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The new McMaster Personal Interest Course (PIC) is designed to encourage students to choose an elective outside of their program and explore an interest or try something new without affecting their cumulative GPA.

Is trying something new worth risking your GPA?

What if we told you that you can step outside of your comfort zone to try an elective course outside of your program with no risk to your GPA?* Now you can with McMaster Personal Interest Courses (PIC).

Jan 10, 2019

Have you ever wanted to take a course, but you were worried it might negatively affect your GPA? The new McMaster Personal Interest Course (PIC) is designed to encourage students to choose an elective outside of their program and explore an interest or try something new without affecting their cumulative GPA. 

4 Reasons to take courses outside of your comfort zone

1)    You may discover a new-found interest

Trying new things can lead to new interests! Perhaps this newly discovered interest is something to consider for a minor. You may find yourself surprised at how good your marks can be when you are studying a topic you love. 

2)    Enjoy a break from your usual classes

Have you ever heard the saying “A change is as good as a rest?”. That applies to classes as well. Sometimes giving your brain a break from focusing solely on your major can help you see things through a new lens reinvigorating all of your studies.

3)    Meet new people

University is a great place to meet people with similar interests. However, as you continue through your classes, you may see the same faces over and over. That can be a good thing but it never hurts to broaden your social circle. Taking a class that has no connection to your current program can help you to meet new people. 

4)    Learn something valuable to add to your resume

Taking an elective outside of your area of speciality can open your mind to new ideas, new challenges and encourage you to use different skillsets that may not be the focus of your current coursework. These new skills can help you become a more marketable and well-rounded job candidate on your next interview!

  

More about  Personal Interest Courses (PIC)

After completing level 1, Social Sciences students are eligible to complete up to 12 units of “personal interest” (PIC) courses. These courses will be marked on a pass/fail basis, meaning that as long as you pass the course, it won’t hurt your GPA.

*A student can declare a PIC to signify they want an elective course to be assessed on a Credit or No Credit (CR/NC) grading scale. To receive the grade of CR, the student must earn a final mark of at least 50%.

More information on how PIC classes work.