What is Electives: Definition and 51 Discussions

In higher education in various countries, such as Canada, Israel, Nigeria and the United States, a course is a unit of teaching that typically lasts one academic term, is led by one or more instructors (teachers or professors), and has a fixed roster of students. A course usually covers an individual subject. Courses generally have a fixed program of sessions every week during the term, called lessons or classes. Students may receive a grade and academic credit after completion of the course.In India, the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore, as well as parts of Canada, a course is the entire programme of studies required to complete a university degree, and the word "unit" or "module" would be used to refer to an academic course as used in North America and the rest of Europe. This corresponds roughly to an academic major in the United States system.
In South Africa, a course is officially the collection of all courses (in the American sense, these are often called "modules") over a year or semester, though the American usage is common. In the Philippines, a course can be an individual subject (usually referred to by faculty and school officials) or the entire programme (usually referred to by students and outsiders).
Courses are time-limited in most universities worldwide, lasting anywhere between several weeks to several semesters. They can either be compulsory material or "elective". An elective is usually not a required course, but there are a certain number of non-specific electives that are required for certain majors.

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  1. Somaiyah

    Help with deciding electives: Differential Geometry or Quantum Info

    Hello everyone, I wanted some help deciding which elective to choose. I am a junior and for my next semester I have the option to pick either Differential Geometry-I or Quantum Information. I am confused which one to choose. We will be doing QMII as a compulsory course next semester and I have...
  2. shivajikobardan

    Engineering I need guidance to choose my electives as computer engineering student

    How do I choose a good elective? I want something that gives me good marks as i am in final year 2nd semester. I want something that has good courses over the internet. I don’t want you to pick it up for me but in general just guide me about how to choose the elective? I will put only ones that...
  3. Wrichik Basu

    Courses Choosing electives with B.Sc. Physics Honours - Maths and ....?

    I recently passed high school, and have applied to a number of colleges for B.Sc. I will study Physics Hons. Now, I have a problem with choosing electives. Obviously, Maths is compulsory with physics, so I don't have a choice there. But for the second elective, I may have a choice. "May"...
  4. astroman707

    Courses What undergrad electives should be taken when pursuing astrophysics?

    Hi, I go to a small liberal arts college and I'm majoring in physics. The college I attend has a VERY unique academic curriculum, with few required core courses, and one can have an oxford style tutorial in almost any area in physics, no matter how advanced. I want to pursue graduate school in...
  5. T

    Programs Electrical engineering with some CS electives?

    I looked up at ee curricilum and find out it suits better for me.I want to specialize in electronics.Is it possible for me to take discrete math,data structures,algorithms,neural networks,machine learning,artificial intelligence etc. as electives along with ee courses?Is it a viable path?
  6. bocces

    Courses Help an Undergrad Physics student decide on Electives

    Hey all, I'm an Applied Physics Undergrad who just finished first year and I ended up with a 2:1, which is grand. Anyway, in second year we have to pick between two electives, Physical Chemistry 3 or Sensors & Actuators. Then again in third year you have either Physical Chemistry 4 or...
  7. jaskamiin

    Programs Math minor, double major, and elective classes advice

    There's a lot of questions that float around like "I'm an EE major, should I double/minor in math?", "What math classes should I take as a physics major?", etc. After I typed in the title, this already started to show. Maybe you will disagree with some philosophical points I make, but I think...
  8. Bumpeh

    Courses Good Math Electives for Astronomy

    Hello everyone! So, I'm currently double majoring in Math and Physics at my University. My end goal is to hopefully go onto graduate school to earn a PhD in Astronomy, the specific areas of Astronomy I'm interested in are Observational Astronomy, Instrumentation and Planetary Science. Here are...
  9. L

    Programs Number of General Electives in Physics Degree - Bachelor's Level

    How many general electives are typical for a bachelors degree in Physics? They are accepting 18 of my art credits for the Physics Transfer program at the associates level. I would like to know how many credits will count towards a bachelors. I am guessing 9 credits...I am trying to get an...
  10. ramzerimar

    Should I stay in MechE or change to Electrical?

    Hey people. First of all, I'm now in the third semester of my course in Mechanical Engineering. I have interest in aerospace/aeronautics, so there are plenty of things in mechanical that I like - fluid mechanics, aerodynamics - and that was the reason I choose this undergrad. Nonetheless, I do...
  11. J

    Which elective is the better choice for a fluid-focused ME graduate student?

    Hi all, I'm a ME graduate student concentrating in fluids and I'm trying to decide between two electives. The two I'm looking at are Nonlinear Control Systems or Advanced Heat Transfer. Nonlinear controls looks interesting, but I'm not sure how it could tie in with fluids...as opposed to heat...
  12. P

    Help in choosing Math Electives

    Hi, I'm a 19 year old sophomore chemical engineering student. I'm highly interested in applied mathematics and wish to pursue a graduate degree in it. I have taken my usual first year (engineering) calculus courses i.e single variable / multivariable calculus. This year I will be taking...
  13. CiscoCertified

    Schools Electrical Engineering vs Physics with EE electives college

    Hi all, I am trying to decide between double E and physics with EE electives. I really love to learn theory and about what is happening at the sub atomic level however, I really enjoy designing, prototyping, and building electronics circuits, learning about all the components, how they work, and...
  14. T

    Programs Struggling to decide on a 4th subject in a physics major

    Hello everyone, I'm in my first year of a Bsc in Australia and am currently planning on majoring in physics and human geography (it is a strange combination I know). I have to pick my subjects forsecond semester and am faced with a dilemma. Currently I have chosen maths, geography and physics...
  15. T

    EE Electives: Best 3 for Well-Rounded Education

    Hello all, I am going to be a 3rd year electrical engineering student in the fall of this year. I am currently reevaluating my choice of electives for the upcoming semester. Right now I'm doing my second internship in a large oil/gas company and am doing very well. If all goes well I will be...
  16. C

    Advice for Senior Mechanical Engineering Course Selection

    Hello all, I am a Senior in Mechanical Engineering and I am in need of some advice for selecting some classes for the upcoming year. I need to select two of the three options listed below. Mechanical Vibrations Automatic Control Systems Manufacturing Process These three courses are electives...
  17. A

    What electives would be most beneficial?

    I recently changed my major to physics from business. I would be going into my senior year as a business student had I stayed, so I have all my core requirements done. While I'm catching up on some maths, I'll need to fill my schedule with electives to remain a full-time student. What courses...
  18. M

    What Are Good Electives To Take During Undergrad? (applied mathematics)

    I have 24 more upper division math courses to complete over 3 more semesters. I want to go full time which means I need to at least take 12 units (4 classes) of whatever I want. As someone who doesn't know what they want to do with an applied mathematics degree after I graduate, what sort of...
  19. baker0

    Which Physics Electives are Best for Preparing for Graduate School?

    Currently, I'm doing a double major, one of which is a B.S. in physics. Of the following four classes, I have to take two of them. What I was wondering was which of these would be better preparation to enter grad school? Here the physics electives: -Introduction to Quantum Mechanics...
  20. L

    How to choose math electives for a physic student

    Physic is my major and there are some electives of math units now...I am in trouble with choosing one pair from these two options: 【MATLAB】+【Advanced ordinary differential equations】 or 【Algebra and number theory】+【Real analysis】 can anyone tell me which one is better for me if I plain to...
  21. C

    Electrical Engineering Electives (Engineering Circuits Course))

    Hi I heard great things about this forum and thought I would post one of my questions here. I am currently a second year Engineering student pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. So far I have not taken much engineering electives except for thermodynamics and a programming class. So far I...
  22. S

    Schools Can You Take Particle Physics Courses as Electives in Grad School?

    "Electives" in grad school? Hello PF, I am an undergrad student majoring in one of the STEM field. I have a strong interest in particle physics, but I am not really interested in any other discipline of physics. For this reason, I don't think going to grad school in physics is not a...
  23. djh101

    Physical Chemistry Electives: ODE, Mechanics, or Mathematical Methods?

    Hello, everyone. I am currently a junior [physical] chemistry major and am picking out my future upper division electives. I've narrowed them down to a handful of classes and what I'm looking for is just a little background information on them, which ones might be better than others, general...
  24. B

    Schools How important are upper-division physics electives for getting into grad school?

    I'm considering doing a philosophy physics double major at the expense of taking a few upper division physics electives or math/engineering classes like Plasma Physics, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Intro to Solid State Physics, fluid mechanics, statistics, etc. Will this hurt my chances of...
  25. M

    Programs Physics major: which classes should I take for my two related electives?

    Its premature, but I definitely feel more aligned with theoretical physics over experimental. With that said, would math or computer science electives serve me better? I can choose 2 courses. Thanks!
  26. D

    Transfering into Physics Program : Approach to Electives

    Classes begin in 11 days. Currently, I am a college Junior, transferring into a Physics program with no true background other than Calculus 1 and 2 taught at a community college hastily in a period of eight weeks, through which I understood the material, but struggled through because it was...
  27. S

    Computer Engineering Electives

    I'm beginning to look into my electives for junior/senior year. My career goal is to be an Embedded Systems/Software Engineer involving RTOS, device drivers, microcontrollers etc. I have two sets of electives, need 2 classes from each set. In each set, I separated the courses into those that are...
  28. S

    Computer Engineering Electives

    I'm beginning to look into my electives for junior/senior year. My career goal is to be an Embedded Systems/Software Engineer involving RTOS, device drivers, microcontrollers etc. I have two sets of electives, need 2 classes from each set. In each set, I separated the courses into those that are...
  29. jbrussell93

    (bio)chem vs physics electives - Biophysics

    I am planning on going to graduate school in biophysics but I'm not sure which electives I should take to prepare myself. As a physics major I have a lot of freedom in my electives but by looking at different graduate programs I'm not sure how I should spend them. Some biophysics programs are...
  30. W

    Engineering Mathematics with engineering electives

    I am a student who is interested in both mathematics and engineering. I want to pursue a degree in mathematics, but because of its relatively small job prospects, I wish to take some engineering electives. However, I have a strong feeling that, unlike actuarial positions, engineering positions...
  31. W

    EE/Math electives for signal processing

    Hey, I'm an EE undergrad looking to tentatively specialize in signal processing. My relevant background includes a course in signals/systems, introductory feedback control (using Nise), analog communication systems (using Haykin), introductory probability, the usual Calc I-IV sequence, linear...
  32. K

    Programs Electives for an Applied Physics degree

    So as my first year of undergraduate Applied Physics comes to a close I have to start picking electives for next year. I have two options, I can either do 'bludgy' subjects so I can focus more on my core subjects and hence get better marks in them, or I can do a sub major which would probably...
  33. K

    Help Picking Undergrad Physics Electives

    Hey guys, Doing a double major in CE and Physics, most likely not going into physics research but if I do it would be more on the solid state/ quantum computing side. That being said, I have room for about 1-2 physics electives left. What would you recommend me take, purely on what was fun...
  34. K

    Do the EE electives I take in my last year matter?

    In my last year of electrical engineering, I will have the freedom and option of taking 5-6 courses from this long exhaustive list of electives: http://www.ece.ubc.ca/sites/default/files/ElectricalEngineering%20Electives%202011.pdf" My question is, do the courses I take, specifically those...
  35. D

    Schools Undergrad Math Electives (with an eye on Grad School)?

    Hello there, I'm currently an undergrad working towards a B.S. in Mathematics. I'm not too far along; I've completed the Calculus sequence and a couple classes after that. I'm currently in the equivalent of an "Intro to Proofs" class, required by my school. I work full-time, so during...
  36. H

    What electives to take? (IC design related)

    What electives to take? (IC design related) Hello everyone, I'm entering my 4th year in Biomedical and Electrical engineering, where I have a few electives to do, however I am somewhat puzzled as to the options. From all my studies I've found that I really enjoy IC circuit design (digital...
  37. V

    Best way to select mathematics electives?

    I've shifted some of my degree tracks around. As a result, I've made sure that I have room to pursue a BS in mathematics. In a few semesters, I'll have to pick a "track" for my electives, but as a result of other electives, I basically can follow two of the tracks. They are as follows: -...
  38. S

    What Electives should I take? (Structural Engineering)

    Hey guys, so if you've seen my other thread I've decided to stick with Civil Engineering. I'm going into my third year and I'm going to start taking my technical electives. I've already decided to make my degree a structural focus but there are so many electives I can take and I have to narrow...
  39. Link

    Picking Electives for a Career in NASA: Physics vs Maths

    I will get to pick some non ME electives corresponding to a semesters coursework, and my interests lies in these fields. Which will be more useful? I know the former is more physics focused and the other is more hardcore maths. I want to work for NASA after college, building or designing...
  40. mbisCool

    Courses Advanced courses vs electives

    Would it be more beneficial to take graduate courses in your B.S. major in place of electives than taking physics classes? I would like to take as many physics classes as possible but if it will help me get into graduate school or be a better engineer i would want to take graduate courses
  41. O

    Schools Should I Delay Graduation for Control Systems EE Electives?

    Hello, Let me clarify my questions. Short version: When applying to graduate school, does the admission committee often look at which electives you have taken in your major? Do they dislike applicants who take electives that don't seem focus on one specific specialty in that major? Longer...
  42. B

    Maximizing Applied Math Electives: Balancing Double Major and Graduation Goals

    Is it bad if you start taking your applied math elective courses in your junior and senior year, while double majoring in physics and retaking abstract algebra in the fall of your junior year? Lets say you want to at least graduated in 2010
  43. J

    Students, how do you pick your electives?

    Be honest. When you choose your electives to fulfill your liberal arts requirements, do you go for the easy first-year level courses with the multiple-choice final, or do you pick them based on your interest in the subject?
  44. J

    Online distance education electives

    In order to meet the requirements for my double major, I have to have a minimum number of units which unfortunately is a tiny bit short of the number of units I'll have when I fulfill all my course requirements. Therefore, I'm interested in taking about 4 semester-units of credit online, in a...
  45. M

    Technical electives in mechanical engr.

    I am taking a course in mechanical vibrations next semester and was wondering if I should take a course in controls? Does vibration and controls have any connection? It seems like they are used in different disciplines and knowledge in one don't help with other. I could be wrong. Can...
  46. H

    Which Electives Should I Choose for a Career in Computational Physics?

    Hi,, I can take a total of 4 electives ...which i am highly confused,,i think i should take all the 4 from Physics...but my roomie advised to take all 4 from MBA,he says that will give me a lot of confidence and one Friend advises to take all the 4 from Maths..he says maths will provide you...
  47. H

    Choosing Electives in Physics & Maths

    i have 3 electives to take and i am not very much convinced which one to take..since i am in Comp. science even then i am preferring to go all the 3 electives in physics but somewhere i feel that i should take maths because that will give computational power...So the list goes as :the list is...
  48. L

    What tech electives do you think I should take this fall?

    Hello, I am having some difficulty choosing a course to take for this fall. The course is to fill in my technical elective. I am already filling in my other tech electives with an advanced electronics class (with lab), advanced digital (with lab), and opto electronics (with lab). Now, I just...
  49. F

    EE Electives: take everything ? And IEEE paper

    EE Electives: take everything...? And IEEE papers.. Information overload. I'm planning my 'senior elective package,' a bunch of electives focused on a certain field. My problem is that it seems to me ALL of them are important. I mean Intro to communication? Or digital electronics...
  50. I

    EE senior electives - need advice

    dont know if this is the right forum, but... For my undergraduate degree I have to take three senior electives of my choice. There are 38 courses in 13 concentration areas, but I only have interest in a handful; -------------------------------------------------------------...