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Does this course rigor look strong for college? How many dual enrollment course should I take, and what AP? For a science major.

I’m going to be a senior in High School, I have straight A’s and have taken honors classes since ninth grade. I’ve only taken AP language so far, and I think I will only take AP Human Geography next year. I will also take dual enrollment classes. How many dual enrollment classes should I take?
*I want to be a science major*
Keep in mind that I go to a private school with 10 AP options including
-AP psych which I can’t take because of scheduling conflicts
-AP Biology (our only AP science)
- AP stats, US history, Government and politics, macroeconomics, art

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Subject: Career question for you

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Annah’s Answer

Annie, I am going to take a slightly different approach to this question! While it is good to have an excellent grade point average and advanced coursework, it is equally useful to be a well-rounded student. This means extracurricular activities- whether at your school or outside of school. If you have special talents or interests, pursuing these things will lend a balance to the academic piece. I don't believe it is helpful to put too much pressure on yourself to succeed in a certain way- because there are many ways to stand out and succeed! Volunteer at a science museum, find a mentor in the real world working in a sub-field of science you find interesting. Do some field research. Ultimately it will not matter whether you take all the advanced coursework- but you can see what fits your schedule and pursue viable options. You can also look at colleges that have notable science departments. Women's colleges are great places for women in science and especially keen to foster women's advancement in this area. I believe Agnes Scott is the closest to you in FL; it is located in Decatur, GA. But there are many others. If there is a particular type of science you want to study, consider a school with a professor you admire or a school where you can specialize in a particular area. I realize this view may be in opposition to what others may advise- but truly there are so many academically strong students, it will not help you to burn out at this stage in your development. If you have the capacity to push yourself and take on the most challenging courses, then do so. But if there are other, creative outlets you might want to check out, this will ultimately provide the balance you will need in life to grow as a whole, multi-faceted being. As a college applicant, you want to highlight your unique qualities. They are not looking for cookie-cutter students following the same path- same courses, same grades, same aspirations. Enjoy your senior year! Take on a new challenge, try something that pushes you outside your comfort zone, seek opportunities that serve your psychological, spiritual, soulful, physical, and cognitive capacities! You are more than your grades and your scientific achievement. These are the things that will enable you to continue to do well in life. Seek learning opportunities that may allow you to get out of the classroom and into the real world. It sounds like you are well on your way to making the world a better place! How do you plan to do so? What is it about science that inspires you? As the poet, Mary Oliver stated- Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Thank you comment icon Thank you for this :) Annie
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Annie,

Dual Enrollment Courses for a Science Major:

For a student aiming to pursue a science major in college, taking dual enrollment courses can be highly beneficial. These courses not only provide an opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school but also offer a more rigorous academic experience that can better prepare you for the demands of college-level coursework.

Considerations for Choosing Dual Enrollment Courses:

Course Relevance: When selecting dual enrollment courses as a prospective science major, it is essential to prioritize subjects that align with your intended field of study. Opting for science-related courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, or mathematics can help build a strong foundation in these areas.

Credit Transferability: Ensure that the dual enrollment courses you choose are transferable to the colleges or universities you are considering for your undergraduate studies. It is advisable to consult with your high school counselor or the admissions offices of your target institutions to confirm credit transfer policies.

Balance and Workload: While challenging yourself with multiple dual enrollment courses can demonstrate academic rigor, it is crucial to strike a balance between course load and maintaining high academic performance. Consider your current commitments and workload before deciding on the number of dual enrollment courses to take.

Recommended Number of Dual Enrollment Courses:

Given your academic background with straight A’s and experience in honors and AP classes, taking 2-3 dual enrollment courses per semester could be a suitable choice. This number allows you to delve deeper into college-level coursework while still having time to excel in your other classes and extracurricular activities.

AP Course Recommendations for Science Majors:

Considering your interest in pursuing a science major, here are some recommended AP courses that can complement your academic profile:

AP Biology: Since this is the only AP science course offered at your school, it would be advantageous to take AP Biology to demonstrate proficiency in a core science subject relevant to many science majors.

AP Chemistry: If available at your school or through other means such as online platforms or nearby institutions, AP Chemistry is another valuable course for aspiring science majors due to its relevance and depth in the field of chemistry.

AP Calculus AB/BC: Mathematics plays a crucial role in various scientific disciplines, making AP Calculus AB or BC a beneficial choice to strengthen your quantitative skills and readiness for college-level math requirements.

By strategically combining dual enrollment courses with relevant AP classes like AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Calculus, you can enhance your academic preparation for pursuing a science major in college.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used in Answering this Question:

College Board: The College Board provides valuable information on Advanced Placement (AP) courses, including course descriptions, exam details, and recommendations for students pursuing specific majors.

National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC): NACAC offers guidance on college admission processes, including tips on selecting high school courses and preparing for college as a prospective science major.

American Council on Education (ACE): ACE’s resources on dual enrollment programs and credit transfer policies offer insights into how high school students can earn college credits through such programs effectively.

God Bless You,
JC.
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Thirada’s Answer

Hello! I agree with everything that the other answers have mentioned so far. I will add a little bit...

Dual enrollment is great. AP classes are great. Yes, take AP biology! But in my personal experience, people tend to find that physics and chemistry are harder. This means it might be a good idea to get a stronger foundation by taking physics and chemistry classes during high school. However, which classes are harder/easier depends on the person.

I agree with the idea of challenging yourself. However, you need to do it in a way that makes you happy. Choose classes and extracurricular activities that you will genuinely enjoy. For example, I took international baccalaureate (IB) higher level math and physics because I like these subjects. Does it look good on my college application? Yes, but I did it because I enjoyed the challenge, and I learned a lot! In college, professors don't always explain everything well in detail. My high school teachers did a better job there, so I was able to use my understanding of basic science concepts from high school to understand new content in college. Keep this in mind when you choose your courses. Sure, you may desire a perfect GPA, but it's better to settle for a 3.8 or 3.9 where you challenged yourself, compared to an easy 4.0 where you chose all the easy classes and didn't learn as much as you wanted to. Your personal learning, growth, and happiness matters!
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TRAVIS’s Answer

Take as many as possible. Keep in mind the CLEP is an option to. Most exams in the CLEP test only require 51% to pass. Take a practice test first. Good luck. You will save thousands of dollars and years of not having to take those classes in college.
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Jayapreetha’s Answer

Hello Annie, Congratulations on getting to the final year of high school..Very exciting indeed !!

My son had taken 15-17 APs during his High School years - he applied for CS- Economics major. Some of the APs were not considered for credit transfers, with a few others he still needed to take a placement test to place out of that class, and some majors require that you take the lower level or prereq classes even though you have done the AP level classes at your high school. Anyhow, I would say pick your AP classes based on what major you want to get into. Also, dual enrollments (college + high school) are usually considered good - it shows you have taken challenging classes plus you can transfer them (again depends on college to college) to help you financially. But don't go overboard and talk to the colleges you are interested in applying about this.

Best Wishes & Good Luck !!
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Terica’s Answer

Hello and kudos on entering your final year of high school! That's a fantastic achievement!

Typically, high schools mandate that students finish two to three years of science courses to graduate. These courses usually incorporate a lab section where students are expected to perform hands-on experiments. The usual sequence of science courses in most US high schools is Biology, followed by Chemistry, and then Physics.

There isn't a standard science subject for high school seniors. Most high schools don't require seniors to enroll in a science course, but you have the option to select an elective if you wish. These electives cover a broad range of topics, such as astronomy, human biology, and zoology. Your senior year is a great opportunity to enhance your academic record by enrolling in AP science courses. Just like high schools, most colleges expect applicants to have completed two to three years of science, which often includes passing both biology and chemistry.

If you're planning to pursue a STEM field, it's crucial to demonstrate strong science skills and that your science coursework exceeds the basic entrance requirements. The skills you acquire in your science classes will likely be utilized in your future career, and colleges want to ensure you can manage the course content before granting admission.

Best of luck to you!
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Karissa’s Answer

Regardless of the school you go to you will need both Science and Social Studies prerequisites. Take AP Biology as this will transfer as one of your science classes. You will need three Social Studies classes. These can be US History, Government and Politics and Macroeconomics. I would skip Art and Stats because they would only count as electives. If you are a science major then all of your electives will need to be science classes. If you already took Honors Biology then you may only be able to take AP Biology in your senior year for no credit. Most Seniors have a free period (in public school) so you could essentially stay after school to take a class that will not be included in your GPA.
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