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Physics Registration FAQ for Fall 2016

We receive a large volume of email during the course registration period, and we have created this webpage to help with frequently asked questions (FAQ). Please take a few minutes to carefully read the questions and answers and to reflect on these. Please only contact the department office at physics@tcnj.edu or 609 771-2569 or in person (SCP 123) if the answer to your question is not provided on this page. Please don’t do so if the answer is here and you are unhappy with it. Only if Ms. Calu cannot answer your further question should you email Dr. Wiita at wiitap@tcnj.edu with the subject line: Registration Question not answered by FAQ.

We cannot allow more than 24 students in any lab section of PHY 103, 120, 161, 201 or 202 for reasons of safety.  While lecture sections may appear to have available seats on PAWS, if the associated labs have no available seats, then the corresponding lectures are also full or reserved.

 

Why can’t I get into PHY 103?

Physical, Earth and Space Science (PHY 103) is reserved for Elementary Education majors. We can offer only one lecture of 48 seats in the fall. Note that we will offer 96 seats in Spring 2017 and are offering a section in Summer 2016 Session 1 (“Minimester”) as well.

Why can’t I get into PHY 120? 

This introductory Geology course fills quickly and if you are not a senior or a rising sophomore Civil Engineer (who have reserved seats in Sections A and B) you may have to wait to take it.  You can satisfy your liberal learning Natural Science with Lab requirement with PHY 121 (Principles of Physics, an algebra based course) or PHY 161 (Introductory Astronomy) if you cannot wait to take Introductory Geology. We do not keep a wait list for PHY 120.

Why can’t I get into PHY 201?

In Fall 2016 most seats in most sections of PHY 201 (General Physics I) are reserved for students in Chemistry and Engineering, who must take this class then.  If you cannot get into any open section (not just the one that is most convenient for you) you may come to the Physics Department Office (SCP 123) and fill out a wait-list form. If there is sufficient demand we may be able to open another section, most likely PHY 201E (lectures Monday and Thursday mornings from 11:00AM-12:20PM with labs following from 2:00-3:20 PM).  If you already have a full load of 4 course units or more, be certain to know your schedule so as to be able to write down on the form which class you want us to swap out for a seat in PHY 201 if one becomes available for you.  Only at the end of registration (April 15th) will we move people off the wait list into any available seats.

Why can’t I get into PHY 202?

In Fall 2016 we are only offering limited lab sections of PHY 202 (General Physics II).  Once all of those seats are filled you may come to the department office and add your name to a wait-list for another section we might open (PHY 202 B on Mondays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:50, with labs on Mondays and possibly Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:50).  If you already have a full load of 4 course units or more, be certain to know your schedule so as to write down on the form which class you want us to swap out for a seat in PHY 202 if it becomes available.  Only at the end of registration (April 15th) will we move people off the wait list into any available seats.

What should I do if I am interested in PHY 290 or 291?

If you want to be considered for the Learning Assistant Program please contact Dr. AJ Richards by email on in person as soon as possible to discuss requirements and placement.  All good students with a possible interest in teaching at the secondary or college levels should consider this course.

Why can’t I get into PHY 311?

We have originally opened only 12 seats (one Lab section) of PHY 311 (Analog and Digital Electronics).  We do expect there to be sufficient demand to open a second lab section of Thursday afternoons so please notify the department office if you want to take this class but cannot get in.  If the demand is sufficient we will open 311 A02.

Why can’t I get into PHY 321?

Nearly all seats in PHY 321A01 (Modern Physics) are reserved for Physics majors and nearly all seats in PHY 321B01 & B02 are reserved for Electrical and Computer Engineering students.  Please sign up only for the correct section.  If demand is higher than expected, we may be able to add a second laboratory section (PHY 321A02, on Monday mornings) so if you cannot get into either section, come to the Physics department office to be placed on a wait list.

Why can’t I register for PHY 393 or PHY 493?

Independent Research classes are only officially established during the first week of the following semester.  You should, however, discuss your interest in doing research next fall this semester with any faculty member whose research interests overlap with yours.  Such conversations will let you learn whether or not she or he will be able to work with you in the fall and let you get started shadowing in the lab or reading material before then.  We prefer that you fill out the special departmental and school forms before the end of the spring semester but you can do so during the first few days of the fall term.

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