Junior and Senior year schedule for an aspiring Civil Engineer

Hi, I’m a current Sophomore that is interested in majoring in civil engineering in college. I’m currently planning which courses I need to take for my Junior and Senior year in order to be successful. So if anyone has any tips, advice, etc., please don’t hesitate to comment. Thank you!

AP Environmental Science (conflicted on whether I should take AP Environmental Science or AP Biology Junior year)
AP Calculus AB (also wondering whether I should take AP Calculus AB or BC)
Physics Honors
AP U.S. History
AP English Language
Varsity Debate

AP Biology (Not sure if I should take AP Biology or AP Chemistry)
AP Macro Economics/AP American Government
AP English Literature
AP Calculus BC (should I take Calc BC or Linear Algebra?)
Varsity Debate
AP Statistics

Where is your foreign language? Many schools, even though with strong engineering programs want to see FL taken in high school.

For an engineering prospect, I’d recommend AP chem and AP physics over APES and AP bio.


The Calculus/Math sequence should be based on a discussion with your teacher and counselor. you should take a rigorous course at which you can succeed. Calc BC by graduation is plenty, if that’s the best path for you.

What are you doing for a foreign language?

There’s no need for multiple Sciences in a year. Complete the core Chem, Bio, Physics, than the AP version of one of them. Chem or Physics C would be best for Engineering. AP ES could be an elective, if you are interested, not a substitute for a core science.

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Since you are two grade levels ahead in math, is there any reason you feel that you cannot handle BC?

AP chemistry may be more likely than AP biology to fulfill a subject requirement for civil engineering.

What level of foreign language have you completed?


Do this program in your area.


My daughter is a civil engineer. If she had high school do over again, she would take courses, probably dual enrollment, that she could get credit for in college. For her, this would have been two English comp classes and a history class but I know different colleges have different requirements.

I don’t think any particular hs classes are going to be required to be accepted. The higher the level math you take will get you placed higher once you get to college, but it’s not an issue to start in Calc I and work up the ladder.

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My son would agree. After Calc and Physics I would look at AP Lit and similar classes. Also a foreign language. My son took an English class at the local CC the summer before starting college. He didn’t want to deal with the time suck of writing papers.

I would be careful with any college classes taken the summer between high school and college unless you talk to the matriculated college first. Taking dual enrollment classes in high school is typically okay but after graduation it can make you a transfer student and affect financial aid/scholarships from the college - not a definite no but talk to the actual college first.

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Junior year looks good (and APES would be a good elective for a Civil Engineer but Physics Honors is the big one).
Senior year, def AP Chem and switch AP Stats either for something math/physics/CS related or for something transferable. Or, thinking out of the box, a dual enrollment class in Geography or Urban planning (or from those depts) as this may provide perspective for a future civil engineer.
2 years without a foreign language may mean you’ll get placed in the lowest level in college because you’ll have forgotten most of it (if you attend a college that requires it).

I completely agree. My S19 is a junior civil engineering major. The more math and hard sciences, the better.

My daughter didn’t need a foreign language to get into or out of her engineering college. She had taken AP Spanish in hs and did take one Spanish class as an elective in college, but mostly because she had a non-engineer friend and they wanted to take a class together (took Spanish and tennis). She went to a Tech school.

My nephew also did not need a foreign language for a bachelor in engineering from CU.

Hi, thank you so much for your response. I’m currently taking Spanish 2 this semester and will be taking Spanish 3 Honors next semester online and then take Spanish 4 Honors online after that.

Thank you for your response. I now understand that I need to take AP Physics and AP Chem so thanks for that. Also, I’m currently taking Spanish 2 this semester and will be taking Spanish 3/4 Honors online next semester.

Hi, thank you so much for your helpful response. I have decided that I will be taking AP Calc AB my junior year and AP Calc BC my senior year. And I’m currently taking Spanish for my foreign language requirement. I’ve also decided that I will be taking AP Chem and AP Physics for my junior and senior year but I’m not sure whether I should take AP Chem or AP Physics my junior year because I’m afraid of taking too many hard AP’s and doing bad in the classes. Any advice is helpful, thanks in advance.

Definitely “only” take one AP science per year (“only” because it’s a lot :p)