This question geared towards STEM but can definitely be expanded for courses in the arts as well.

Imagine the following scenarios:

  • A student has taken a course, but passed the course with barely a 60
    over the 50 percent required to pass the course.

  • A student has taken and passed a course with a project component, but found that
    it would be beneficial to explore other topics if given another
    opportunity, in particular, using the expertise of the instructor and
    the resources provided in the course.

  • A student has taken and passed a course, but due to family
    issues/illness/personal issues/financial issues/job/internship, etc.
    the student takes a break of one or two years; when the student
    returns to school, he or she would like to take the course again as a
    refresher.

  • A student has taken and passed a course, however due to change of instructor, textbook, and other circumstances the course material was presented in radically different way, the student feels that the material presented has been inadequate or non-standard and would like to take the course again.

In each of these cases, from a student’s perspective, I do not see why it makes pedagogical sense to prevent the student from taking the course again. The student could improve over his or her previous poor performance, explore alternative topics in a guided way, refresh his or her knowledge or be taught
the material in a different way, perhaps by a more experienced instructor.

However, I suspect that most schools do not allow students to retake courses they have already passed, no matter how poorly the student performed, or how long ago the course was taken, etc.

My question is: what would be a sound reason for this?

From the school’s perspective, one reason may be that the student would be at an unfair advantage over the other students. This reasoning however, assumes that there was some measure of fairness to begin with. It is difficult to claim this given the vastly different backgrounds the students have prior to enrolling in a particular course. Even then, the transcript would quickly reveal to a potential employer or an potential supervisor that a course was taken twice or several times. It can probably be said that a course that is passed with a high score/mark the first time is better than a repeated course.


Added:

Since the most common response to my question is: “But I was able to retake courses”, please read some of the different policies for various schools and related discussions:

http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc/academic-advising-faq,
https://graduatecollegebulletin.ouhsc.edu/hbSections.aspx?ID=586,
https://orapps.berkeley.edu/Registrar/courserep.html,
http://artsandscience.usask.ca/undergraduate/handouts/RetakingCourses.pdf
https://www.revscene.net/forums/572588-question-about-retaking-courses-limit-etc-ubc-sfu.html,
http://calendar.ualberta.ca/content.php?catoid=6&navoid=857

I am in my third year at a highly ranked University and I have realized I have all the credits I need to graduate this year. I am a math major and until recently I was planning on pursuing a PhD in Math after graduation. I have taken a few graduate level courses in mathematics and I have some math research experience and (hopefully) a paper submitted by the winter.

I had a recent change of heart and despite not having taken many computer science classes I realized I would rather go into a computer science field (Perhaps software development). I have only taken a few introductory courses in the computer science department but I am working on (coding) a research project in a computational genetics laboratory (essentially doing bioinformatics). I am now stuck with a few options and I cannot seem to decide which path would be a wiser choice.

I could graduate a year early, and go to a alright/mediocre school (seeing as I do not have all of the class requirements to be a competitive candidate at a top program) and pursue a Masters degree in computer science.

Alternatively I could stay a fourth year at my current institution and complete a major in computer science as well as math.

Obviously there is not one clear better path but input on the pro’s and con’s of each would be helpful.

By “prestigious,” I mean selective, with a relatively low acceptance rate. Every student I’ve ever known that has a 34 or higher on the ACT (or equivalent SAT’s), is a national merit semifinalist, and AP scholar with distinction or higher ends up attending a university with an acceptance rate of 20% or lower.

I am currently enrolled in the second year of a Bachelor of Science in Economics, Management and Computer Science in Italy.

More info here: https://www.unibocconi.eu/wps/wcm/connect/bocconi/sitopubblico_en/navigation+tree/home/programs/undergraduate+school/prospective+students/economics,+management+and+computer+science

I would like to enroll in a master degree abroad and my questions are:
Do you think I can follow a path completely on computer science , after having taken an undergraduate hybrid course?
Do you know of the existence of other hybrid courses ?
Is the competition to get into American top universities in computer science too high?

Any help or suggestion is appreciated, thanks!

Many of my peers in my program, Computer Engineering, are of the opinion that what you do in school is a “head-fake”, that you take all this intense math and science essentially to prove that you can accomplish difficult tasks quickly. A “real job” doesn’t actually use any of that junk except for a few select classes.

I suppose I understand that sentiment, but my issue is that after something like 20 years of math, Stockholm Syndrome has kicked in and I really enjoy it. I will miss it. I just finished one of the hardest classes at my University with an A because Fourier Transform just makes sense to me. Learning how to operate some software program is not the same as learning how to build a differential amplifier. Not all learning is equal. I have had two fantastic Co-Op (internship) rotations with some big name companies working on great projects, but the most intense math I used was division and that makes me sad. While my peers cannot wait to graduate and start their lives, it feels like it is the end of mine.

It seems that industry, for every 1 person actually producing something, there are 20 people doing documentation, management, talking to the customer, supply chain, etc etc. (edit: and I do not mean that in a derogatory manner, I am actually getting an MBA as well at the moment. I just mean that the one person who uses their academic knowledge is followed by a slew of people who do not use it).

So, the obvious answer is to go through a PhD and enter Academia but I do not think that is the right path for me considering I have no desire to teach and I also really enjoy making the money I do now. Putting my fiscal life on hold for another 4-5 years seems like quite a lot as I am already in debt.

My question then, is, how do I use what I learned in school while in industry? Or should I leave industry and pursue academia? Should I still go for a PhD but do industry research? How can I continue to learn while I am working in industry?

Apologies if this question is unclear, it’s very nebulous and if this gets removed or -1 I understand.

I am an Indian student enrolled in an integrated master’s-of-science program and currently in my fifth (final) year of the program. So should I be called a senior graduate student or senior undergraduate student?

[Edit]: I read this https://www.numfocus.org/programs/john-hunter-technology-fellowship/ on the first line of second paragraph.
I quote that here:

The program consists of a 6 month project-based training program for postdoctoral scientists or senior graduate students.

Also the eligibility is:

Eligibility: Eligible applicants are postdoctoral scientists or senior PhD students, or have equivalent experience in physics, mathematics, engineering, statistics, or a related science.

Am I eligible? I am an Applied Mathematics student (maths major).

I am an Indian student enrolled in an integrated master’s-of-science program and currently in my fifth (final) year of the program. So should I be called a senior graduate student or senior undergraduate student?

[Edit]: I read this https://www.numfocus.org/programs/john-hunter-technology-fellowship/ on the first line of second paragraph.
I quote that here:

The program consists of a 6 month project-based training program for postdoctoral scientists or senior graduate students.

Also the eligibility is:

Eligibility: Eligible applicants are postdoctoral scientists or senior PhD students, or have equivalent experience in physics, mathematics, engineering, statistics, or a related science.

Am I eligible? I am an Applied Mathematics student (maths major).

I’m an undergraduate (Bachelor’s) student and I’m thinking about attending a conference which exactly matches the topic of a research project that I’m working on at the moment. I have never attended a real conference.

I wouldn’t go to present anything, but just because I have a great personal interest in the topic and because I would like to know about the recent developments. Would it be weird if I attend this conference alone? It is a small conference but there is a special student’s price, which makes me think that I might be welcome.

Based on Sal Khan’s Ted Talk:

Loopholes of mathematical knowledge imbibe fear of mathematics in students.

I am an undergrad CSE student since a couple of months, I struggle in maths and related subjects like analog electronics, electrical engineering and quantum mechanics to name a few.
This is due to the large number of basic loopholes in my knowledge of mathematics, but I am unable to identify what these are and where these exactly lie.
Some might be existing since childhood; some might be in gaps of knowledge I have recently acquired.

I tried using this knowledge tree, but it turned out to be tedious.
Is there a better way to identify gaps in my mathematics knowledge?