Pre med and high school AP's

Since my child took AP world history(freshman), AP macro (sophomore) and if junior and senior year we just go for honors level social studies, honors AP Env Sci and honors level Spanish (maybe spanish 5 by senior year if available )etc. is it looked upon by colleges as decreasing the rigor of courses? I do not see any benefit in taking AP level courses.

@Ivylege if you are asking about how undergrad schools will view high school AP vs Honors courses…well…that depends.

If your kid will be looking to apply to Ivy League schools as your screen name implies, the most rigorous course load your high school offers will be expected.

If your kid is applying to a very competitive undergrad college, that college will likely want to see that your kid took the most challenging courseload available to him or her.

But this has ZERO to do with medical school or medical school admissions.

If you want to know more about college admissions and courses, you probably should be posting not in the premed forum here. There is a high school life section, and a college search and selection, and some others where you may find better answers.

If you have specific colleges in mind, perhaps you could post on that college forum here.

I will say, many colleges will look at the rigor of high school courses, and that widens acceptance options.



You might want to go back and read the responses to almost the same question you asked in December 2019. Granted it was just about history, but really the same question.

American history and AP world history - #13 by Ivylege

AP courses have several benefits:

  • providing more rigorous content
  • providing a more focused peer environment
  • providing college credit at some colleges
  • preparing students for weedout college courses
  • helping students get into college

Overall, your child should have about 3 or 4 APs each of jr and sr years, perhaps 1 or 2 as a Sophomore. Total expected by top colleges: about 8.
Typically, for a premed, AND THIS CAN VARY depending on strengths, interests, etc, this would include
AP English Lang
one AP History or social science (AP World, AP Econ, AP Gov… would all work so your son’s covered on that accont)
AP Calculus AB or BC (or both) – may allow you to start in Calc 2 or Calc 3
AP Bio, AP Chem, AP Physics 1 - may allow you to start in Bio 2 but it’s not recommended you take all you science credits. You will need the same number of courses taken in college anyway.
You can then add a foreign language to the highest level honors (so Spanish 5 is 100% ok).
You want to have a progression that shows progressive increase in STEM rigor though, and 3-4 AP’s each of jr/sr years. (Or IB, Dual Enrollment, post-AP courses…) Calc AB, Chem or Bio… Plus one non STEM course at AP level if you’re aiming for top universities/LACs. 3 STEM APs, the rest Honors would be fine for state flagships, LACs ranked 35+, etc.
What would his schedule junior and senior year look like?

I’m curious as to why YOU are scheduling your daughter?

Her guidance counselor is the best source of information with our US high school requirements. In my opinion, you are “putting the cart before the horse” getting her into med school courses without knowing anything about the requirements.

My children were advised by their individual counselors. The kids met with the counselors and selected their electives. I just signed off on their forms.
In college, I just paid their bills.
My daughter completed all of her courses, tests, lab jobs, clinical volunteering, research and interviews on her own, while at her in-state undergrad school. My husband just paid the bills. (We paid the plane fares for her interviews.)
We’ve paid the cost of her med school program-very expensive-with minimal loans and savings. Now, we’re almost done with her rents and fees.
Give your daughter and the school counselor some credit. Your daughter should have some say in how her life will be directed.

Yes some very helpful suggestions in there ! Just new year, new courses but lingering questions.

Thank you, very helpful!
Junior year plan- AP Stat & Calculus 3(dual enrollment), AP Chem, AP Lit. , Spanish4 and AP Phy 1 if school allows. The confusion is whether to go for APUSH or honors version and AP Env. Sci or honors Env. Sci.
Senior Year - have no idea for math and English , AP Phy C maybe, Spanish 5 and AP European maybe.

Absolutely my kid has a say! As a parent, I am just doing my end of due diligence. Also if the counsellor had given us some good advice, I would not be on this forum . :slight_smile:

Jr year: Honors US History, no Environmental Science (AP or not) b/c s/he is already taking 2 science courses. If any extra elective is taken it should be in the arts or humanities or anything thzt shows intellectual curiosity.
Sr year: Likely Dual enrollment Discrete math/Linear Algebra, Honors English, Spanish 5, Physics C if Physics 1 taken jr year (although for a premed it’d make more sense to take AP Physics 1 jr year, AP Physics 2 sr year as this best replicates the Physics sequence he’ll take as a premed in college), APES or AP CS Principles, some history or social science (AP Euro a good pick but not requirement). If an elective is taken, it should be a “fun” elective, although Culinary Arts is an elective that’ll serve them well their whole life.

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This really depends upon the school one is attending and who their GC is. Guidance counselors tend to know what is needed to graduate from their high school, but not necessarily what is best for students who want to head pre-med or other competitive specialties.

They also don’t always care nearly as much about an “individual” path. They can have hundreds of students to shepherd through school and the school can care more about those at risk of dropping out then those wanting to do more than average post high school, so time is spent accordingly. One size doesn’t fit all.

Of course, I’m talking about average public schools. If one is at a terrific public or private school, then this doesn’t make sense - but not everyone gets to attend one of those.

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Couldn’t agree more!

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Thank you ! This really helps !