I've asked a related question about dealing with two courses that I need that are scheduled at the same time. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it resolved yet, and so it's been on my mind.
One of the courses I need to take is very important for my desired field of graduate study (as in, it's important for the specific field of research), and it's possible that I won't be able to take it until spring of my last year, which means it wouldn't be on my transcript when I apply for graduate schools. Will this hurt my application if I say I want to do work in this field while not having taken the necessary course yet? For reference, I've got plenty of research experience, I should have great letters of recommendation, and potentially a 4.0 GPA, and I will have taken many upper-level courses in my major, so while my application may be strong in those areas, I'm wondering how detrimental not taking this course early on will be (particularly when applying to top 15 schools). Of course, I will have taken the course by the time I graduate, but perhaps that wouldn't mean much to admissions committees (who wouldn't know my grade in the course).
For further reference, my interest is in antenna engineering, and the course I'm referring to is a standard engineering electromagnetics course. Also, if it makes a difference, I plan on applying to masters programs, and so if there are differences between what is looked for in masters vs PhD admissions, please keep that in mind.