Should I graduate in Five years instead of Four?

In summary, the physics courses are only offered during either the Fall or the Spring, but never both, which means that the junior year student is behind by one year. However, if the student completes all of their liberal education courses except for one during high school (College Classes), they are "pretty much ahead by 1-2 years."
  • #1
jeremmed77
21
0
I have already completed all of my liberal education courses except for one during high school (College Classes). Right now I am a freshmen, so I was hoping I could graduate in 2014, but that may not happen. The problem is that all of the physics courses are only offered during either the Fall or the Spring, but never both. That means I am behind a year. For example, I should be taking elect/mag my junior year, but if I graduate in 2014, it will be my senior year. Since I want to go into grad school, I won't be able to take certain courses that would be generally be offered after the electromagnetism course, such as optics/relativity. Could I still get into grad school with the courses listed below, or do I need more advanced ones?

The link to what my university recommends I should take is here: https://webapps-prd.oit.umn.edu/pro...lePlanID=16980&programID=150&programSeq=12562. A sample of what my schedule will be is located below.

Fall 2011: (15)
Calc 2(4)
Phys 1(4)
Astro Course or
Programming Class(4)
Oganic Chem(3)

Spring 2012: (15)
Differential/Linear Alg(4)
Organic Chem 2 (3)
Multivariable Calc(4)
Phys 2 (4)

Fall 2012:
Phys 3 (4 credits)
Math Elective (4 credits)
Thermo/Statistical Phys(3 credits)
Organic Chem Lab (4 credits)

Spring 2013:
Quantum Physics(4)
Quantum Phy Lab(3)
Electives(5-9)

Fall 2013:
Analytical Mechan(4)
Quantum Mech(4)
Stat/Thermal Phy(3)
Experim Phys 1(5)

Spring 2014
Elect/Magn(4)
Experim Phys 2 (5)
Electives(4-6 credits)
 
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  • #2
I see three years of work there not 4/5. If you go by year 1 = freshman (rather than amount of credits) then I count you taking E&M your junior year and graduating that year.

I don't see your problem, in fact since you have all of your gen ed type courses down you are pretty much ahead by 1-2 years.
 
  • #3
My mistake. I am in my freshmen year now, and will only have calc 1 finished.
 
  • #4
Why are you taking organic chemistry classes? Also, what you could possibly do is, for instance, try to talk to professors or someone in the department to letting you into classes like Electromagnetism while you're taking Quantum Mechanics, for the reasons you told us. If you want to take graduate classes, then that would be a good enough reason somewhat, but they might want to have some proof that you know what you're doing and can handle it. If they're not prerequisites, then you ought to just move them to, for instance, Spring 2013 from Spring 2014. You would probably have more luck with this in your math classes, like moving Multivariable calculus to next spring instead of in 2 years, since you could probably do that.
 
  • #5
Talk to your undergraduate adviser for stuff like this. They're there for a reason.
 
  • #6
Personally, I've had crappy experience with advisers. They're there to serve the average student, so when you want to do something out of the ordinary, they'll say no or they won't be terribly willing to help you. Some may get this idea that you think you're better than everyone else and that you're trying to beat the system, and that can piss some people off.

I think professors would be more willing to help than advisers, who are trying to cater to everyone and they assume everyone is just an average student, but that's not always the case. They're really there to make sure you don't screw up.
 
  • #7
hadsed said:
I think professors would be more willing to help than advisers,

At a lot of schools, the advisers are professors. Where I teach, when a student declares a major, s/he has to choose a professor in that department as his/her academic advisor. Incoming students (who haven't yet declared a major) have a professor chosen for them as AA by the college.
 
  • #8
jtbell said:
At a lot of schools, the advisers are professors. Where I teach, when a student declares a major, s/he has to choose a professor in that department as his/her academic advisor. Incoming students (who haven't yet declared a major) have a professor chosen for them as AA by the college.

where i go, there are two kinds of advisors. there is the departmental advisor who you see about filling out forms and graduate requirements (aka paperwork stuff).

the advisors you go to regarding things like "what classes should i take" etc are professors.

to the OP: you're a freshmen. the core physics classes you need are classical mechanics, e&m, and quantum. probably through in an advance lab and maybe math physics class (if ur school offers it). everything else is gravy.
you seldom NEED advance classes like optics and what not to get into graduate school. the main criteria for who gets into grad school isn't your class list...
 
  • #9
jtbell said:
At a lot of schools, the advisers are professors. Where I teach, when a student declares a major, s/he has to choose a professor in that department as his/her academic advisor. Incoming students (who haven't yet declared a major) have a professor chosen for them as AA by the college.

Yeah, I forgot to mention this. Of course if this is the case then what I'm saying is irrelevant. Although you can still get stuck with the sort of adviser I was talking about, even in the department. In that case it would be more helpful to talk to someone else.
 

1. Should I graduate in five years instead of four?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. Graduating in five years may be a good option if you are struggling with your coursework and need more time to complete your degree, or if you want to pursue additional majors or minors. However, it may not be the best choice if you are on a tight budget or if you have a specific career or graduate school timeline.

2. Will graduating in five years affect my job prospects?

Graduating in five years instead of four should not negatively impact your job prospects. Employers typically care more about the quality of your education and your skills rather than the length of time it took you to graduate. If you can demonstrate your abilities and knowledge in your field, graduating in five years should not be a concern.

3. Is it more expensive to graduate in five years?

It can be more expensive to graduate in five years instead of four, as you will have to pay for an extra year of tuition, fees, and living expenses. However, this may vary depending on your financial aid and scholarship options. It is important to weigh the cost against the potential benefits of graduating in five years, such as gaining additional skills and experience.

4. Will graduating in five years affect my academic performance or GPA?

Graduating in five years should not have a significant impact on your academic performance or GPA. In fact, taking an extra year may allow you to spread out your coursework and have a lighter course load, which can help you better focus on your studies and improve your grades. However, it is important to stay organized and motivated to ensure academic success during your extended time in college.

5. Can I still graduate in five years if I change my major or transfer schools?

It is possible to graduate in five years even if you change your major or transfer schools. However, it may require careful planning and possibly taking additional courses during the summer or winter breaks. It is important to discuss your options with your academic advisor to ensure that you stay on track to graduate in a timely manner.

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