3 answers

Can I major in STEM without being good at math?

Asked Cove, Arkansas

I'm not very good at math but biomedical engineering sounds very interesting to me. Should I pursue this major? #engineering #math #stem #major #computer #college #biomedical #science

3 answers

Douglas’s Answer

Updated Easton, Massachusetts

Hi Payton,

Probably not, but I do not know enough about you to make an informed comment. Everybody thinks that engineers need to like math. That is not entirely true, many people may not like math BUT they can do math. Think of math as a tool. You may really like flowers, to plant flowers you may need a shovel (a tool). You may not like shovels, but you need to be able to use one to get flowers. Math is a valuable tool in the training of a mind to think logically and to focus on a problem.

Many engineering schools will not accept someone with SAT scores below a certain number. If you are just starting high school, it is not to late to get up to speed in math (private tutors are one way) by taking the more advanced math classes and putting in extra time on that subject.

Have you taken the SATs? If so you can contact an engineering school that you might like to go to and ask about what their math SAT requirements are. You might also consider a Community (Junior) College. Many state colleges have a program which allows someone who does well in the Community College classes (e.g. math) to transfer to the college after 2 years to finish out their BS degree. You could check with your guidance councilor or local Community College about such programs.

Good luck,

Hope this helps,


Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

The STEM range of career areas and jobs within it are very broad. There are many opportunities within that broad array that do not require being good at math. If you follow the process described in the answer to your other question, you will be able to find a career path which matches with your personality traits.

Ani’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi Payton,

Being good at math is helpful for STEM majors, but again it depends on what specific major you are interested in. Let's say you want to major in Computer Science, Electronics, Mathematics, Statistics and the like, yes, being good at math gives you an edge. But for Bio Medical Engineering, you might not need to be a pro in math. And once you get into college, your interest and passion in Bio Medical will automatically drive you to learn enough math skills to excel in Bio Medical field. Hope this helps!

This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • You cannot get good at math by studying, you excel at math by practicing and solving problems continuously. So make it a habit going forward to practice math vigorously.
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