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9 hours to decide - Get a B or change to Pass / No Pass???


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Hi everyone,

I know I should have asked before, but as the title suggests, this is sort of an emergency situation.

Basically, I need to leave school two weeks early to start a yearlong research project. That means I have to finish my classes and take my finals two weeks early, and one of those classes is for my senior thesis. I am honestly feeling overwhelmed and I doubt I can maintain all As.

My GPA is 3.84 and I am worried that this will significantly drop if I don't change some of my classes to Pass/No Pass. The deadline to make that decision is in less than 9.5 hours (midnight, Pacific Daylight Time / West Coast.)

I am graduating this quarter and applying for schools this fall.

What complicates is it that my undergraduate major is pretty unrelated to political science, and in fact, this quarter is the ONLY quarter I have political science classes on my transcript.

This is my current schedule

PoliSci A

PoliSci B

Relevant History Course

Research Project / Thesis

The research I'm working on is actually pretty relevant to political science and my polisci professor really liked it and told me I can actually do a PhD dissertation on it if I wanted to, so obviously I want to work really hard on that. I plan on using that as my writing sample, as well.

Given that, I doubt I can get an A in PoliSci B and my History course.

I need to know, is it worth switching either class to a Pass/No Pass if the alternative is getting a B in one of them or both?

I know this seems like a really nitpicky issue, but these two courses (both upper-division) are literally the ONLY political science classes on my transcript, and they are both extremely relevant to what I want to research in grad school.

Someone told me that I can explain my grades by saying that I was leaving early and finishing a research project, but it would seem lame to explain a bunch of Bs. At the same time, I don't want people to think I can't handle PoliSci or that I can't handle rigor in a program. I am shooting for the top schools here.

Please help!

If anyone knows which would look better:

A

B

B

A

VS

A

A

Pass

A

or even

A

B

Pass

A

Please let me know!

Edited by hungryhungryhippo
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I might be alone in this... but I don't think it's going to matter. If you have a good reason, inform your letter writers about it and they can explain it away easily enough. Neither one should really hurt you...

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I have similar question... what about random elective classes like French and Philosophy? I've taken like four elective PNP. Would they affect me negatively if I wanted to apply for PhD in Polisci?

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I think a Pass would be as good as a B, probably. I say this because for many grad schools, a B is the minimum grade for a pass, and although this is for undergrad (I think), usually Universities expect their incoming students to at least get B's (3.0?).

But the grade for any one course is probably not going to make or break things. I'd only change it to a Pass if I was going to get below a B, and if others think this way too, then you changing it to a Pass might make it look like you were expecting to get lower than a B.

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As far as I know, the GPA is just one of the few "bars" that one has to jump; since a B or two is not going to drop you below a 3.5, there's really no need to worry.

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