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Is and AP Language and a Science course necessary for those intending to do Humanities major?

mmccmmcc 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Our daughter a Senior this year and she wants to pursue Humanities/ Social Sciences.
We have a few questions re. Senior year course selection ass he is debating about whether a science course is imperative in the Senior year. She has been taking Science courses every year with 4 taken already. As a Junior, he took 2 AP Science courses. She was hoping to take some other course that she was interested in during his Senior year and not take any Science course at all. But she heard that it is imperative to take a Science course every year, even though she will not apply to any Engineering/ STEM program and although she has fulfilled all Science requirements.
She is planning to take AP Capstone and AP Psychology this year, which she is interested in. But, if she has to take a Science course during his Senior year, she may have to give up on AP Capstone and take AP Biology instead (which she is not that interested in). Also, will it help in the admission process if she takes AP Spanish instead of AP Capstone or AP Psychology? Would appreciate any guidance.
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Replies to: Is and AP Language and a Science course necessary for those intending to do Humanities major?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6962 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Which science courses did you daughter take? Most competitive colleges want to see a sequence of bio, chem, physics, and then an AP in one of those courses, regardless of intended major.

    I think AP Spanish is a wiser choice than AP psych.

    What does her senior year course schedule look like?

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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1306 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Agree with @momofsenior1 and it will also depend on which schools your child is targeting.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38823 replies6853 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    she heard that it is imperative to take a Science course every year
    She heard wrong.

    In general, colleges will expect an English course every year (and for some colleges, a math class) regardless of how many credits you have racked up. For other subjects, they don;t care how many years it took to get the recommended credits. 4 credits of science in 4 years is the same as 4 credits of science in 3 years. assuming 3 of those credits are bio/math/physics.

    AP Capstone is a 2-year sequence, so if she completed year 1I see no reason not to continue. AP Spanish is better than AP Psych is any of her colleges ask for 4 years of a foreign language. If none do, then it's up to her.
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  • happy1happy1 22754 replies2239 threadsVerified Member Senior Member
    Consider these things:
    1. I would look at the common data set for each college she plans to apply to (google "common data set XYZ University") and look at section C to see how many years of each subject they recommend/require. Be sure to meet or exceed those requirements/recommendations for top colleges. Substituting an elective for a required/recommended course is not a good move. These requirements/recommendations often exceed HS graduation requirements.

    2. Most top colleges like to see a sequence of bio, chem, and physics taken in HS regardless of projected college major. If she has not taken these courses I would continue with science in senior year and do so. In addition, many colleges want 3-4 years of HS foreign language.

    3. The top tier colleges will want to see the guidance counselor check the box on the recommendation saying you have taken the most rigorous course-load available at your HS (which doesn't mean taking every AP class -- there is often some latitude in this). If the guidance counselor says that your prior and current HS schedules are sufficient to get that most rigorous box checked then you are fine.

    4. AP Psych is generally regarded as one of the easiest AP courses so it won't add to schedule rigor. But if your D has met/exceeded all of the recommended/required coursework, has room in the schedule, and is interested then it is fine to take. FWIW my D took it in HS and really enjoyed the class.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41727 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    She has 4 units of science: she meets the "4 years" requirement.
    However taking AP Spanish would be a better choice than AP psych. AP Spanish and AP Psych would not be a problem as long long as she has one math course (AP stats?), AP lit or lang, and an AP History or social science.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77683 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Unless the previously taken 4 years of science are non-diversified (i.e. missing one or more of biology, chemistry, or physics), that should be sufficient for any college's base requirements or expectations, particularly for a non-science/engineering major.

    Higher level in a foreign language can be helpful in many humanities and social studies majors, and many colleges have foreign language graduation requirements that are higher than admission requirements. So completing AP Spanish in high school can be helpful longer term. AP psychology covers the content of a one semester introductory psychology course that is not considered hard in college, so it may not be seen as rigorous compared to AP Spanish to an admissions reader.
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  • wis75wis75 14010 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is AP Spanish a 5th year? Four years of a single foreign language is good to meet college graduation requirements for many schools- meaning no need to do any there. Plus having the units most applicants will have. No reason to take it then, otherwise taking a fourth year of Spanish has merits. Presume she met the science reqs and would not need it. She can elect to add a different foreign language in college if she is interested.

    There are no rules against taking classes "for the fun of it"- ie unneeded for grad reqs or major. This applies to HS as well as college. Do not always pay attention to the "most difficult" or "looks best" on paper.

    I heartily disagree with people who look at "hard" versus" easy" AP classes when making choices. She should take the class she is most interested in. School should be enjoyable. Taking courses, especially as a HS senior, should not be for making the college application look even better than it already is. She should be living her life, not just getting a resume. Also, this intro to psychology may influence her future college major.

    I was a chemistry major (honors) who, like my friends, took various college courses beyond breadth requirements because I wanted them. Life is not just about what applies to one's major/career. It should be a well rounded experience- of which there are thousands of ways to achieve.
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  • mathmommathmom 32231 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    AP Spanish might look better than AP Psych, but if she's had Spanish 4 she's had all the language any college will expect. That said, a good score on the AP Spanish test might get her out of a language requirement in college. Which is one reason why my science kid took AP Latin. (He also liked it and the teacher.)

    Agree with everyone else that as long as she's had chemistry, physics and biology in some version, she's covered the bases for science. My kid who ended up in international relations took two APs as well, but that's because he liked science even if he was all that good at it. (He also did Science Olympiad, with a special interest in ecology, which actually did fit with his IR interests to some extent.) That kid did not take AP Latin. He knew he was going to have to start with a modern language in college anyway for IR.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33430 replies363 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, we don't know what AP sci- the recommendation is lab sci. APES wont replace a core lab sci. And we have no idea what colleges. And the higher tiers want core history, including AP, before soc sci electives.
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  • mmccmmcc 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    AP Spanish is an interesting situation because the teacher got fired midway trough the year and as a result left a large chunk of the year without a teacher and proper curriculum. So far , he is lined up to take psych, Capstone, Lit , Gov, and AB Calc
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  • wis75wis75 14010 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    At least some schools do not require any competency test in a foreign language to meet graduation reqs- no college credit given though. No need to have every possible HS AP credit for college.
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  • mmccmmcc 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    She had an interesting situation in Spanish 4 (the course her school offers before AP Spanish) because the teacher left midway through the year and as a result left a large chunk of the year without a teacher and proper curriculum. So far , she is lined up to take AP psych, AP Capstone 1, AP English Lit , AP Gov, and AP Calculus AB. She thinks that she is not prepared for AP Spanish as Spanish 4 did not prepare him for AP Spanish due to the reasons mentioned above (though she ended her Junior year with a good grade in Spanish 4)
    Appreciate your views on this. Is AP Spanish very tough?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77683 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    She should ask the AP Spanish teacher, who probably knows that many students had the same Spanish 4 situation and may have to adjust the course appropriately (more review of the missed Spanish 4 material, but an accelerated pace to cover what needs to be covered in the allotted time)
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