The need of having done a class formally

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In summary, the conversation discusses the issue of not having taken an exam or assignments for a class on QFT, despite attending lectures. The individual is now concerned about how this may affect their grad school application for a Ph.D. They clarify that they have audited the class informally, but this will not show up on their transcript. The expert provides their opinion on how this may be viewed by potential grad schools.
  • #1
r4nd0m
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The need of having done a class "formally"

I'm (something like) a master student in Europe, now being in my first year and I have the following problem: Last semester I was attending lectures on QFT, but I haven't done the exam/assignments, since it was way too much for me that semester and since the class is not obligatory and I will have enough credits to finish my degree. Now I want to continue with subjects like QCD,SUSY, Renormalization,... The problem is not with the prerequisites, since there are none for these subjects.
The problem is regarding a potential grad school application (for a phd). I mean, would it look weird, if I had taken the advanced courses, but not having a grade/exam from QFT? Do people look at this kind of things?

PS: I'm sorry for the title, it will probably make it into the chart of most ridiculous titles on PF :).
 
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  • #2


So, you audited (or read) the class, informally? Where you enrolled as such? Where you actually enrolled as a full-fledged student? In some institutions, (formal) auditing / reading means you get something that shows up on your transcript that indicates you took the course as an auditor or reader (and you don't get a grade). If you took it informally, you get to have spent a few hours every week attending a lecture, and nothing shows up on your transcript. If you took it as a full-fledged student, and didn't hand in any assignments or take the exams, you most likely failed said course.

I'm a firm believer in homework as a learning tool, so if you were to do something (in grad school) that depended on the material / skills learned in that course, you might get an odd look or two when you mention that you only audited/read the class. Or you might get let in with the expectation that you make up said class. Or the person interviewing you might believe you're brilliant enough to have learned the material / skills without having done any of the homework / studying. That's my take on it, at any rate.
 
  • #3


yeah, I have been doing it informally, i.e. nothing will show up on my transcript.
 
  • #4


If you unofficially audited a course you will not be considered as having "taken" the course. With respect to grad schoool application this is something that you can include in your personal statement to demonstrate your committment to learning in a field outside of formal education, but it is not likely to add much weight to your application.
 

Related to The need of having done a class formally

1. Why is it important to have formal classes as a scientist?

Formal classes provide a structured and systematic approach to learning scientific concepts and methods. They also offer a platform for hands-on experimentation and critical thinking, which are essential skills for any scientist.

2. Can't I just learn on my own without taking formal classes?

While self-learning can be valuable, formal classes offer access to experienced instructors and a diverse peer group for discussion and collaboration. In addition, they provide a comprehensive curriculum and resources that may not be available through self-study.

3. How will taking formal classes benefit my scientific career?

Formal classes can enhance your scientific knowledge, improve your research skills, and open up opportunities for networking and career advancement. They also demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and professional development, which is highly valued in the scientific community.

4. Are there any specific classes that are necessary for all scientists?

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, some classes that are essential for scientists include basic courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. Additionally, classes in data analysis, scientific writing, and research methods are also crucial for a successful scientific career.

5. Can I take online classes instead of attending in-person classes?

Yes, many universities and institutions now offer online classes for scientific subjects. However, it is essential to ensure that the online classes are accredited and provide the same quality of education as in-person classes. It is also crucial to have access to necessary laboratory equipment and resources for a complete learning experience.

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