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What classes t take or neuroscience / biomedical enginnering major ?

I am 16, currently in 10th grade. I have selected AP Micro, AP Stats, and AP Seminar for my 11th-grade year, and I have chosen Environmental Science as a science class.

I had planned to take a business major but I am also conflicted as I want to take a neuroscience or biomedical engineering major as well.

I have only previously taken biology and physics for my science classes and I am afraid I won't be qualified for these majors since I haven't taken enough science classes yet (such as Chemistry) and I'm already in my third year of highschool. Even so, I wouldn't be able to take AP Chem or AP Bio since I don't have chemistry as a prerequisite.

Should I keep my 11th-grade classes the same or should I switch some/all of them out? What should I take in 12th grade? I also want to have AP Micro as an option in case of a back-up plan if I need to resort back to taking a Business major.

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Robert’s Answer

Hi Angela, I can offer some general advice, but without knowing all the classes that are offered at your school, I can’t be too specific. Since you said “resort back to…business”, it sounds like your deep-down preference is science and engineering. So go for those first. You can always take business classes later, after you’re better established in a science. (Many of my engineering classmates either transferred to business while getting their bachelor’s degree or got an MBA later. They did well.)
Regarding your concern that “I won't be qualified for these majors”: ask your high school guidance counselor (if you have one). Another way to decide on which classes to take now, try to see what is needed to get into one or two of your preferred colleges. Check their catalogs or contact their admissions committee. You seem to be a very thoughtful and intelligent student. I’m sure you’ll succeed.
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Jill’s Answer

Hey Angela! It looks like you've gotten some awesome suggestions about classes already. I'd like to chat about the part of your query that's about majoring in business. When I first started college, I thought I wanted to focus on neuroscience. But as I took more classes and participated in a research project, I found myself really enjoying learning about how behavior influences decision making. That's what led me to switch my major to business and later pursue a master's degree in Business Analytics. You might be surprised to find out that the two fields have more in common than you'd think. Ultimately, just follow your heart and you'll find your way!
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Temitayo’s Answer

If you are considering a neuroscience or biomedical engineering major, it's important to build a strong foundation in science and math during your high school years. While your current course selection includes some relevant classes, there are a few adjustments you could make to better prepare yourself for these majors.

For your 11th-grade year, here are some suggestions:

1. AP Chemistry: As you mentioned, chemistry is often a prerequisite for neuroscience and biomedical engineering programs. Taking AP Chemistry will provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of the subject and strengthen your application for these majors.

2. AP Biology: Similarly, AP Biology will help you gain a deeper understanding of biological concepts, which are fundamental to both neuroscience and biomedical engineering. This course will cover topics like cell biology, genetics, and physiology.

3. AP Calculus: Mathematics is a crucial component of both neuroscience and biomedical engineering. Taking AP Calculus will help you develop strong quantitative skills that will be beneficial in these fields.

If you are concerned about not having chemistry as a prerequisite, consider discussing your situation with your school counselor or science teacher. They may be able to provide guidance on alternative pathways or options to fulfill the requirement.

For your 12th-grade year, consider the following:

1. Advanced Science Electives: Look for advanced science electives offered at your school, such as AP Physics C, AP Environmental Science, or any other biology or chemistry electives. These will help you further expand your knowledge and demonstrate your interest in the sciences.

2. Math: If you haven't already, consider taking an advanced math course in your senior year, such as AP Statistics, AP Calculus BC, or any other higher-level math course offered at your school.

3. AP Microeconomics: It's great that you want to keep AP Microeconomics as an option in case you decide to pursue a business major. This course will provide you with a solid foundation in economics, which can be valuable in various fields.

Remember that while taking relevant AP courses can be beneficial, admissions committees also consider other factors like extracurricular activities, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. So, make sure to participate in science or engineering-related clubs, research opportunities, or volunteer work in your community to further demonstrate your passion and commitment to these fields.

Lastly, it's never too late to pursue your interests. If you find that you are genuinely passionate about neuroscience or biomedical engineering later on, there are often introductory courses available at the undergraduate level to bring you up to speed. So, don't be discouraged by any perceived gaps in your high school curriculum. Focus on building a strong foundation and pursuing your interests to the best of your abilities.
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