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Transcripts and Physics Grad School

  1. May 23, 2012 #1
    I should begin by stating that I'm going to be a college Freshman this upcoming fall, and I plan on majoring in Physics. I took Multivariable Calculus at my local community college, and I did not receive too good of a grade in the class because I couldn't attend the lectures (they were at the same time as high school classes) and I procrastinated on learning the material until the last two weeks. I have since been studying Multivariable Calculus on my own, and I am fairly confident that my knowledge of Multivariable Calculus will be solid before school starts.

    I've learned that my college won't include the grade I received from the community college course on my transcript. Do graduate schools usually ask for all post-high school transcripts? Would they ask for the transcript since the credits would be included on my college's transcript? Would a graduate school prefer that I take the class again or that I move on to more advanced math? Personally, I would prefer to move on to more advanced math.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2012 #2


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    So for your undergraduate, presumably multivariable is a required course for the physics major and you will have to, in some way or another, convince them that you know it (or retake the class). This could involve you just showing them that you took it in HS, but sometimes the universities doesn't accept credit for these kind of things (it's very university dependent). If they just mark on your transcript a "PASS" for the class to give you credit for it, that's all it is. A graduate school will accept that.

    Really the official way to do it is to talk to someone in the department and see what they recommend you do as far as administrative side of things. Your responsibility, then, is to make sure you know multivariable at the level you're expected to (which it sounds like you're already doing, so that's good!) Especially once you get into your electromagnetism courses, if you find that you're not fluent in the calculus being used, this is a strong signal that you need to go back and relearn it; otherwise more problems are just going to crop up down the road.

    (For reference, I was in a similar situation but did not have to provide the transcript from the community college to any graduate school.)
  4. May 23, 2012 #3

    king vitamin

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    It was a weird toss-up for me. I think most schools needed my community college transcripts, but I'd say 2-3 (out of 12) only asked for transcripts from my "Baccalaureate" or a school I'd attended for at least two years or something similar.

    I think they wouldn't care so much if the rest of your transcript is great.
  5. May 24, 2012 #4
    I have a similar-type situation and have recently done a bit of checking: it depends on the grad school you are applying to. Some require transcripts ONLY from your degree-granting institution, but some want ALL of your college transcripts. There are even a few (this is definately less common) that just want the last x years (generally 4) of your college education. I do not know the frequency of each, but I have seen all types of these requirements at major universities.
  6. May 24, 2012 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    My grad school wanted everything. In fact, they lost one original and made me send them another "official" one, even though they had a copy.
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