The relative importance of coursework drops off rapidly once the required course load listed in the graduate program has been completed. The student will be evaluated no longer by the performance on quizzes or exams but by performance on individual research projects, where standards of evaluation are often not spelled out clearly, but the final tangible product is a peer-reviewed publication in a widely read scientific journal. As the student becomes more engaged in research, taking additional courses should may not advantage ones research career. Nevertheless, students should take advanced courses that are relevant to the specialized research area and future interest, even though they may not be included in the formal, agreed upon program. One option is to take such classes as “P/N”, or to audit. These decisions should be made only after consulting with the major professor. If students wish to audit a class they also should seek permission from the instructor(s).