Half-Course Credit and Matching

The Department offers half-course credit for the laboratory component of the following courses: PHYS-116, PHYS-117, PHYS-123, PHYS-124, PHYS-125, ASTR-200. The Department will “match” these half-courses with any other half-course at the College. Because several departments have more restrictive matching policies, students should consult their academic advisor, College Course Catalog, Registrar’s Policy, and the policy of the department offering the course to be matched.


Major Pass/Fail policy: Students may count at most one course with a grade of P for fulfilling a major requirement.

Pass/Fail guidance: Students considering converting a physics or astronomy course to Pass/Fail must consult with their advisor and the instructor of the course; Pass/Fail conversion is not automatic. Our department encourages students to carefully consider whether their case meets the  College criteria for Pass/Fail, including the degree to which they have demonstrated intellectual risk and full engagement in the course, before discussing this option with their advisor and the course instructor. We expect that students will continue to engage fully even after the conversion to Pass/Fail, especially in aspects of the course requiring collaboration with other students. We recommend that the instructor, advisor, and student discuss the Pass/Fail option early enough to determine whether there are other mechanisms available to support the student’s learning and success in the course. In order to give these other mechanisms time to work, the actual approval of Pass/Fail may be delayed until later in the semester. In general, Pass/Fail is most appropriate for 100-level courses, particularly a student’s earliest coursework in our department. Pass/Fail may occasionally be appropriate for upper-level electives. It is rarely suitable for courses that form the core of the major, such as those at the 200-level.

Thesis honors Pass/Fail policy: The department will not recommend any level of honors above rite for a thesis course taken Pass/Fail. Students considering Pass/Fail for a thesis course are encouraged to explore changing the course to a Special Topics.

Pandemic Pass/Fail: For courses taken in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, January 2021, or Spring 2021, the department will accept a grade of P for any major requirement.

Double-counting courses for other majors

Any non-elective course required for the Physics and/or Astronomy major may also be used to satisfy the requirements of another major.