Controlled Access Courses

What are the Controlled Access Courses?

The controlled access courses in physics are:

Physics Labs






These courses are controlled access (meaning students cannot enroll themselves) because there is limited space available in each course and the Department of Physics wants to make sure students are taking them at the appropriate time to prevent sophomores from taking seats from graduating seniors, etc.

When are Controlled Access Courses Offered?

Autumn and Spring Semesters

Physics 3700 will have a lecture on Mondays 10:20-11:15am. You will then choose one of the following three labs:

  • Monday 1-5pm (spring semester only)
  • Tuesday 1-5pm
  • Thursday 1-5pm

Physics 4700 will have a lecture on Mondays 10:20am - 12:25pm and you can choose one of two lab sections:

  • Tuesday/Thursday 12:40-2:45pm
  • Wednesday/Friday 12:40-2:45pm

Physics 5700/5710 will have two sections (you choose one):

  • Tuesday/Thursday 12:40PM - 3:55PM lab
  • Monday/Wednesday 12:40PM - 3:55PM lab

Please note the time overlap between the above three classes. Because these courses are offered during similar days/times, it is not possible to take more than one per term.

Summer Term

Physics 3700 is sometimes offered in the summer, depending on demand. Once scheduling begins for summer term, we will send an email to all physics and engineering physics majors asking if anyone is interested in taking these courses.  If there is enough interest, we will offer the course. Physics 5700/5710 and 4700 are not available during the summer.

How to Pre-Enroll

To pre-enroll in a controlled access course, you will need to send an email from your OSU email account to Lindsey at before the deadline listed below.

When emailing Lindsey, please include the following information:

  • Which course you are requesting and the specific semester (i.e. Spring 2023) you'd like to take it
  • Your expected graduation date

Requests sent from non OSU email addresses will be ignored. She will put your name on a list and once scheduling windows open for that specific term, she will contact you regarding your enrollment in the class. Keep in mind that putting your name on a list for a certain term does not guarantee you will get in.  Lindsey gives priority to seniors, then juniors, then sophomores, etc. From there, she schedules based on who requested the course first. If she cannot get you in for the term you requested, you will be enrolled in the class the following term. Once you are placed on the list to take a controlled access course, please be patient. Lindsey cannot start enrolling students in these courses until after scheduling for a specific term begins. 

Deadlines for requesting and dropping Controlled Access Courses

Please follow the below deadlines to pre-enroll in the controlled access courses. Courses might fill up before the below deadlines so it's recommended that you pre-enroll at least 8 months in advance.  

Pre-Enrollment Deadlines









How to Enroll in the Class after Scheduling Begins

  • After scheduling begins for a term you're supposed to take a controlled access course, Lindsey will email you to let you know which sections of the class are available and provide you with additional enrollment instructions.
  • Respond to Lindsey's email as soon as possible to let her know which section of the class you'd prefer. 
  • When you schedule your classes, you will sign up for all of your classes except for the controlled access course.  Again, you will not be able to enroll in these classes on your own as there is no way to "pre-approve" students in the scheduling system.  Lindsey will schedule the class for you
  • Once you have been enrolled, you will see the course on your schedule.  If Lindsey is unable to enroll you in a controlled access course for the term you requested, she will give you priority to take that course the following term and will be in contact with you about this through email. 

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Lindsey directly at

How do I check to make sure I'm on the list for a controlled access course?

Students are responsible for ensuring they are on the list to take controlled access courses using the directions in this section.  To check, log in to Carmen and click on the "Information for Physics and Eng. Physics Majors" link.  Then click on the "grades" tab and you'll see the options for Physics 3700, 4700, and 5700/5710.  If you're already listed to take one (or more) of these courses, the term you requested should be shown.

Penalties for dropping a Controlled Access Course

If you are enrolled in a controlled access course and then you change your mind about taking it, this may have negative consequences for you.  Due to limited seating, it is very important that each seat in the class is filled.  If you drop the class at the last minute and we are unable to schedule a different student in your spot, it causes future enrollment problems.  If you drop a controlled access course and a.) do not notify Lindsey Thaler and/or b.) do not notify Lindsey in a timely fashion, then you will not be given priority for that same class in the future.  For example, if Lindsey enrolls you in Physics 3700 and you decide to drop the course after the deadline, then you will only be enrolled in that class for a future term after a.) all other students wanting to take that class have been enrolled and b.) if there are seats remaining. The Department of Physics will not take responsibility if this delays your graduation.

If you have permission from a physics advisor to drop a controlled access course, you will not face any consequences.  But this will only be granted under extenuating circumstances that are beyond your control (e.g. time conflicts with required courses).