Physics Department Policies

Exceptions to Degree Requirements

For any exceptions to Physics Major requirements, please fill out the exception form and submit it to Kate Carlton.  It will be reviewed at a department meeting on the first or third Wednesday of the block.  The student will be notified by email of the outcome of the petition.

Course Prerequisites

The physics department expects students to take responsibility for following the prerequisite requirements. In cases where a student seeks an exception to the prerequisites, the course professor and/or academic advisor review the request given the individual circumstances, and offer their advice.  Students are responsible to take responsibility for following the advice.

Taking Major Courses Off-Campus

Physics majors who wish to take one of their major courses off-campus, either domestically or abroad, will need approval from the physics department to count the course towards their major. Approval is preferably obtained before the course has been taken, but can also be applied for after the course is completed. Students who do not obtain pre-approval risk not having the course count towards their major.

To apply for approval, students should fill out an exception form in the physics department office and submit that form together with information about the course. Information about the course must include a course description and the name and author of the textbook to be used in the course. More detailed information such as a syllabus will make approval easier to obtain. The student's petition will be considered by the department at our next department meeting. Department meetings are held on the first and third Wednesdays of the block. The student will be notified by email of the outcome of the petition.

Rescheduling Senior Seminar

For PC 450, senior seminars are scheduled at the conclusion of the course. The penalty for rescheduling a seminar after that time is 1/3 of a letter grade (for example a B becomes a B-) except under extraordinary circumstances as approved by the physics faculty.

Incomplete Policy

In case of illness or other exigency, students are sometimes unable to complete a course during the block. To help ensure student success in our courses, the Physics Department follows a policy to determine when to allow an incomplete grade.

To be eligible for an incomplete grade a student must have:

  • substantially completed material for the first 11 instructional days of the course (through third Monday in a traditional format)
  • no more than 3 absences in the first 11 instructional days.  An "absence" consists of a lack of class participation during an instructional day however class participation is determined for a given course.
In our experience, students who meet these criteria are usually able to successfully complete the course on their own, and an incomplete can be taken at the discretion of the professor.  Students who do not meet these criteria will not be permitted to take an incomplete, and should, if appropriate, pursue an Excused grade in cases of serious illness or extenuating circumstances.
Report an issue - Last updated: 02/13/2022