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I’m a undergrad civil engineering major in my last semester. I’ll be going for my master’s after graduation, and I've already been accepted to said master's program. After my masters there’s a good chance I’ll go on to a PhD at another institution, potentially in Europe.

I’m currently debating whether or not to take an intermediate CS class pass/fail. At the graduate level, my subfield is fairly computational, despite undergrad civil curricula not being so. While not required for my major to graduate, I thought it’d be nice to get a little more CS experience to prep myself.

I’d prefer to take the course pass/fail since it’s quite difficult and my life is a bit busy with research/work. Would any graduate schools down the line care about this as I apply to PhD programs? It’d be the only pass/fail course on my transcript and I otherwise have a ~4.0 GPA. While not a major requirement or a course most civil undergrads take, it’s still relevant to my field so I feel like it’s a grey area. Without taking it pass/fail I think I'd get a B or if I'm lucky an A-.

I'm not sure if I’m overthinking this, but I’ve gotten this far and just want to choose wisely. Another option I've been considering is just keeping up with the textbook readings and self-teaching myself the material.

**Note I consider this to be a somewhat unique case since I'm already into a MS program. Also, this course is technical but not a major requirement or anything anyone would expect a civil engineering undergrad to have, despite it being quite useful to my eventual study.

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  • The masters and PhD are to be in what subject? Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 21:57
  • both in civil engineering, in an area of water resources that uses computational fluid dynamics.
    – nschra
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 22:02
  • Yes, you are overthinking this. Many moons ago my university allowed a small number of P/F courses. I used them all up and nobody ever asked about them.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 23:26

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