Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Do colleges require 4 years of math?

ww812suww812su Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited April 2009 in Parents Forum
My daughter is taking Calculus BC as a junior.

She was planning NOT to take any math in her Senior year in favor of AP Chemistry and AP Physics.

Is this a good idea? or will she have trouble with colleges that require 4 years of math?

Thank you
Post edited by ww812su on

Replies to: Do colleges require 4 years of math?

  • icedragonicedragon Registered User Posts: 2,170 Senior Member
    Yes it is required to have 4 years of math.
  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang Registered User Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    I'd check with a couple of her colleges of interest just to be sure, but she should be fine. Even at the top schools, many students haven't even taken calculus as high school students.
  • FallGirlFallGirl Registered User Posts: 7,488 Senior Member
    I would recommend that you call the colleges your D is likely to apply to and ask. Calc BC is as high as many high school math programs go ( it is in my D's school), so they may understand that she would rather take the AP science classes mentioned.Seems to me if she is in Calc AB as a junior she must have taken H.S. math classes in middle school, ask each school's admission department how they look at this. She sounds like she works hard and is not afraid to take difficult classes. Good luck!
  • krmkrm Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    "4 years of math" is an old guideline that was meant to encourage an optimal level of proficiency as a a base for college sciences, back when Calculus was a higher level attained by only a very select few. Your daughter will have more than satisfied this goal this year. I would encourage her to pursue her science preference. At this stage she will get far more mileage out of following a "passion" than paying obeisance to a stale aphorism.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,733 Senior Member
    Calculus BC would be considered 5 years of high school math. Taking AP science courses shouldn't be a problem, though if she likes math she might want to look at online math courses or local college offerings.
  • toadstooltoadstool Registered User Posts: 1,145 Senior Member
    Although few colleges require 4 years of math, most do judge students on the rigor of the curriculum they chose. If the school offers Calc, did they take calc? If the school offers differential equations after BC Calc, did they take differential equations? So the question remains, what math classes does your d's school offer beyond BC Calc.

    That said, taking AP Chem AND AP physics C in a single year might be quite enough. She may want to have a life (what a concept!)
  • idadidad Registered User Posts: 5,027 Senior Member
    S1 & S2's HS places middle school math on the HS transcript if it is at the HS level. Many kids, therefore, end up with 6+ years of HS math. You may want to check and see if earlier math courses are included on the transcripts.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    No, colleges do not require 4 years of math. S1 took 4 years, but did not take Calc (he took something called Discrete Math instead). S2 was in high school for only 3 years, but went well past Calc. S1 got into top 10 LAC, S2 got into top 10 University. And all that without using the middle school transcript.
  • NewHope33NewHope33 Registered User Posts: 6,208 Senior Member
    I think any sane adcom would interpret Calc BC as having MORE than satisfied the "4 years of math" requirement. Congrats to your D.
  • mcvcm92mcvcm92 Registered User Posts: 1,192 Senior Member
    I think that you would be in trouble even though it is stupid because I think that the top colleges are really strict when it comes to that they want 4 years of HS Math. See if you can take AP Stat.
  • QwertyKeyQwertyKey Registered User Posts: 4,590 Senior Member
    Most of my Calc BC class are actually Juniors, I think most will take Stats their senior year (I'm also in stats, and there are many people who took Calc BC their junior year).
  • GossamerWingsGossamerWings Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    My son has calc now as a junior and is taking stats next year.
  • DefyLegacyDefyLegacy Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    Calc BC as a junior at my school is practically unheard of. I would guess if you've gotten that far, it's totally fine to skip math senior year and double up on sciences instead. Usually four years of math are required because otherwise a lot of kids would stop earlier and not get a good base. If you've hit Calc BC, I'd say colleges aren't worried about whether or not you have enough math background. So long as your D isn't slacking off senior year (and I would say 2 AP sciences suggest she probably isn't), she should be fine.

    Of course, it never hurts to check with the colleges...
  • hmom5hmom5 - Posts: 10,882 Senior Member
    My kid's also threw in stats after calcBC, though I think the AP science classes are fine.
  • my3girlsmy3girls Registered User Posts: 302 Member
    My D took calc bc as a jr and no math as a sr. (she did have AP chem; physics, and enviro.science). She was admitted to MIT, Harvey Mudd, Carnegie-Mellon, and University of Waterloo (school of computer science). If you get through calc, you have met any college's math requirements no matter how many, or few years of math you sat in a classroom for in high school.
This discussion has been closed.