As schedules are becoming permanent

<p>I’m interested in applying to schools like Stanford, Georgetown, and Yale. All have very different feels to them, but I like them all for different reasons. At these schools, I’m thinking about pursuing a major in International Relations/Studies with Political Science and then a language (Arabic, Chinese, or French.) As my school is finishing up the schedule process for next year (I’ll be a junior) I want to make sure I’m not doing anything I won’t regret. I’m not taking a science next year.</p>

<p>My schedule looks as follows:</p>

<p>AP Lit
AP USH
AP Psych
AP Stats
Honors Trig/Pre-Calc
Honors French 4
Honors Spanish 4
Honor Choir</p>

<p>This is an <em>unheard</em> of schedule at my school. My question is: Will not taking a science next year hurt me in the admissions process, even though the reason I'm not taking it will be to further excel into areas I wish to pursue in more depth (which will be made clear by my guidance counselor.) I have already taken Honors Chemistry and Honors Biology and “Physical Science” in 9th grade, so to graduate from high school I’m set! I just don’t want this to hurt me later on. </p>

<p>What do you think?</p>

<p>I don't think that your schedule is particularly well balanced. In particular taking two math courses is not a particularly good approach, and taking Psych (which will be viewed as an elective by Admission Committees) instead of a basic science (i.e. physics) is not the right tradeoff.</p>

<p>In practice you would not expect to skip Psych in college, regardless of the designation of the course in your high school.</p>

<p>That you're at level 4 in two languages is impressive! Make sure to take the french and spanish AP exams before you graduate and do well in them. It'll convince admission committees of your interest in languages.</p>

<p>That's my concern... that they'll think it's unbalanced. </p>

<p>However, by taking the science I was thinking I was going to take (AP Bio), I think it would prohibt me from excelling in the languages, participate in volunteer activities (which I JUST lined up for the summer... whoot!), and would limit preparation for other classes.</p>

<p>I have taken three "basic" sciences courses in my two years at high school, I was on the "fast" pace with them, and quite honestly that's all I want to take. :D</p>

<p>If my guidance counselor explained the situation about how I wanted to excel in other areas, and the situation not being that I was just lazy, do you think it'll be alright?</p>

<p>Bump bump!!</p>

<p>Standford on their website recommends applicants have bio, chem, and physics. They mention that some applicants may be more competitive with more of one area and less of another, though. This should be the case at most top schools (a few may actually require physics). Chances are you should really consider honors physics. As mentioned above, AP Statistics might be worth dropping in its place, if that's possible.</p>

<p>^ Do you know of any schools that require Physics?</p>

<p>CalTech appears to:</p>

<p>
[quote]
Academic Preparation:</p>

<pre><code>* 4 years of math (including calculus)
* 1 year of physics and 1 year of chemistry
* 3 years of English (4 years recommended)
* 1 year of U.S. history/government (waived for international students)

[/quote]

</code></pre>

<p>The "4 years recommended" make me believe that these are requirements.</p>

<p>Beyond that, most top schools tend to "recommend" rather than require.</p>

<p>So, even if Physics has nothing to do with my major... I should still take it? Even if I could be spending my time elsewhere better?</p>

<p>Is taking it as a senior an option?</p>

<p>Taking it as a senior is an option; they'll see you're taking it without seeing half of your grades for it (until after the decision is made). That's possibly a better option (and what I did with US History). Colleges will still likely prefer to see it unless not taking it lets you do something exceptional instead. I didn't take chemistry in high school, but that let me accelerate in math and take a language that's very rare in high schools (I'm a classics/math/CS major now and applied as such). It's possible that not taking physics won't hurt because you're not considering something related; but for science and math majors, not having 4 years of English is problematic. Colleges want to see a broad background, not just excellence in the area you're planning to pursue. But it matters more that you take it than when.</p>

<p>If you can take it as a senior, I'd say your fine. Besides which, there is room for lopsided applicants at top schools, assuming you're still one of the most impressive students in your class and your GC can explain your unique schedule.</p>

<p>So I shouldn't have to take it if my guidance counselor can explain it?</p>

<p>And I really wouldn't say I'm lopsided... I mean I've taken three science courses in high school! Two of which were honors... so. Haha.</p>