Is this a reasonable request?

  • #1
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I'm working on a physics minor, which is 21 hours (13 advanced). Right now, I have 17 hours (9 advanced). I'll be taking Thermal Physics in the Spring which will bring my total to 20 hours (12 advanced). To achieve the minimum of 21 hours, I'd have to take another 3-hour class. There is a 1-hour Advanced Lab Seminar I could take, but it would be totally pointless.

The physics department requires 21 hours (13 advanced). Is it reasonable to ask that they waive the additional hour? My goal is to graduate with my math major, physics minor Spring 2012. This would help me greatly achieve that end since I work and go to school part-time.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
fss
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I don't think it's reasonable. A physics minor already has a low threshold for achieving the requirements; why should they be lowered further?
 
  • #3
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I don't think it's reasonable. A physics minor already has a low threshold for achieving the requirements; why should they be lowered further?
I guess so. I was just wondering mostly for my convenience. 21 hours is the maximum number of hours that can be required for a minor at my university.
 
  • #4
jtbell
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Does your university allow students to do "directed study" or "independent study" for one or two credits? You'd have to pick a topic that isn't covered by the available courses and find a professor to supervise and evaluate you. Usually you write a report, or give a presentation, or do some kind of tangible project like a computer program.
 
  • #5
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Does your university allow students to do "directed study" or "independent study" for one or two credits? You'd have to pick a topic that isn't covered by the available courses and find a professor to supervise and evaluate you. Usually you write a report, or give a presentation, or do some kind of tangible project like a computer program.
They have classes called "Special Problems," but you can't use those to satisfy the advanced hours requirement.
 
  • #6
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"There is a 1-hour Advanced Lab Seminar I could take, but it would be totally pointless."

That 1-hour gets you the minor though...
 
  • #7
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"There is a 1-hour Advanced Lab Seminar I could take, but it would be totally pointless."

That 1-hour gets you the minor though...
Yeah. But you have to do a 22-minute oral presentation. Let's just say I don't do presentations.
 
  • #8
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Yeah. But you have to do a 22-minute oral presentation. Let's just say I don't do presentations.
If you say you "just don't do presentations", then I think this Advanced Lab Seminar would be far from pointless, and could be one of the better spent single credits in your education.
 
  • #9
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If you say you "just don't do presentations", then I think this Advanced Lab Seminar would be far from pointless, and could be one of the better spent single credits in your education.
It's not something I can learn or deal with. I get far too nervous.
 
  • #10
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The department has decided what constitutes a minor, and it looks like you will have the opportunity to take enough courses. So the only thing that's standing in your way is that you don't want to take the last course, because "I don't do presentations."

Why should the department give you a minor? "I want a minor but don't want to meet all the requirements for it" is not an argument that is likely to gain much traction.
 
  • #11
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The department has decided what constitutes a minor, and it looks like you will have the opportunity to take enough courses. So the only thing that's standing in your way is that you don't want to take the last course, because "I don't do presentations."

Why should the department give you a minor? "I want a minor but don't want to meet all the requirements for it" is not an argument that is likely to gain much traction.
It's not the last course. I've finished all of the required courses for the minor. Now, it's just up to me to fulfill the remaining number of advanced hours any way I want. I'd rather not have to take another 3-hour course when all I have left is 1 hour.
 
  • #12
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I understand that you don't want to do presentations. So it's completely understandable that you don't want to do the 1-hour course.

However, that leaves you with only one option: take a 3-hours course. It isn't fun, but that's just how it works. You can try and request that you only need to do 20 hours, but I'm afraid that they're not going to allow that (why would they allow it?)...

So I don't see any other option then a 3-hours course... :frown:
 
  • #13
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It's not the last course.
Yes it is. You need 21 hours. You have 20. You need one more course.

Your argument against getting the 21 seems to boil down to "but I don't want to take the 21st hour". Like I said, I don't think it's going to get much traction.
 
  • #14
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Yes it is. You need 21 hours. You have 20. You need one more course.

Your argument against getting the 21 seems to boil down to "but I don't want to take the 21st hour". Like I said, I don't think it's going to get much traction.
No. I don't want to take a 3-hour course when I only need 1 more hour.
 
  • #15
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Then take the one-hour class. But you don't want to take that one either.

It boils down to "I don't want to", which is a poor reason not to have to fulfill the requirement.
 
  • #16
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Then take the one-hour class. But you don't want to take that one either.

It boils down to "I don't want to", which is a poor reason not to have to fulfill the requirement.
The main reason is so I can have a better chance of graduating on time Spring 2012. That would be my official reason.

Otherwise, I'll probably just take Introduction to Astrophysics next Fall.
 
  • #17
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Presentations aren't so bad. Why do dislike them so much?
 
  • #18
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That would be my official reason.
As opposed to the truth?

Other people got their minors by fulfilling the requirements. When you ask to have them waived, it cheapens their accomplishments. Particularly when the reason that you want to have them waived is "I just don't want to take them."

So I think the answer is clear - no, this is not a reasonable request.
 
  • #19
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As opposed to the truth?

Other people got their minors by fulfilling the requirements. When you ask to have them waived, it cheapens their accomplishments. Particularly when the reason that you want to have them waived is "I just don't want to take them."

So I think the answer is clear - no, this is not a reasonable request.
You're not listening. Stop with the lecturing tone. It's not that I don't want to fulfill the 21-hour requirement. I'd rather not take a 3-hour physics course when all I need is 1 hour. I would rather instead take a 3-hour math course that's required for my degree.

You're correct only on me not wanting to take the 1-hour Advanced Lab Seminar for my own personal reasons. They offer 1-4 hours of Special Problems. I would have taken one of those because they're a bit more flexible time-wise.

Oh, and I can also agree it's not a reasonable request.
 
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  • #20
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Just take the 1 hour seminar. The only way you'll get over your phobia is to confront it directly.

I think it's highly unlikely you'll make it through life without ever having to give a presentation.
 
  • #21
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Just take the 1 hour seminar. The only way you'll get over your phobia is to confront it directly.

I think it's highly unlikely you'll make it through life without ever having to give a presentation.
I had to give one in my Texas History class a couple of semesters ago. I went up there and just read from my paper. I later found out that's apparently the cardinal sin when giving presentations! Haha.
 
  • #22
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You're not listening.
I am listening. However, what I am hearing is utterly and completely without merit.

You want a minor. You need at least one more hour.
The Special Problems courses do not count for a minor.
You don't want to take the 3 hour course.
You don't want to take the 1 hour course.

Fair enough, but this is no reason for a department to relax its requirements. You can make choices that will earn you the minor. You can make different choices, but you shouldn't act surprised when they don't get you the minor.
 
  • #23
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I had to give one in my Texas History class a couple of semesters ago. I went up there and just read from my paper. I later found out that's apparently the cardinal sin when giving presentations! Haha.
And now, you'll never make that mistake again--you've learned better. What was that you said about giving presentations not being something you could learn?

Don't take this the wrong way, but I feel like your approach to this thread is more along the lines of, "tell me I can get away with this" than "can I get away with this?" You seem to know what you want: you'd like the minor, but you need 1 more credit. You'd prefer not to take a 3-cr course to get that 1 credit, but you'd prefer that over taking the 1-cr course. So I guess what it comes down to is, is the minor worth it to you? And if so, does your aversion for the 1-cr class exceed your reluctance to take the 3-cr class?
 
  • #24
I had to give one in my Texas History class a couple of semesters ago. I went up there and just read from my paper. I later found out that's apparently the cardinal sin when giving presentations! Haha.
Yes, because I'm sure you're the only person in the world who's ever gotten stage fright. I used to have it too. Then I buckled down and realized that it's no different than talking to a single person face to face. I doubt you'd fail if you stuck to your script. Do you want the minor? Then suck it up and do it.
 
  • #25
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You're going to have to present your Ph.D to a group of experts in your field eventually. Take the one hour class. Eventually when you start to do research you'll have to give talks and you might have to do lectures some day if you happen to get a TA job. There are more possibilities as well, but of course you're not stupid and you can figure them out yourself.

Really, your refusal to stand up to your problems is, politely put, childish.
 

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