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What AP classes would be best to take in high school for an aspiring Computer Science major?

I am going into my junior year of high school, and have already taken AP U.S. History, but my score on the exam hasn't come back yet. What other AP classes should I take starting this year to help me get prepared for a Computer Science major? #computer-science #ap #advance-placement

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Patrick’s Answer

If you're planning on going into a hardcore programming field like 3D design, animation, or kernel programming, Math is a must.


One thing you might consider - and this is going to sound a little nuts - is philosophy. I can't tell you how many brilliant people in the CS field have philosophy degrees. My hunch is that it's the logic that you're taught in Philosophy, working through proofs, that serves you well in any area of Computer Science. Whether you're programming or doing system administration, having a logical, methodical approach is critical to success.

Thank you comment icon This is great and very helpful information, thank you so much!!! Tom
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Mark’s Answer

The CollegeBoard offers "AP Computer Science A" and "AP Computer Science Principles".

https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/courses/ap-computer-science-a

https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/courses/ap-computer-science-principles

If your school does not offer these options you can take these and similar courses online from programs such as The Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University.

https://cty.jhu.edu/online/courses/computer_science/index.html
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Leslie’s Answer

I would definitely recommend taking AP Calculus BC, it will likely let you pass out of single variable calculus classes in University, which is helpful in keeping your schedule open for other classes (at UCLA, for example, a passing score gives you credit for MATH 31A and 31B: https://admission.ucla.edu/admitted-students/ap-credit-engineering).

Taking AP Physics will also prepare you if you intend to pursue a B.S. degree. Passing scores will also let you skip entry level physics classes (though some recommend taking them anyways to ease in, your mileage may vary)

If your school offers AP Computer Science, I would highly recommend taking it. It will give you a good foundation; having a solid understanding of the basic concepts such as object oriented programming is invaluable
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