Honors classes: will this affect my chances of getting into Columbia?

I am a current sophomore, and Columbia College at Columbia University (ED) is my dream school. I will also apply to Barnard and NYU (and other schools like Brown and Northwestern, as well as my safety schools). I took six honors classes this year (most my school offers at one time), two of which were AP. I took one of the AP exams this year (World History- think I probably got a 4) and am going to review and study throughout the year for the AP Comp Science exam, which I will take next year even though I took the class this year. I am heavily humanities-oriented. I love to write, and I love learning about history. I am signed up to take all six honors classes next year, 3 of which are AP (English lang, European history, US history), and a free period. I will probably self-study for psychology and maybe econ. I have heard honors pre-calc is the hardest class at our school, and if I take it next year, I need to take a free period. However, I really want to use my free period to take creative writing and theatre production design (I adore theatre, I work on school productions, I am a member of our local theatre’s guild team, member of National Thespian, etc.). I want to take these too classes, but I’m afraid if I do, colleges won’t like it that I moved down from six honors classes to five.

Would a school like Columbia look down on my application for removing one honors course, even though I’m still taking three AP classes? The other electives I want to take are so much more aligned to my interests, and while I love music, I have no interest in pursuing advanced math. If I move down from pre-cal, I’ll probably take AP Calc AB my senior year. By the way, I am taking an honors science course and will take an AP science course my senior year.


By the way, I’m going to be a junior next year.

And I did get an A in honors Algebra II this year. I have a 4.0 so far.


On another note, if you wish to self study psych for personal enjoyment, go for it. If you think it will give you an admissions edge, think again.

@skieurope Thank you for your answer. Would self-studying econ (both macro and micro) give any edge?


Confused, will you be taking a math class if you take theatre? You have to take some math class. Not sure if it has to be PreCalc if you are liberal arts.

I believe GCs are required to fill out a checklist where they check rigourouss class, very rigourous or most rigourous. Something like that, someone else may know more. So you have to ask your GC if you would still be
“most rigourous” with your schedule. One class may not matter and take what you love or it may matter. I had this problem with my GC at the begining of the year, she kept pushing me to take this history class that is impossible because of the teacher. I ended up not taking it for reasons having nothing to do with the course itself. I wonder if she felt she could not check most rigorous for me.

@SaphireNY I would take regular PreCalc. I would still have a math class and fulfill the credit. I will got o my GC about this. Thanks!