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I currently finished my undergraduate studies and I plan to apply to PhD programs in the near future. In the mean time I will be starting a masters to get additional research experience and take some advanced courses in my field of interest. I plan to go into Condensed Matter Physics (CMP) and I plan to take masters courses in CMP and get research experience in CMP. During my undergrad I was a Physics and Mathematics major who had taken some classes in Engineering to get some "hands on" and "practical" experiences. I did well in these classes and learned a lot. During my time as an undergrad I also have taken some grad courses in physics; all but one were CMP-related or CMP pre-requisites and I did well in these as well. Although I did well in my Physics, Mathematics, and CMP-related classes, I originally wanted to go into a different area of Physics and so my last graduate class was in this non-CMP area. I found out during that semester that this area was not that interesting to me after all and that CMP was something I really enjoyed. This class was also stressing me out and was going to affect my performance in the other CMP-related classes I was taking. As a result, I decided to take this class as Pass/No-Credit (Covid Pass/No-Credit); this lowered my anxiety and I was able to do well in my other classes. In the end I performed well in my graduating class and received some honors and accolades from the university.

During that semester it seemed to me that this was the right thing to do. Looking back now, I am wondering: will grad admissions frown upon the Pass/No-Credit in this non-CMP graduate course? Will they think I slacked off, or will my other classes counter this? Or should I not sweat it and move on?

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Admission commissions tend to be very formal regarding such things. Nobody even has the time to speculate about what exactly this thing means; people have other things to do than "frowning upon" this. So I don't see how this could harm you. It's not a bad result that could count against you, it's a non-result that won't matter in their view as far as my experience goes.

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  • Thank you very much!
    – user758469
    May 29 at 10:32
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Or should I not sweat it and move on?

Very much this. As Buffy said in the comments, there is not much you could do at this point either way, so time to move on. But in a larger sense, you clearly have an absolutely excellent undergraduate record, no one is going to "frown on" you taking one elective course P/NC (and passing it).

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  • Thank you very much!
    – user758469
    May 29 at 10:31

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