Course load Advice? (non-uc approved honors classes)

Next year, I’ll be a sophmore in high school and will be taking two California standard science classes (chem, bio) as well as Honors 7-8 Spanish (along with all the other standard classes). I am considering adding Honors Algerba 2 to my load but I am torn!

I am interested in medicine and really want to get into a good college, my goal being UC Davis. But, Honors Algebra 2 isn’t even an approved honors course as far as the UCs are concerned! So, would taking the extra honors class even make a difference?

I want to take a competitive courseload, but want to be strategic! Are my courses rigorous enough without the honors math class? Would taking the non-approved honors algreba class even help me get into UCs?? Any comments/advice would be appreciated!!!

For the UC GPA calculation the Honors Algebra 2 would not get the extra weighting, but in the context of your HS, is Honors Algebra 2 considered a rigorous course? You will be viewed in the context of what your HS offers in terms of rigor.

Are there any AP classes available at your HS available as a Sophomore? Why double up on 2 regular science course unless these courses are needed to take the more advanced versions in your Junior or Senior year?

Are either of the science courses available in the summer so you can free up your schedule for another rigorous course?

Yes, Honors Advanced Algebra is considered a rigorous course at my HS compared to the standard Advaced Algerba. But, I have heard from others that the UCs will not even acknowledge the added rigor of honors classes unless they are “approved.” Maybe this is a misunderstanding?

The only available AP class for sophomores is AP European History, which I am not interested in taking. I chose to take the two core science classes becasue they are both prerequisites or recommended qualifying classes for higher AP science courses offered at my school (AP Bio, AP Chem, etc.). I wanted to qualify for these as soon as possible in order to take as many as possible. I also figured having already taken the basic scince courses would better set me up for success in difficult AP classes. Plus, finishing the core classes give me more freedom to really take whatever science classes I want at my HS junior and senior years.

Taking the science courses over the summer is a good suggestion. I didn’t consider this too much. My teachers seem to really discourage taking core classes outside of school so everyone is on the same page in higher level classes. I think I could have taken the classes online. That’s something to think about.

Since your HS only offers 1 AP class for Sophomores, it makes sense to take Bio and Chem as pre-req’s for the AP courses. Non UC approved courses do not get the extra weighting for the GPA calculation but they will still be considered rigorous based on your HS’s profile (confirm with your GC). There are many High schools that offer limited to no AP/IB classes and these students still do in their college acceptances. Again you will be judged in the context of your HS’s course offerings.

I see, thank you! That makes sense. Do you think the 2 science classes and honors spanish 7-8 is competitive enough on its own for UCs or would you suggest adding on the honors advanced algebra?

For perspective, the most rigorous course a sophomore could take at my HS would be AP Euro, the 2 sciences, the honors spanish, and honors advanced algebra.

I know that’s a difficult question to answer, haha. I’m just unfamiliar in what is enough to be UC worthy!! Thank again for your replies.

Honors algebra 2 will better prepare you for honors precalculus the following year which will better prepare you for calculus the year after.

I would definitely continue your Math course progression with Algebra 2 Honors. Honors pre-Calc is a UC approved Honors course so as stated by @ucbalumnus, it will better prepare you for the next step.

The Sophomores bound for top UCs (and I include Davis in that) at our HS take:

Honors English
Honors Science
Honors History
Foreign Lang
Honors Math (Alg II, or Geom)

For premed, you should be strong in math. Honors Alg II is a no-brainer.

Thank you all for contributing very good points to my questions! I can’t express how grateful I am! I’m now definitely leaning towards continuing with honors math.

none of us have enough of a sense for your learning environment and capacity to learn so, you are kinda on your own on this one.

All of the UCs used to publish data on how many a-g and AP/Honors courses admitted students took. I don’t see that level of detail on their pages anymore.