AP Euro for Sophomore wanting to do Finance?

Hello. I hope you are having a great day. I have a question about AP European History as a sophomore.

Is it really worth it for a student interested in finance?

I absolutely love finance and investing and I plan on studying that in college. I am taking business related courses and excelling in my math courses since they are somewhat related to finance. I am also in the stock club to learn more about investing, debate team to get used to public speaking, and am hoping to join the math team. These are all related to business/finance in some way or another, but is AP European History?

Everyone in my grade is obsessing over useless AP credit just for college, but can’t admissions officers see right through that?

I am going to be blunt. I absolutely hate history. I find it boring and a complete waste of time for ME specifically. Despite this fact, I still need 3 history credits by graduation, and sophomore year is the year I don’t need to take history. So is taking a class I hate, that is not related to my future major, and not a requirement, really worth it?

I am thinking of taking engineering on top of my business courses, instead of taking AP Euro, because of my interest in math. My dad was a systems engineer before getting his MBA in finance and he said I should do that instead of taking a class I wouldn’t like. But he went to college almost 30 years ago and got his MBA 20 years ago and I am pretty sure things have changed since then.

I just really need advice. Any of it would help out. Have a great week and good luck with finals if you have them!

Although you need 3 classes in social science/history for high school graduation, you’ll need 4 to get into a selective college. And you’ll need to take one or two more to graduate from college.
Typically, you’d be expected to have human geography, world history, or euro history + US history + something else within that field such as economics or government. Assuming you took world history or human geography as a 9th grader, you would be expected to take US History or APUSH, plus probably economics/government, before you graduate HS. If 10th grade is the only year that allows you to choose, look at the catalog and pick the one you dislike least. Top business schools will prefer a strong core of courses (English, Math, Foreign Language, History/Social Science, Science) pver business electives.

This only applies if you’re aiming for top business schools and colleges known for their finance program (Wharton, Stern, Notre Dame, Kelley etc, etc). If you’re aiming for, say, Finance at Iowa State or UAlabama, then you’re okay just taking 3 history/social science classes.
However, taking an AP history/social science would likely allow you to skip one of those in college, too, so if you really dislike the field, taking one AP History would be a smart move.
Be aware that Finance is going to be half math half social science though, so your strength should be in both areas.


It’s hard to understand bitcoin or what happened to the economy in 2008/2009 if you’ve never studied history- Tulip Mania? It’s hard to understand why certain tax policies are in place if you’ve never studied the French Revolution. And it’s hard to study finance at any advanced level if you don’t know why the EU came about, what issues it addresses (or doesn’t) with trade, immigration, open borders, etc.

You may hate history, but the people whose money you will be trading, or investing, or counting, or re-inventing are going to assume you have more than a 5th grader’s understanding of the world.

Why can’t you take regular European history if AP is too intense for you? I’ve been hiring for finance roles for decades- and NOTHING is a bigger turnoff during an interview when someone is asked a pretty basic question- “do you think Brexit was a mistake?” (there’s no right or wrong answer since nobody knows yet) and the candidate looks like a deer in the headlights and mutters 'how should I know- I’m a finance major".

Suffer your way through a history class. You might get something out of it. And you might end up staffed on a Euro trading desk in your grownup life or as an equity analyst covering the auto industry where you will REALLY be grateful you know something about European history!


First of all, in general, try to take AP classes that have the best TEACHERS, no matter what subject it is. A horrible Econ teacher could turn you off to it, and a fantastic science teacher could turn you into a scientist.

That being said, AP European History is the history of the last thousand years of development of human civilization. Liked Game of Thrones? That’s European history. Like art? Literature? Music? Much of it is European History. AP Euro is one of the most important classes for becoming a humanely educated person. It’s also part of becoming a better investor, because having studies history, one begins to understand and predict recurrent trends, which certainly affect finance.

So seriously consider taking AP Euro, if the teacher is good.

1 Like

I am mostly aiming for Wharton and Stern. Thanks for the advice. I’ll try taking AP Euro.

Thanks so much. That last sentence really got me. I’ll do AP Euro.

I’ve heard the teacher is great but he sure is tough. I loved Game of Thrones. I’ll do AP Euro

My older daughter is graduating next week with a degree in corporate finance & investments as well as accounting. She took a gen ed politics class last spring which was an honors class. She had to do a paper on covid effects on the stock market. While it was current project in the future someone might get the same paper assignment and knowing history would be helpful. For that class the topic was assigned by the professor based on major. My daughter still does some of tracking on her own long after the paper was turned in (probably a power point presentation).

If your aim is a selective school you will be competing against people who have 4 years of all core courses (or levels for language). It is best to do 4 even if it is more than you need for high school grauation. It doesn’t matter if the subjects don’t interest you or seem relevant to your major. As to what history you would need say US History and a World History for most high schools (many require 2 years of one of those) and the last year is often filled by a social studies class or two classes if they are semester based such as sociology, government (needed to graduate in some schools but not all) etc. Other than 1 semester of corporate finance through dual enrollment to test the waters my daughter didn’t take any specific finance class in high school. She loves finance though is set to start a full time accounting job which is her first love.