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Courses Graduate coursework.

  1. Mar 24, 2005 #1
    What is the typical department's policy regarding allowing their graduate students to take classes not directly related to their field of study?

    for instance, If I were to become a graduate student in physics, would I be permitted to take undergraduate courses in fields such as mechanical or electrical engineering?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2005 #2


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    1. It depends if you have any assistantship or not. If you do, the dept. may not pay for those classes if there's no justification academically by your advisor that you need them.

    2. If #1 isn't applicable, you can take ANY classes that you want. Keep in mind that in many schools, a grad student cannot earn a grade less than a B, or else it is considered a failure. So if you think you can afford it and displace taking your required courses to do this, then you're free to do so.

    Frankly, considering how hard I had to work when I was a graduate student, I can't imaging anyone having the time (nor the inclination) to want to enroll in classes that have no bearing on the end product.

  4. Mar 25, 2005 #3


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    You might want to inquire into auditing the classes instead of taking them for credit. That way, you don't have to worry about studying for exams or sticking with it if you run out of time, but basically get to sit in on all the lectures and learn the material anyway. I did that with a few courses as a post-doc just because I hadn't gotten any exposure to the material before and wanted to learn it. I also asked some profs for permission to sit in on their classes (and encourage my post-docs now to do the same) when I am just interested in one or two lectures or to find out what material they cover and how they go about teaching it when I think it might be something I'll need to teach some day.
  5. Apr 16, 2005 #4
    Given that my undergraduate schedule is rather tight, I was hoping that I could at least audit undergrad language classes while a grad student. I wonder if I could claim that, for instance, Russian would help me with technical literature.
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