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What AP classes to take in high school for engineering?

xpurpleblobxpurpleblob Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
edited March 2011 in Engineering Majors
I'm interested in aeronautical/automotive engineering.
Do I have to work my hind off?
Which AP classes are the best for me?
Post edited by xpurpleblob on

Replies to: What AP classes to take in high school for engineering?

  • dmt117dmt117 Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    yes, you will need to work your hind off. But you should be doing that anyway no matter what you take in college.

    Go for the science and math APs: AP Calc, Physics and Chem.
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Registered User Posts: 2,892 Senior Member
    Gotta work your tail off.

    AP classes are just "extra gravy". If you have taken Physics and up to Analytic Geometry/Pre-Calculus in high-school, you will be able to complete an engineering degree in 4 years.
  • MontegutMontegut Registered User Posts: 6,124 Senior Member
    I would recommend taking AP chem. My son took AP bio instead, because he's planning to double major in bio so he can do grad work in biomedical engineering, but it has been a pain trying to get chemistry in this year because of all the labs/recitation periods involved in his freshman engineering and calculus courses. Even though he entered college with 30 AP credits, he's having to take chemistry this summer, since it's a prereq for a sophomore engineering course, mechanics of materials, I think.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 36,515 Super Moderator
    Boy, I agree with Montegut. My son is in the same boat!
  • TomServoTomServo Registered User Posts: 2,047 Senior Member
    First priority: calculus, the highest level your HS allows.
    Second priority: physics

    Should you be fortunate enough to go to a school that offers linear algebra and differential equations, by all mean take advantage of that.
  • xpurpleblobxpurpleblob Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    @tomservo I go to Stuyvesant so I think they have it.
  • JoJoBearJoJoBear Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    I go there too. I don't think people know about it, though.
  • CalvinTBODCalvinTBOD Registered User Posts: 869 Member
    I know about Stuyvesant. I'm pretty sure they have every AP class you can think of. :P
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    MOntegut - I agree. I wish DS#1 had taken AP Chem. He took the class last semester and is taking the lab this semester (all that's needed for his engr degree) - but it's been a real PIA!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,105 Senior Member
    Calculus, preferably BC; if you ace the BC test before senior year, consider taking multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations at a community college

    English Literature and/or Language, whichever is better accepted at your university for freshman writing requirements (you can then take a more advanced technical writing course at your leisure, if offered)

    Physics C and Chemistry -- take the courses, but check whether the university accepts the tests (they are not always accepted in lieu of required science courses for engineering majors); if unsure, take the tests, as it is easier to discard useless AP credit than to wish you had taken an AP test that you did not take

    For other AP tests, like Biology, any History, or Economics, check what they may be counted as by the universities you are interested in.
  • beard taxbeard tax Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    If you go to Stuyvesant, then you should take every advanced mathematics course you can. Just to simulate a real life engineering experience, you should skip every class and teach yourself the material 3 nights before.

    The best learning experience I had in high school was cramming and teaching myself all the material because I was too tired to attend a 7:30 AM class. Once I got to college, I was able to deal with the fact that most engineering professors are terrible.
  • downtimerdowntimer Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    Can I butt in on this thread? Sorry to the original poster!

    I just wondered, are there any other courses besides the ones already listed that would stand a high school senior, electrical engineering freshman wannabee in good stead?
  • skbryanskbryan Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    It's important to check if the AP credits actually count for anything at your school. For example, an engineering student could have gotten a 5 on Physics C and Chemistry, but still can't skip a quarter of Physics or Chemistry for engineers. It's still good to take those classes to boost your GPA and prepare you to do well in college courses since you already know a lot of the material before others. Calc credit usually counts at every school though.
  • BanjoHitterBanjoHitter Registered User Posts: 1,497 Senior Member
    I just wondered, are there any other courses besides the ones already listed that would stand a high school senior, electrical engineering freshman wannabee in good stead?

    Here's the order of priority:
    1. AP Calc (BC preferable)
    2. AP Physics C and AP Chemistry (depending on major, for EE Physics is better)
    3. All other AP STEM courses (CS, Biology, Statistics, Economics) except Physics B (I've never seen it accepted in an engineering school)
    4. Any other course that your college accepts that will get you out of a core requirement (usually English Lang and/or Lit will get you out of a semester of English, US History and/or Gov will get you out of a Social Science requirement, etc)
    5. Any other course that your college accepts (usually foreign languages)
    6. All others

    To be competitive at top schools, you want 3-5 (or more) AP courses with at least Calc and one science. Since most students have AP credits these days, it's hard to stand out. But, if you do want to stand out, take Calculus beyond BC (usually at a community college) or have a ton of AP's (like 10).

    What would actually make you stand out is if you had no AP courses. And that would really only be acceptable if your school offered none.
This discussion has been closed.