Department of Physics & Astronomy

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FAQ

  1. How can I be forced into a class?
  2. Can you set a time conflict override for classes/tests that overlap?
  3. How can I get a prerequisite override?
  4. Can I register for a “Major’s Only” (Field of Study Restriction) section?
  5. What does a Student Attribute Restriction mean when I try to register?
  6. How can I request a Transfer Equivalency?
  7. Can I take the lab portion only for PHYS 201, 202, 218, 208 or ASTR 111?
  8. How do I q-drop a Physics course?
  9. When can I meet with an advisor?
  10. What if I want to change my major?
  11. What if I don’t know what I want to change to?
  12. What is a closet major (curriculum violation)?
  13. Can I take a graduate course?
  14. Are there scholarships available for Physics majors?

Commonly Asked Questions

How can I be forced into a class?

The Department of Physics and Astronomy does not force, nor we do not keep a waiting list. We encourage you to keep checking back for open seats.

Can you set a time conflict override for classes/tests that overlap?

The Department of Physics and Astronomy does not set time conflict overrides. Please contact your major advisor for more information.

How can I get a prerequisite override?

The prerequisite override email is prereq@physics.tamu.edu. We prefer that the request come from your major advisor, however we will set overrides based on proof of registration or grade in the prerequisite course. This proof can be delivered to our offices, mailed, faxed or emailed to the address above.

Can I register for a “Major’s Only” (Field of Study Restriction) section?

The Department of Physics and Astronomy reserves a few sections of certain physics classes required for majors each semester. When all Physics majors have registered, any remaining seats will be released, at which time non-majors can register for those sections.

What does a Student Attribute Restriction mean when I try to register?

99% of the time, this means you have not completed the Lab Safety Acknowledgement, found in the My Schedule box on the My Record tab in Howdy. Once you have accepted for the current semester, you should be able to register. Currently, this must be done each semester you are taking a class with a lab.

How can I request a Transfer Equivalency?

Email Sherree Kessler (skessler@tamu.edu) and Rae’Chel Superville (rsuperville@tamu.edu). Please include your name and UIN, the name of the university and the course name and number. A syllabus for the course is preferred.

Can I take the lab portion only for PHYS 201, 202, 218, 208 or ASTR 111?

Yes, please follow these instructions:

  • Choose a lab section for the appropriate class that will work with your schedule.
  • Register for one credit hour of PHYS 285 – 514, with Dr. Ford.
  • Immediately after registering, send an email to Dr. Ford (ford@physics.tamu.edu) and let him know that you have registered for his section. You will need to include the name of the course and the lab section you will attend.
  • Let your TA know they will need to submit your grade to Dr. Ford at the end of the semester, and that you will not be attending the recitation (ASTR 111 does not have a recitation).
  • Your advisor will need to submit a substitution request to add the 1 credit hour to the course you have already taken.

How do I q-drop a Physics course?

Please fill out the Q-drop Request Form and return it to your major advisor. All q-drop requests are processed by your major advisor, regardless of the course.


Answers For Physics Majors

When can I meet with an advisor?

Appointments are scheduled between 8 and 11:15 and between 1 and 3:45 Monday – Friday most weeks. Please email Sherree Kessler or Rae’Chel Superville to schedule an appointment. Students are welcome to “walk-in” during those times, if an advisor is available. Scheduled appointments take precedence over walk-ins.

What if I want to change my major?

You will need to work with an advisor from the major you want to change into to find out about specific qualifications required, along with timelines and processes. There will be paperwork to fill out and required signatures, before your major can be officially changed.

What if I don’t know what I want to change to?

You can visit Student Counseling Services for Career Counseling. They have an assessment that will help you understand your strengths and interests, and which career fields would be most appropriate for you. Also, Transition Academic Programs has a link to information on changing to other majors.

What is a closet major (curriculum violation)?

According to Student Rule 1.5.1, students are required to take the coursework within their designated major. A closet major is a student who is taking classes that are not on the degree plan of their major. These students are blocked from registering for the next semester until their major has been changed, or they have discussed with an advisor how they will follow the degree plan. Please discuss your class choices with an advisor to avoid being a closet major.

Can I take a graduate course?
A 3.25 GPA is required to take a graduate-level course and use it towards your undergraduate degree. Please fill out the Petition for Undergraduate Student to Enroll in Graduate Course and have it signed by the professor. It should be submitted to Sherree Kessler or Rae’Chel Superville to obtain the other signatures.
Are there scholarships available for Physics majors?
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers competitive scholarships to students upon completion of their first year. If a scholarship has a Financial Need requirement, a FAFSA must be completed through the Office of Financial Aid. All students who want to be considered for a scholarship must complete the Continuing Student Scholarship available through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. This includes students who are receiving scholarships already.

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