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Courses Should I take General Relativity?

  1. Jan 26, 2017 #1
    I am thinking about taking GR as an elective,but I have no plans on going into cosmology or any related field.I wanted to know if when applying for graduate school,whether it is a positive for them to see you have taken a "high level" course,such as GR.
    I know that the best thing is to have taken courses related with the subject you are applying to graduate school for,but I don't have a subject in mind,thus my confusion.
    Please no advice on "if you like it" "if you can take the math" etc.
    Also,experience with European universities would be preferred.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2017 #2
    Taking the course to impress a comittee is about the worst reason to take a course.
  4. Jan 26, 2017 #3
    You didn't mention what you are majoring in in grad school.
  5. Jan 26, 2017 #4
    It wouldn't be the only reason I'd take the course.I am interested.But if I have to choose between courses I'm equally interested in,then I'll go based on utility.

    I mentioned that I haven't chosen a field of study for grad school,which is why I am asking such a general question.Sorry if I didn't make it clear.
  6. Jan 26, 2017 #5
    What are the other courses you're thinking about?
  7. Jan 26, 2017 #6
    It kind of matters.

    -Dave K
  8. Jan 26, 2017 #7
    Basically,I'm between picking sort of "important" general courses for the fun of it like GR,astrophysics,cosmology,in depth nuclear physics, or picking more specialized courses on subjects there is a strong chance I end up going to grad school for like all atmospheric physics courses or solid state stuff.
  9. Jan 26, 2017 #8


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    OK, one more time:

    Have you discussed this very same thing with your academic advisor?

  10. Jan 26, 2017 #9
    Of course,but I wanted to see what other people would have to say.
    I'm gathering that it really doesn't matter,so thanks!
  11. Jan 26, 2017 #10
    It does matter, but it depends on a lot of information you haven't provided, so it's hard to come up with an answer.

    -Dave K
  12. Jan 26, 2017 #11
    It obviously matters depending on the subject you're applying to grad school for.
    I'm saying it seems like it doesn't generally matter,say if you are going into atmospheric physics,whether you've taken GR vs quantum optics in undergrad.
    On second thought,it may have been a silly question.
  13. Jan 27, 2017 #12


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    It is not a silly question, but you've given us a silly scenario.

    The reason why I asked if you have discussed this with your advisor is because there are OTHER surrounding information that are as relevant as what you intend to do. Here's the scenario:

    rockyleg: Hi Prof. ZapperZ. I have a question. Do you think I should take the GR class?
    ZapperZ: It depends, rockyleg. What do you want to do after you graduate?
    rockyleg: I don't quite know yet, but I do know that I don't want to go into Cosmology or something in that area.
    ZapperZ: Well then, do you have any other area of study that you are either good at, or interested in?
    rockyleg: I'm not sure. That's why I'm here to ask you.
    ZapperZ: Well, what about your grades at this moment? Are you doing well or are you struggling?
    rockyleg: I'm [insert current performance here].
    ZapperZ: OK then, do you think you are capable of handling an upper level or graduate level classes, or do you think you should be taking another advanced undergraduate course, just to make sure you don't go over your head too much? After all, you are not sure yet where you will be going. Taking another advanced class such as GR might not only be not as relevant to your future goals, but it may be unnecessarily difficult that it might affect your grades.

    This is why I keep asking you, and other members who come into this forum asking the type of question, on whether you have had a sit-down conversation with someone who will have and should have a lot more information on not just about you and your academic state, but also the nature of the courses at that particular institution. These are not something a bunch of strangers on an internet forum will be privy to!

    I've advised students on things like this, and I can tell you that their body language alone tells me a whole bunch of stuff that even they couldn't convey! I can sense hesitation and uncertainty despite the words the students tell me.

    You have access to the best person/s who can help you find answer to such a question. Go talk to him/her/them!

  14. Jan 27, 2017 #13
    Really appreciate you taking the time to type this out.Thank you.
  15. Jan 31, 2017 #14
    I can think of worse! :oldbiggrin:
  16. Feb 1, 2017 #15
    I can't seem to find an option to lock this thread,so if any moderator is reading...Thanks for the replies,everyone.
  17. Feb 1, 2017 #16
    My entire math degree was just to impress my wife.
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