Course Decision- AP Lit & AP Physics C Mech. or non-AP lit & AP Physics C Mech. & E&M

Hi! High School senior here. I am currently trying to decide between taking AP Lit and AP Physics Mechanics or taking Contemporary Literature (which is non-AP) and AP Physics Mechanics and E&M.
For some background, I am planning on majoring in either biomedical or chemical engineering. I am planning on applying to some top schools so I am keeping those in mind when choosing my classes. My college counselor said that the schools I am applying to (like UChicago, Northwestern, Rice, etc.) would want me to take the AP Lit option, but I am worried that this is the wrong option. I am taking plenty of other APs some I am not worried about dropping/adding an AP. I cannot take both due to scheduling conflicts. I’d appreciate any advice!

Also, I am thinking about applying to schools in the UK, so would you think that not taking E&M would hurt my chances of getting an offer?

Part of it depends on what other classes you are taking and what APs you have already taken. Have you already taken AP Lang. And if so, what was your score? What calculus are you taking?

What is E and M?

My son had a similar dilemma with similar interests and goals, and dropped AP Lit. to keep stress down in senior year. He did fine with admissions at a top school. One anecdote, and it may also depend on whatever else you are doing. (Of course COVID is affecting EC’s.)

I would think you could just take AP Physics Mechanics and Contemporary Literature, if your interests lie in the direction of engineering.

UChicago is the confounding one there- your GC may be right about AP Lit > regular English for them. Have you (seriously) looked into the Core?

Re: UK, yes, more physics & math is important for engineering / english is not. BUT you need to do some hard thinking about whether you are likely to follow that path before making the course decision.

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Electricity and magnetism

FWIW, my chem E daughter said the most helpful high school course she took was AP Physics C (she took both mechanics and E&M). She only took AP language and did regular British lit as a senior but she wasn’t targeting the same schools (her top choices were Purdue and Michigan).

What AP Physics have you already taken?

Our school only offers AP physics C Mechanics and AP Physics C E&M for AP physics classes, but I have already taken a general physics class that is a precursor to either AP physics C classes