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Courses Two of the required courses in the same time slot

  1. Nov 27, 2006 #1

    I just discovered that next year, i will have two courses in the same time slot. I supposed to take one of them (statistical physics) this year (third year) but due missing prerequesite which i'm taking now, i'm unable to. These courses are offered only once a year. i can't graduate next school year if i miss any one of them. I really don't want to be another year behind just for one course. What should i do?

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2006 #2


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    What is the other course?
    And how many are in each course?
    Inform these professors, your advisor, and possibly, the department chairperson about the conflict.
    Maybe something can be arranged.
  4. Nov 27, 2006 #3


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    You can probably survive not going to one of your classes. I have statistical physics and differential geometry in the same time slot at the moment and I'm doing fine by just reading the diff. geom. book.
  5. Nov 27, 2006 #4
    Computational physics II
    both are required for my program.

    Just say i informed them but they can't/won't do anything about, then what other options do i have?
  6. Nov 27, 2006 #5
    I'm just afraid that the department won't let me take them both at the same time.
  7. Nov 27, 2006 #6


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    If the professor is willing and the number of students involved is small, one class can be moved. I've rescheduled the classes I teach to accomodate schedule conflicts. I'm not sure how it works at your institution.

    By chance, was the potential for this conflict realized ahead of time [say, before schedules were set]?

    If you can't get satisfaction, you might consider escalating the issue up to the department chair or to the dean, etc... (or sneaking into the course as a registered student.)
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  8. Nov 27, 2006 #7
    The classes are quite big actually.
    for this year.
    statistical physics - roughly 48 students enrolled of a total of 60 spots
    computational physics - 30 out of 40 spots.

    the conflict was created during my second year and there is nothing i can do to fix this even before scheduling for my third year.

    course registering at UofA is done online, the computer wouldn't allow registering a course if there is a conflict.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  9. Nov 27, 2006 #8


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    How did this problem come about? Did you have to retake a prerequisite subject this year?
  10. Nov 27, 2006 #9
    Talk to the department and see if you can subsitute something else in that course's requirement. You said computational physics II was one of them, search through the Computer Science department or math department for a similar (it might have to be a bit more advanced in that department, but often pre-requists can be weasled past with a waiver form (just say you will take full responsiblity for possibly going above your head) course in that department and go talk to the physics department with the request to take that to subsitute.

    Worse comes to worse, get all of the notes from the class, start a correspondance with the professor and then try to test for credit, I know it isn't the best option but it keeps you from needing to stay for an extra year just for 1 class.

    Good Luck
  11. Nov 27, 2006 #10


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    Good advice. I was thinking of taking Philosophy as a minor and heard that the department head was offering a once-weekly 3-hr course in meta-ethics to grad students and selected seniors. I had read extensively in religions, ethics, morality, etc, but had taken no Philosophy courses. I caught up with him between classes and asked him if I could take his course. He said to come to his office at lunch time and he would give me 15 minutes to plead my case. It was well after 3:00 and lots of stimulating conversation before I left his office and I was in - not just auditing the course but taking it for full credit. After that, I could take about any Philosophy course I wanted. If the professor asked if I had taken a prerequisite course, I would just mention my grade in Prof. Skorpen's meta-ethics course and they would waive the prerequisites. Initiative and the willingness to take on what might be a steep learning curve might get the OP into an equivalent or tougher course that would satisfy the degree requirements.
  12. Nov 27, 2006 #11
    Also see if you can take one as an independent study.
  13. Nov 28, 2006 #12


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    The first thing to do is to talk to your academic advisor and the department chair, in that order, and see if they can either 1) waive one of those course requirements for your major and substitute something else, or 2) change the schedule for one of the courses so they don't conflict. Even if you're not supposed to take them in the same year, there are people who need to retake courses or get out of sequence, and unless one is a prerequisite for the other, it just doesn't make sense for them to have ever been scheduled in the same time slot in the first place if they are both required for the same major. If they change the scheduled time, you may not be able to sign up for it until after the schedule is changed, but can probably get something from the dept chair giving you permission to register for it late if you sign up for a filler course in the meantime (one you'll drop once you register for the required course, and is only on your schedule to satisfy your credit load requirements for full time study).

    Another option is to find out one of the courses, or a similar one that will count, is offered during the summer, either at your school, or at another from which you can transfer the credits for your major.

    If none of that will work, you can try talking to your dean for academic affairs (or the equivalent, whatever his/her title). They may be able to work with the scheduling office to change the time of the course if the dept chair can't.

    The absolute worst-case scenario is that you're stuck having to delay graduation for that one course. If that's the case, then if you're receiving financial aid of any kind, make sure you discuss this with your financial aid office now so you can plan ahead for how that will impact that financial aid...will it cover a 5th year, do you need to remain a full-time student, will any of your loans start coming due for payment if you drop to part-time status in a 5th year, etc.

    What do you plan to do after you graduate? If you want to get a job, you could use that extra year to get an internship with a prospective employer so that when you complete that last course, they are more likely to hire you on full-time. If it's graduate or professional school you want to attend, then explore research opportunities. It's great to have a student come along who only has one class and can therefore dedicate the rest of their time to working in a lab. Basically, that year doesn't have to be wasted, just start looking for opportunities that will enhance your qualifications for the next step after graduation.
  14. Nov 29, 2006 #13
    As a small aside: as an undergraduate, I was able to take two courses in the same time-slot (and had no problems), but it was actually a bit of a problem to convince the registrar to actually enroll me in both courses. Having one or both department chairs and/or the deam on your side could be neccessary if you do decide to take both... just for enrollment purposes.
  15. Nov 29, 2006 #14
    yah, i don't mind taking two at once, just hoping that they will allow me to register for them.
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