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I am a 4th year undergraduate physics major. At the beginning of my college career, I made a spreadsheet showing which classes I would take each semester. My advisor told me every semester that the plan I put forth is a fine plan, and I followed it exactly.

The problem is that when I went to register for 4th-year classes, I learned that two of these required classes are not actually offered! Class A is only offered in the fall, while my campus does not offer Class B at all. My only option seems to be taking these courses at another campus. I am a full scholarship and aid student at this university, so taking these classes elsewhere would cost me $6K.

Unfortunately, my university is relatively new, so I am probably the first person to ever have this problem. Is my university allowed to not provide classes required for graduation and force me to pay for them on my own at another campus?

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    Law will depend on your jurisdiction and any contracts signed, etc.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 3 at 21:24
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    Seems like something to discuss with your university administration. I'd expect that a program would want to make clear if students with a particular major need to take courses outside that campus. I doubt they are legally required to do so, though, and you'll need a lawyer to tell you otherwise.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 3 at 23:00
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    I don't understand how a course required for graduation can be "never offered.. Are you absolutely certain of both parts of your statement?
    – Bob Brown
    Aug 4 at 1:40
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    @BobBrown study away is mandatory at my school, so apparently it's a rule to take this specific course during study away. however, most students naturally do this because you would usually take that course in your third year (when study away is required) so it never comes up as an issue. however, I switched my major, making me set to take this course in my fourth year. so yes, I am sure that the university doesn't every offer this course but they do require it to graduate. Aug 4 at 2:54
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    Your comment to Bob Brown seems like essential information left out of the original post... It isn't that they don't offer the course, it's that they offer the course as part of a third year program you missed due to changing a major. That makes this seem like something you should have considered before switching majors, and definitely switching majors isn't something your university needs to prevent from costing you any time and money - your responsibility, not theirs, you're an adult.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 4 at 3:06

1 Answer 1

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Is my university allowed to not provide classes required for graduation?

Assuming this is in the United States, yes, they are allowed to do that. It probably says so in the course catalog. If the university is unable to pay someone to teach the course, there is not much the university can do about the situation.

and force me to pay for them on my own at another campus?

No, they cannot force you to pay.

I am a full scholarship and aid student at this university.

Do you mean that, if you pay the $6,000, you will get a degree for only $6,000? If so, that's an amazing deal. If you shop around and get a loan, you might be able to do it while you have no money for a lower price than $6,000. Check out physics starting salaries.

If you did not pay the university any money yet, you likely do not have standing to sue them (get your legal advice elsewhere). If you do not have standing, they can break all their promises without legal consequences.

My advisor told me every semester that the plan I put forth is a fine plan

That was a mistake.

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    Some explanation/source for these claims would be appropriate, particularly the legal ones. For example, you don't address promissory estoppel: OP has spent three years of work and possibly turned down other scholarships on the promise of a full ride; suddenly being told they actually don't have a full ride but need to pay $6K probably does not seem like an "amazing deal" under the circumstances.
    – cag51
    Aug 4 at 2:48
  • @cag51 I am still not a lawyer, but: "on the promise of a full ride" A "full ride" is a vague term, but I take it to mean they have free tuition for courses that exist. There's still free tuition. No legitimate university promises a student will receive a degree until after the degree requirements are met. "OP has spent three years of work and possibly turned down other scholarships" Universities generally only promise one year of scholarships to undergraduates at a time, so that seems wrong. Renewal is usually contingent. Aug 7 at 4:15

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