Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Freshmen withdrawing from junior level E@M class. What would grad school think?

  1. Jan 24, 2012 #1
    So lets keep it hypothetical here. Lets say a freshmen is taking intro level E@M and Junior level Griffths E@M at the same time. The student is doing this because in high school he took calc based E@M and believes he can relearn any gaps. The student is getting As in his intro level class but getting not so good grades in his junior class. So he decides to withdraw from it. Will that look bad when it comes to apply to graduate school. Also let's say by the time he applied to grad school he retook E@M and got a good grade and had a decent GPA overall.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2012 #2
    This is not a valid hypothesis: either that freshman takes junior level E&M or the other.
    Taking both at the same time is not a sensible option. I mean, if that freshman knows the material of introduction course so well, what is the point of taking it? Even if that first year student has much time to spend, the faculty won't let it happen.
  4. Jan 24, 2012 #3
    He is already taking both. He is taking the intro level because he needs the credits from it to graduate and the lab part of the class. Let's assume they allow it. Also how would you know that they won't allow it. You don't know the faculty nor the student.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  5. Jan 24, 2012 #4
    Yes, I don't know the faculty or that particular, hypothetical student.

    What I am trying to say is, if the faculty grants that student a permission to take certain class, it is not logical, nor sensible, to make him/ her take the introductory class simultaneously.

    Perhaps it is also worth mentioning that there are freshmen and sophomore taking graduate class as well.
  6. Jan 24, 2012 #5
    Just stick to the scenario and don't discuss if it's possible or not. Trust me it's possible.
  7. Jan 24, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    It will look less bad than getting a poor grade in a class this hypothetical student wasn't prepared for, but worse than having taken classes with appropriate preparation and done well in all of them.

    A transcript with a W is not an endgame.
  8. Jan 24, 2012 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I agree, one W shouldn't be a big deal. Especially if the overall GPA is good.

    I trust this hypothetical student now realizes prerequisites shouldn't be regarded as mere suggestions meant for weaker students :biggrin:.
  9. Jan 24, 2012 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2018 Award

    I want to know what school will allow such a thing to happen. In most cases, your class schedule has to be signed by an academic advisor. Unless he/she rubber-stamped such things, an advisor would never allow a student to do that.

    This hypothetical student should also get someone to smack him/her on the back of his/her head for having such grandiose thought of his/her own ability and thinking that he/she could get away with such a crazy scheme.

  10. Jan 24, 2012 #9
    i don't think it's a deal breaker. It's more affordable for a freshman to make a stupid decision than a junior in terms of grad school.
  11. Jan 24, 2012 #10
    I remember thinking this the first year in college :) thank god I didn't act on it!
  12. Jan 24, 2012 #11
    A very reputable school and this hypothetical student knew how to sell himself good.
  13. Jan 24, 2012 #12
    It seems like the hypothetical student lied to himself. I trust that the hypothetical student will now be a bit more realistic about his abilities.
  14. Jan 24, 2012 #13
    Look, here is a suggestion: be humble when you ask for advice.

    I remember you started a thread last year asking whether you should take junior level E&M as a freshman. A lot of people suggested you not to do it. Apparently you did not listen, which is fine. But since now you are having trouble in your class, I'm hoping you learned something. If there is one thing I think you should have learned, it would be to stay humble. You think you know how to sell yourself good? Apparently you did that in a wrong way.
  15. Jan 24, 2012 #14
    http://loldamn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/funny-Einstein-monkey-high-school-college1.jpg [Broken]

    It's a junior level course for a reason. High school courses do not compare to upper division college courses in every case I've ever heard of. Take your lower division and learn them well, then do upper division. Even if you can pass it, you're hurting yourself.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  16. Jan 24, 2012 #15
    I'll come clean this is a scenario. I just started the class so idk how I am doing. I'm asking because if I do bad I will naturally want to withdraw from it. But I don't want that hurting my chances at grad school.
  17. Jan 24, 2012 #16
    Clearly it will stop you from getting in any graduate school if you drop one class in your second semester.
  18. Jan 24, 2012 #17
    I had a feeling I would get responses like that. If this an ordinary class I would of not bother asking. But barely any freshmen do this so I wanted to be sure.
  19. Jan 24, 2012 #18
    I went back and looked up your other thread where you asked if you should take up the junior level EM class.

    Having read the advice there, and seeing how you're doubting it yourself, it seems pretty darn obvious you shouldn't take it this semester. I'm only an undergraduate student myself, so don't take my word on it, but the word of the sensible people who posted in your other thread (and your fears).

    Rushing things is often not good. Rushing and being scared you'll fall because of it is just bad.
  20. Jan 24, 2012 #19
    I'm pretty sure it won't hurt your chances. But learn from your experience and don't do these kinds of things again. If you do it again and drop the course again, then this might be more harmful.
  21. Jan 24, 2012 #20
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook