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AP Literature for Engineering Major

AimtrueAimtrue 27 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
My C is looking at senior year schedule. C is applying to top engineering schools and Ivies (and of course some safeties). Question is whether to take AP Lit senior year. We have gotten mixed advice. Mostly for Ivies. C has an A in AP Lang right now.
Proposed senior schedule right now is:

MV (took Calc AB 10th and BC junior)
AP Physics C (taking AP Chem jr year)
Research
Language - not AP
AP Comp Sci
AP Lit or Honors English (C taking AP Lang this year)
PE/Health

I think for the really hard core engineering /science classes it may not be nec. to take AP Lit, but would that knock C our of Ivies - some have said yes. Also, she is a strong writer so Lang was not hard, but a slow reader which is why worried about AP Lit

Any advice? Thanks in advance!



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Replies to: AP Literature for Engineering Major

  • eyemgheyemgh 5590 replies122 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    First, what's a C? Child? Just curious. It isn't an abbreviation I've encountered.

    Second, what else would they take if they didn't take Lit?

    My son took AP Lit and AP Art History because he wanted to. He got into a very competitive engineering program. He had math through BC, AP Physics C, AP Chem, Organic Chem, Biochem, and Anatomy and Physiology. He did not take AP Bio because he didn't like the instructor and it wasn't really germane to ME.

    Long story short, they should take what they want to take.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78229 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If aiming for the most selective colleges, will the choice of AP English literature versus some other English course affect whether the counselor will mark that she took the "most demanding" course options?

    Will AP English literature scores affect credit, subject credit, or advanced placement in required English composition courses at the various colleges, compared to what she may get from her AP English language score?
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  • AimtrueAimtrue 27 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for your thoughts. @eyemgh - sounds like your son did not take the AP Lang or Lit, and it didn't matter?

    C is child. I didn't event it - saw it elsewhere. Also seen as DC (as opposed to DD or DS).

    The counselor wants AP Lit to compete with other top students. Rest of schedule is very demanding, so not sure what counselor would check - I guess that is a good question!

    Our hesitation is the heavy reading load. It is doable, but it may ruin senior year. C is mixed - wants to take AP Lit for subject matter, but worried about reading.

    The other English courses are simply honors courses. We are not worried about getting credit, advanced placement, etc at college.

    Will top colleges care given the focus on engineering - will they give a pass given other courses, including AP Lang or will they pass on C b/c didn't take AP Lit? We are getting mixed advice from people in the know so I wondering what others thought.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5590 replies122 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 22
    I misunderstood. I thought they wanted to take AP Lit instead of an AP science and was worried that might not be seen as rigorous enough.

    My son did take AP Lit and never took AP Biology even though it was offered and commonly taken among his classmates. It was a lot of reading, but he loved it. One semester was Literature of the Grotesque. He got to read Dracula, Frankenstein, Blood Meridian, etc. In addition he took BC, Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry, AP Art History, plus a fifth year of Mandarin (AP). It was busy, but he did fine. His Junior year was busier because they have big junior project at his school.

    I'm a take what you want guy, because students can take what they THINK someone else wants them to take and still get locked out of schools that have far too many fully qualified applicants for the spots they have.
    edited April 22
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4226 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Curious if it's AP research that was part of AP seminar. The schedule looks actually pretty typical for pre engineering student. A lot of math driven kids have poorer writing skills and in the orientation last year at my son's college they sorta made fun of that with also saying that engineers need to be able to write and speak to a group. My son also took AP Lang and lit. I also would say take what interests you. I think it's good for all students to be well rounded. Having strong writing skills can be an advantage at college but who knows if it helps with getting your child admitted to "x" school. But what I would do is go to each school site and see what they each expect. You want to exceed the minimum not meet it. Ie:most colleges want at least Calc 1, you've exceeded that with going to Calc 3.

    Also is health /pe a requirement? At my son's school that don't have that for 12 th grade so I was wondering. If not, I might replace that.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78229 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Aimtrue wrote:
    Will top colleges care given the focus on engineering - will they give a pass given other courses, including AP Lang or will they pass on C b/c didn't take AP Lit? We are getting mixed advice from people in the know so I wondering what others thought.

    Probably the most important opinion on this aspect is that of the counselor who will mark whether the student chose the "most demanding" courses. Find out if the course choice will affect what the counselor marks here.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8963 replies79 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "top engineering schools and Ivies" - He may not get AP credit in college. Not sure if that's a factor here but thought I should point it out.
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  • AimtrueAimtrue 27 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks everyone. Just to answer the questions - we are not worried about AP /college credit. Already taking/taken most of the AP science and math classes (not AP bio b/c not interested. Same with AP Stats - although that is a useful class).
    The Research class is not an AP class, but it is a very time consuming, real research course. C is already a very strong writer, but a slow reader. The subject matter of AP Lit is of interest, the concern being the time commitment with all the reading. I think we will just have to make a decision and hope for the best.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7266 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    FWIW my engineering kid didn’t take AP lit senior year. I don’t think it impacted her but she still had enough AP, DE and honors courses to have the counselor check the most rigorous box on her transcript.

    I would talk to the GC.
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  • bopperbopper 14067 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    What type of engineering schools will your child apply to? Will the other students they are competing with have taken AP Lit?
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  • BunnyBlueBunnyBlue 845 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    Check the acceptance threads for the ivies and top engineering schools your C is interested in and see if people were accepted without AP lit.
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  • patattypatatty 142 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Depending on which college your child chooses, a decent score on AP Lit might get therm out of a humanities class or a freshman writing requirement. Especially for an engineer, this can be a good thing, as many engineering schedules are pretty demanding, and having a chance to take a lighter load one or two semesters can make a big difference. At my D's school, a 4 or 5 on either one of the AP English tests can take the place of one humanities distribution - she scored 4s on both, so now has 2 fewer classes that she has to take. She is heavily involved in a project team, for which she receives credit but does not replace required courses, so being able to skip a few other classes has saved her sanity.
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  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2779 replies32 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Almost all engineering colleges require 2-8 English classes today. Georgia Tech requires English 1 and 2 for any degree program. MIT requires 8 humanities and social science classes which can be 8 English classes, but usually is a mix of social science, music, world language and English classes. For certain engineers need to be able to read and write, and AP Literature or AP English is an excellent way to start that learning process in high school. Learning to write requires some college reading and writing classes too. Any engineer who cannot write clearly will struggle in his or her career.

    Taking AP English is NOT about skipping college English classes. Its about learning to read and write so your child can have a career in today's competitive world. Always take the hardest high school class available, if the student can handle it, and 4 years of high school English classes, regardless of major.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 38430 replies2104 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    I ditto everything that @Coloradomama wrote. I was very thankful that I had a challenging AP Lit class in high school. It prepared me well for engineering school.

    After working as an engineer for a couple of years, I realized that communication is a BIG part of the job. We have to be able to explain clearly to laypeople almost everything we do, because it's a mystery to most folks, ha.
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  • rickle1rickle1 1935 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 5
    I'm a big fan of engineers taking writing and literature classes because it makes them both better writers and more interesting humans. An engineer with these additional skills is quite a combination.

    There are engineers doing engineering and there are engineers leading organizations. The ones who write well, communicate well, are more interesting tend to be the latter.
    edited June 5
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4226 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    At Michigan engineering they stated those that communicate well become the leaders of the team, those that don't communicate well become the followers of the team. Then they stated at Michigan engineering, we make leaders of the team. It was a very strong statement. This was right before they talked about engineering students not being that verbal....
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  • Parentof2014gradParentof2014grad 977 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    If he wants to take AP Lit, he should. Both my kids enjoyed it and I don’t recall either of them complaining that the reading was more time consuming than in AP Lang/Comp, for what it’s worth.
    As far as college credit, it varies a lot, but many of the school my kids applied to gave the same course credit for both Lang and Lit, so having both classes wasn’t helpful. You still only got credit for that one course.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78229 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    MIT requires 8 humanities and social science classes which can be 8 English classes, but usually is a mix of social science, music, world language and English classes.

    Actually, they cannot all be English (literature at MIT) courses, since the 8 courses need to include at least 1 each in humanities, arts, and social science. The 8 courses also need to include a 3-4 course concentration.

    https://registrar.mit.edu/registration-academics/academic-requirements/hass-requirement
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  • KLSDKLSD 260 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Currently have 2 engineering students at an Ivy. Both are vivacious readers, given the free time. AP lang was very helpful with communication skills, AP History helped critical reading skills (seeking and retaining the pertinent information quickly), AP Bio taught them to use their AP STAT skills and write excellent lab reports. Neither took AP Lit. I can hear D1 telling me that it required her to over analyze bodies of work written by unstable or addicted individuals or by an author paid by the word. That being said, they still love reading and did not want to feel tortured by over analyzing the literature. We respected that. D1 will be heading to the PHD track for a research career; her communication skills have been honed and are excellent.
    There are so many interesting ways to fulfill the 7 or 8 humanity course requirements. One is studying a foreign language, one dove into econ, entrepreneurship and medical ethics. All take a freshman writing course. Then there are the once in a lifetime opportunities taught by a visiting scholar (film, sound editing, music, art...) at a university with unlimited resources, excellent is so many fields. The trick is to leave after 4 undergraduate years without regretting a missed opportunity.
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  • AimtrueAimtrue 27 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    OK. I just looked again at the string. As a side note, if not AP Lit, then it would be an honors English class. The fear with AP lit is the reading, since C is a slow reader. Great analytical skills and an excellent writer/communicators - gets A+ in very competitive English classes from tough teachers, including AP Lang. So, C can already write and communicate very well. It is just the idea of taking honors English versus AP Lit because APs are generally considered higher level classes. Here is the conflict: Several people I asked in higher ed said AP Lit is not nec for engineering majors and that the Honors English is fine. The counselor is the one pushing AP LIt b/c C is in the small group of very top students in this competitive school and she feels not taking AP Lit drops C from that group. I just don't know if the counselor is correct.
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