysics. or computer science stuff. I kinda have a dream of starting my own IT company as a side business.

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Re: Can a graduate student take undergraduate course?

Postby TakeruK » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:03 pm

It really depends on the regulations of the program you end up in.

First, a professor (typically your supervisor but sometimes your academic advisor, or both) usually has to sign off on the courses you take. After all, you are being paid/funded to complete your degree so they want to make sure you are spending your time on things that lead you to this goal. So be prepared to justify why these courses are necessary.

Second, it will depend on whether or not you want these courses to count towards your graduate school requirements or not. Many programs have a limit on how many credits you can take that are not graduate level (sometimes that limit is 0 credits). In my field, there are often a lot of courses that are cross-listed as 4th year undergrad or 1st year graduate course, so you can often take them under the "graduate course" listing and everything is fine. If you exceed the limit on undergrad credits towards your degree, then maybe you can still take courses but they won't count towards your course requirements. However, as I mentioned in point #1 above, sometimes your supervisor/advisor will not want you to take courses that won't advance you in your degree unless you have a strong reason.

Finally, you can consider self-teaching some of these materials too. Maybe you can get what you need out of the courses without actually doing the courses, homework, finals etc.

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Re: Can a graduate student take undergraduate course?

Postby HwaS » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:00 am

Thanks TakeruK for the relpy.
I hope that a course which i may take be regarded as an official credit. Just in case I need to prove to somebody.
Of course, i can self'-study, That's what I always do.

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Re: Can a graduate student take undergraduate course?

Postby twistor » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:14 am

I knew graduate students who took undergraduate courses, mostly because they were deficient in some area or because they wanted to review for qualifying exams.

Also, it's true that your advisor will need to sign off on your classes at most schools. However, if you have a good relationship with your advisor and you're not taking tons of spurious courses this shouldn't be an issue. I don't think any reasonable advisor would stand between you and the pursuit of your academic interests, especially these days since there is so much interdisciplinary work happening. But if it gets out of control then it's more likely to become an issue.

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