1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses Retake a C+ in upper level physics elective?

  1. Oct 21, 2016 #1
    I had some medical problems last semester and ended up "bombing" all my classes; I got a smattering of B+/-'s in major courses, A-'s in non-major courses, and a C+ in a computational physics course. This last one especially distressed me because I was so excited to take the class, but things fell out of my control towards the end of the semester. I was considering going the computational physics route in grad school too, and my current research involves a lot of programming (so not only does the grade make me look bad, but I feel like I could have improved a lot as a programmer but never had the time to finish anything in the course).

    I did work a lot for the class though, and feel like I have surveyed a good amount of the material (though I'm probably unable to implement anything). I'm leaning towards retaking the course next semester (with the intention of getting an A+/A), but I'm not sure if there's anything wrong with that route.

    Other than things involving personal decisions (e.g. "Are you willing to spend more time of your life on this material next semester?," financial reasons, etc.) is there anything I should be aware of when choosing to retake a class like this? (An upper level major elective--so not required for graduation.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2016 #2
    How it affects your GPA and whether it will show on your transcript may vary between universities, so it's worth checking out. Also be warned that if it shows on your transcript but does not affect your GPA, some grad schools may recalculate your GPA when receiving your transcript by their standards (it's screwed over a few of my peers).
  4. Oct 23, 2016 #3
    @Dishsoap I already asked my advisors, both grades will remain on my transcript and both will affect my GPA.
  5. Oct 23, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't see any reason to retake the course, you passed. If it's abnormal for you to receive C's, that will be reflected in your transcript and can reasonably be chalked up to one bad semester, which happens.
  6. Oct 23, 2016 #5
    I'd base the decision more on what you would expect to learn by retaking the course rather than your transcript. You probably have some local advisers familiar enough with the specific course, your current skills, and you aspirations to give you great advice. You'd probably benefit more from a retake if it was taught by a different prof assigning different homework and projects than your first attempt.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted