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Can physics be taken outside of school?

AspiringmomAspiringmom 16 replies5 threads Junior Member
Hello! I am wondering if IVY leagues are okay if a student interestd in pre-med takes an online physics class (outside of school) while taking bio, chem, bio AP, and chem AP in school for credit. I am inquiring for my daughter going into 9th grade who has finished earth science for hs credit and will now be taking bio honors.
Does the physics class need to be on the school transcript? If not, can anyone recommend credible online general physics course that has lab included?
13 replies
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Replies to: Can physics be taken outside of school?

  • skieuropeskieurope 41650 replies7991 threads Super Moderator
    The rising 9th grader is planning AP science classes already?

    No knowledge about online physics classes but I see no reason to double up on APs if physics can't fit in the schedule first. No college is expecting this. And the 9th grader should also be aware that AP science classes will almost universally not fulfill med school prereqs
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  • AspiringmomAspiringmom 16 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for your reply. The reason to think ahead is because the 9th grader takes band and art classes (imp extracurriculars for her) that makes the schedule impossible to double up on science courses.
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  • AspiringmomAspiringmom 16 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for those suggestions.
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  • cbreezecbreeze 4760 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Most Ivy League schools limit AP credits in lieu of college courses. So an AP class in high school or even online class in a community college is not the same as a college course. If she is interested in pre-med, I suggest taking all her med school prerequisites at her intended college.
    Some people may disagree with me and think it is OK to take a prereq at a lesser school, but I am going with what my niece's Ivy League counselor told her, that is to take all her classes at her school. Result was she got into all the medical schools she applied to including 3 free rides and she chose Harvard.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 84645 replies752 threads Senior Member
    The implication is that the student wants to avoid physics.

    Pre-meds do need to take physics in college, so it is best to have taken physics in high school so that the first look at physics will not be in a class filled with hypercompetitive pre-meds chasing scarce A grades.

    As a potential pre-med in high school, note the following:

    A. Any college courses taken while in high school and their grades will be included in recalculated college GPA for medical school applications.
    B. If the student has AP credit accepted by the college as equivalent to a pre-med course (e.g. general chemistry, general biology, physics, calculus, statistics, English composition), then the student should supplement it with more advanced courses in the subject areas of the AP credit.
    C. If the student has AP credit accepted by the college as equivalent to a pre-med course but takes the course covering the same material, the course must be marked as "Repeat" on the medical school application.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 21001 replies2062 threads Super Moderator
    edited August 4
    If your high school offers physics then she should be taking it in school.

    regarding outside online courses, this will be dependent on your, state, city, local regulations.
    does your school system allow students to take outside classes? what is the process of having them approved by your school?

    edited August 4
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  • compmomcompmom 12089 replies82 threads Senior Member
    One of my kids was in the performing arts and another had scheduling problems in our small school. In both cases they did take online classes. One, AP environmental science, had a lab. We got these classes pre-approved by the high school. It was then included in the transcript (we also included an explanation of the reasons for the online classes, which the guidance counselor had the family write).

    We were so happy with one online school that we raised funds through a local foundation and the high school got a membership that enabled 25 students each semester to take an online class. https://vhslearning.org/ We also used Aventa Learning at educere https://www.educere.net/default.asp

    I would not plan a kid's life around a tentative plan for a medical career. She is very young. Many students think they want to go into a well-defined profession like medicine and change their minds. Sorry to repeat what has been said before.

    Of course she can major in anything during college and still go to med school. (As long as prerequisites are done, either in college or in a post-bacc program.)

    Hoping she can explore her interests during high school, make good friends, have some down time, and take classes that are challenging and interesting for her :)
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  • AspiringmomAspiringmom 16 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thank you all so much! Those are very helpful suggestions!
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14586 replies107 threads Forum Champion
    Take Bio, Chem and Physics in school.
    If you thought she can take two AP Sciences, why did she start in Earth Science in 9th grade and not in Honors Bio? That is usually the honors track.
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  • AspiringmomAspiringmom 16 replies5 threads Junior Member
    The science honors track begins with earth science in 8th grade in her school. She couldn't have taken honors bio in 8th unfortunately.
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  • CamasiteCamasite 244 replies10 threads Junior Member
    edited August 30
    Science teacher here.

    Just take the most advanced college track science pathway that your HS offers. Adding outside online classes isn't going to achieve much if anything. If your child wants to demonstrate extra science aptitude the better way to do it would be getting involved in some sort of original outside research project or internship during HS.

    Physics is a very lab-oriented course if taught correctly. It would be difficult to do 100% online. Chemistry would be even more difficult perhaps. But we spend a lot of time doing labs with complex and expensive lab equipment during a regular physics class that would be difficult to duplicate online. There are various sims and animations, but it really isn't the same.

    I'd be looking for things like outside volunteer opportunities at local tech firms, biomed firms, or whatever. Get some real world science experience that way. Especially during the summers.
    edited August 30
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  • mom2andmom2and 3091 replies21 threads Senior Member
    It seems like she may have to make some choices in her curriculum. Between this post and the AP Bio post, it sounds like she can't take the most challenging curriculum at her school and take all the ECs she wants to take. Lots of kids have to choose.

    However, if your HS will allow her to replace in-school physics with an online class, which would serve as a pre-req for other classes, that could work. Will your HS allow her to take AP Chem without taking physics at the school?

    There are summer programs that teach some of these courses. That might also be a path.

    Be careful of focusing too heavily on the Ivys or on the pre-med path. Let her choose her HS path and figure out the college list as she progresses. A student can be pre-med with any major (although having to take the appropriate science courses along the way) and does not have to go to an Ivy to get into Med School.
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