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Do I need to take a fourth year of science for competetive schools?

sarahxoxosarahxoxo Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
I am currently a junior in high school and am talking:
AP language and composition
APUSH
AP Bio
Third year Spanish
In my sophomore year I only took one AP - world history
Next year im planning on taking:
AP calculus
AP literature and composition
And I want to take AP European history and AP psycology but I keep hearing taking a fourth science is important and both these classes are at the same time are AP physics. So I don't know what to take? If I follow my passion will it diminish my chances on getting into competetive schools like Barnard??
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Replies to: Do I need to take a fourth year of science for competetive schools?

  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,567 Senior Member
    There is no one right answer here.

    If your grades and test scores are solidly in range, and the classes you do take are honors/AP, having only three years of science (particularly if you are not a STEM major) would not be fatal.

    But, it really has to do with your "total package." There are lots of little things that could toss your application in one pile or the other, but figuring out which exact one did so is pretty much impossible.

    You can look up schools on the Big Future website (desktop version): click on "Applying" then on the pink tab "Academics and GPA" and it will show you any published course recommendations the college has. Barnard recommends at least three years of science.
  • mademoiselle2308mademoiselle2308 Registered User Posts: 404 Member
    What are you planning on studying in undergrad? If you want to major in history or political science, then not taking four years of science may not be critical so long as you already have at least one year of bio, chem, and physics each. If you are interested in studying science in undergrad or possibly doing premed, then having four years of science would be good.
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    At my D's hs, AP Psych is considered a science. I think the person who teaches it has a chemistry background. I think at other schools it's considered a social science. You might want to check with your school to see where it falls
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,084 Senior Member
    AP Bio is a great class to have on your transcript. What sciences did you take freshman and sophomore years?
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,084 Senior Member
    @citymama9 - It doesn't really matter how the HS classifies it. More importantly for @sarahxoxo, colleges won't consider AP Psych to be a science class.
  • BucketsUCSCBucketsUCSC Registered User Posts: 783 Member
    @sherpa yeah collegeboard classifies AP Psych as a social science course
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,920 Senior Member
    You don't have to take AP science to take a science. :) So, you can take a science and your favorite classes too.
  • sarahxoxosarahxoxo Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    in my freshmen and sophomore year I took honors level biology and chemistry respectively. Therefore I don't have much variation as am talking AP biology as a third science.
  • sarahxoxosarahxoxo Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Another option I could take is AP psychology and either AP computer science or Regents earth science l. But then I wouldn't be able to take a third AP history class which I am passionate about.
    I am considering studying neuroscience, hence my taking AP biology and desire to take AP psychology. But, I also love languages and histories and might study humanities in college.
  • sarahxoxosarahxoxo Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thank you all for replying!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,525 Senior Member
    sarahxoxo wrote:
    in my freshmen and sophomore year I took honors level biology and chemistry respectively. Therefore I don't have much variation as am talking AP biology as a third science.

    More selective colleges may prefer to see physics along with biology and chemistry in your high school record. Also, if your potential major requires physics in college, it will be harder if you have not had physics in high school.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,047 Senior Member
    The most competitive schools do like to see bio, chem and physics on the high school transcript. It doesn't have to be AP physics.
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,436 Senior Member
    @wisteria100 is correct. As long as you have had the 3 lab sciences -- biology, chemistry, and physics -- you can skip a fourth year of science. If you haven't had physics, you don't necessarily need the AP version. Is there a non-AP honors version you can take? Also, what math are you taking?
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,524 Senior Member
    edited February 15
    Have you taken physics?
  • sarahxoxosarahxoxo Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I am taking algebra two/trigonometry this year and AP calculus next year (senior year). I have not taken physics yet. Is physics very important or can I take a fourth science such as AP computer science instead?
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