Summer Versus Non-Summer (Full Semester) Courses
Before deciding to take a summer intro physics course, please
appreciate that you will master physics more thoroughly if you learn
physics over a full 14-week semester at Gonzaga rather than try to
the same amount of physics in less than half the time during a 6-week
summer course. For this reason, the Physics Department strongly recommends that you take
during the school year, not during the summer.
For life-science students, the
Physics Department also recommends that you consider taking a
calculus-based intro physics course if available at other schools. Some
of the most fundamental concepts in physics such as velocity and
acceleration are defined via derivatives, and your understanding will
be more satisfying and comprehensive if you try to learn physics in a
calculus-based course. Fortunately, only a modest amount of calculus is
required for most intro physics courses for life science students at
corresponding to about one page of formulas. For most students, it is
not calculus that makes intro physics challenging but the large amount
of material covered together with various abstract physical concepts
(force, momentum, energy, torque, electric fields, magnetic fields,
flux, etc.) that take time and practice to understand.
Please note also the following list of restrictions from the registrar's office here:
- That you need to have a
2.00 GPA both in your upper division major and also as a cumulative GPA
in order to be able to request receiving GU credit for courses taken at
- If you elect to take a course through another institution and
obtain a P (pass), S (satisfactory), or CR (credit) grade mode, the
course will transfer to Gonzaga as elective credit only and cannot be
used to fulfill a core, major, minor, or concentration course
- The majority of your upper division major course work must be completed at Gonzaga.
- Courses deemed at the graduate level from the transfer institution cannot be used toward an undergraduate degree.
- If you have completed a course at Gonzaga, received a D grade or
higher in the course along with credit for the course on your academic
record at GU, and you elect to retake a course in transfer deemed
equivalent to the course for which you’ve already received credit, the
transfer course will not be accepted back in transfer nor posted to
your academic record.
Steps to FollowFirst,
please note that the transfer guide accessible on the Gonzaga
University web site does NOT imply approval of any course at any
institution for credit here. That guide is for students who are
currently enrolled at other institutions and who are thinking of
transferring into Gonzaga from there.
Please follow these steps to obtain credit for a physics
course that you wish to take at a school that is not Gonzaga:
- Obtain approval of your course IN ADVANCE. The
first thing to do is to contact the person who is to teach the course
you wish to take at the other school and ask them for a syllabus of the
course. A syllabus from the past summer would probably be
OK. Next, you will need to obtain a Permission
to Transfer Credits form (called a Transfer of Credit/Senior Year
in Residence form) from the Registrar's office. You will need to
fill out the parts of this form pertaining to you, and then take it to
the Physics Department Chair
along with the syllabus and other supporting information. The Chair will then evaluate the content
of the course at the other school based on what information is provided. Please appreciate that the Physics
Department is under no obligation to look at your transfer request if
you take a summer course first and then try to get approval. You
have been warned.
Information looked for in the syllabus typically is:
- the title, edition, and author of the textbook used,
- a detailed list of the lecture topics. A brief paragraph
description from a college bulletin or a list of chapter numbers from
some text is not acceptable.
- a list of the titles of the labs done as part of the course.
It is not acceptable to provide this information in the form of
web addresses or as email attachments,
you need to provide this
information in printed form. If the above information is not in
the course syllabus, you should ask for it in addition to the syllabus.
- Submit the completed
permission to transfer credits form signed by the Chair to the Arts
& Sciences Dean's office, located in College Hall 416.
- Obtain a grade of C or higher in your course -- a C- will NOT transfer.
- After completion of the course, arrange for the institution where you took your course to send a
transcript to Gonzaga's Registrar's Office.
All students who plan to take a summer intro physics course should try
to take a calculus-based (as opposed to algebra-based) course. This
will prepare you better for later science courses at Gonzaga and for
medical school. All engineering students should try to take intro
physics at Gonzaga during the academic year instead of as a summer course, because they will learn the
material better (14 weeks versus 6 weeks of exposure) and Gonzaga's fall
and spring courses are likely better taught than most summer courses
at other institutes.
Students who want to get permission to take a core science course which would count for the core (lab) science requirement need to follow the same steps outlined above.
If the course at the other institution is essentially the same as a
course currently offered at Gonzaga and if it is found to have
essentially similar content, then credit for the course may be
granted. If the course at the other institution is not like a
course currently offered at GU, then we cannot grant GU credit for
it. In these cases we advise students to consult with the Arts
and Sciences Dean's office, in College Hall 416.
What will appear on your transcript?
If you took a
calculus-based introductory physics course, if you got a C or better
grade, and if the Physics Chair approves the course as
being sufficiently similar to one of Gonzaga's introductory physics
courses in content (lectures and labs), you will get a
PHYS XXX on your transcript where XXX will be 103 or 204. If you
took an algebra-based course, then what will appear is PHYS XXX with
XXX as 101 or 102.
If a student does not obtain permission for a course at another
school before taking the course, then we are very unlikely to give
Any physics course that is determined by the Physics Chair as not
sufficiently close to a Gonzaga course will NOT show up on a
transcript, even if it has already been taken. At best, the Chair
may elect to grant general elective credits which count toward
graduation, but not for the specific physics course.