Senior year with no math or science?

<p>I'll do an internship with a local newspaper during my senior year. The thing is, it will take up almost half of my schedule. So I'm left with some core classes, and some credit to graduate. It'll look like something like this:
AP English
AP French
AP Gov
Art/ theater/ choir etc.</p>

<p>Then in the second semester, I'll probably drop AP French for PE, Art for some classes that I need to graduate.</p>

<p>1) Will the lack of math and science in my schedule do me harm in college admission?
2) If I drop 3/4 classes above to take lighter classes to satisfy graduation requirements, will colleges rescind my acceptance?</p>

<p>thank you</p>

<p>1) Yes, many competitive colleges (especially Harvard) strongly recommend 4 years of Math and Science each.
2) It depends. You can either explain to the colleges how you have to do so to meet high school graduation requirements, or you could talk to your Guidance Counselor and Principal about the importance of maintaining a challenging schedule and asked for the requirements to be waived. If you don't do any of that, then probably (if you even get accepted).</p>

<p>1) I have 4 units of math, and 4 years of science. I doubled up math soph. year and science junior year. But my highest is only Precal and Chemistry ( not AP Chem)</p>

<p>That's good, but the lack of AP's will hurt your chances.</p>

<p>I have three APs up there already...?</p>

<p>You're in a bit of a bind. Unless your experience at the paper is EXCEPTIONAL, you're better off with a rigorous academic schedule. If you had done everything a person could do already I'd advise differently. But there's a lot left for you at school.</p>

<p>I disagree somewhat with the advice others are giving here. But that's not the point I want to make. I want to talk about how you make decisions like this.</p>

<p>You are responsible for your own education. You make the choices, you get the benefits, you suffer if you choose wrong. You should make the best choices you possibly can, and make them without thinking about Harvard or any other college. If you make all your choices to maximize your chances of getting into Harvard, and then you don't get in . . . where are you? And the overwhelming majority of people applying to Harvard don't get it. Great candidates, people with wonderful records and lots to offer don't get it, because too many of those people apply for Harvard to take them all. So you have to live your life and make your choices as if Harvard weren't in the picture because, most likely, it isn't. Do what's right for your own education, and you will be better off no matter where you end up.</p>

<p>And what's more, I am confident that doing what's right for your own education is the ONLY way to give yourself the best shot possible at Harvard, or Yale, or wherever. That's the kind of student they want, the ones who have gone out and done what's right for them. That's what they would tell you to do if you asked them. It doesn't mean that you will get accepted because . . . too many people like that apply for them to accept everyone. But the way NOT to get accepted is to twist yourself into someone you are not in order to look like 80% of the other 35,000 people in the admissions pool.</p>

<p>Is your major related to the newspaper internship? You're already a writer or something that fits this direction? Is it highly competitive to get this internship- and is it coveted? Or just some para-vocational experience that a handful of kids get? This could be a great opportunity- but only if it is a) impressive to adcoms and b) in line with your goals.
If you already have 4 math and science- and are not STEM- moving deeper into math-sci isn't always necessary.</p>

<p>So if I don't take 4 years of science because I wanted more Social Sciences (relates to my major) that will hurt me?</p>

<p>I have done some major stuff with writing. Won some local, sectional, national awards and honorable mentioned in an extremely competitive international competition with people from, as the website says, over 150 countries and most are in college or grad school despite my background (extremely indigent, very recent immigrant, all that stuff you know). About the internship, I'm not sure if it's top notch competitive, but I want to do it, and plus, I don't think I'll pick any major related to math or science in college, save for perhaps psychology?</p>

<p>I guess my question should be paraphrased: Would adcoms look down on my schedule, or think it is not competitive enough?</p>

<p>^If the 4th year of sci is missing- depends.<br>
- the strength of the rest of the academics, whether the other sciences were a challenging level, what SS it is. In general it can't seem you were just trying to avoid another science class. Has to look purposeful (as a choice and in context.)</p>

<p>Therage- will pm in a bit.</p>

<p>I had 4 credits of science already, but only 3 will count as actual science, because the first one I took was IPC- a Texas credit...</p>

<p>Admissions people will ask the same questions you should be asking. They will notice that you are taking a light courseload, and that you are not pushing yourself farther in math and science. They will want to know what you are doing instead, and they will make some kind of judgment about whether that is worthwhile, dependent mainly on what you tell them about it and how convincing you are in explaining your thinking.</p>

<p>There's a reason Harvard recommends four years of math and science. But it's not an absolute requirement. It just creates a justification hurdle -- appropriately, a pretty high one -- that alternative activities have to clear.</p>

<p>"Your major" isn't going to matter to anyone. Harvard doesn't admit students by major, and based on experience assumes that most students will change their minds about a major, often several times, between fall of 12th grade and their junior year of college, when a major actually becomes relevant. Your orientation toward writing and journalism does matter, of course, but in and of itself that's not a good reason to abandon math and science. There are a heck of a lot of journalists with Harvard degrees who know their way around a proof and a lab, and they are better journalists for it. Thomas Pynchon (Cornell, not Harvard) was a physics major for a long time before he made a permanent choice for writing.</p>

<p>Your guidance counselor is required to send each college you apply to a Secondary School Report (SSR). In that SSR, they are asked to rate your course selection, as compared to other students in your school, as: most demanding, very demanding, demanding, average, or below average. All selective colleges want students to take the most demanding course load that your high school offers. Are you? If the answer is yes, you're probably okay. However, if most seniors in your school are taking AP Calc and and an AP science, then your schedule will look light, as compared to your peers. Bottom line: If your high school does not require the internship to graduate, you should consider dropping the internship and take an AP math and science course your senior year.</p>

<p>Let's be careful not to suggest 3 APs is light or that AP calc is mandatory. I agree, AP calc is a marker of "push." Totally. But, we don't know OP's acheivements, activities, etc. We have an applicant who may have a chance for an experience that will stand out, matches his writing interests, represents maturity, accomplishment and challenge. These are often the very things that move one qualified candidate past another, in admissions. MITChris calls this the "sideways" approach.<br>
If your school does not require the i'ship to graduate, it can look that much better! It's not ordinary. Believe me, most kids interested in humanities and writing only say so.
To "chance" OP, we'd need to know a lot more about his competitiveness so far. Then, something about the value and challenges involved in this internship.</p>

<p>Agreed. Much depends on the OP's course load, relative to what other students at his school are taking. With regards to Calc though, please see CC Dean's response:</p>

<p>Which</a> “Looks Better”–Calc, Stats, or Computer Science? - Ask The Dean</p>

<p>"Calculus is considered the “Big Kahuna” of all classes–math or otherwise. That is, admission officials seem to hold Calculus in higher regard than just about any other high school course. It’s almost as if Calculus (even the regular college-prep version and not just AP) is synonymous with “challenging,” . . ."</p>

<p>It doesn't really matter that much.</p>

<p>I have no math or science next year, but I've exhausted most of the course offerings. In math, I've done both BC and Statistics already...and in science, I stopped at AP Enviro and AP Bio. Not a man enough for AP Chem/Phys. </p>

<p>If you have a substantial amount of coursework in a particular subject, it's not a big deal.</p>

<p>^yes, stats and cs are considered so much lighter than calc. But, OP will be looked at in several contexts. What a typical STEM kid should do (must do) and what a typical humanities kid should do are different, IMO, than telling OP to drop an internship for almighty calc. Adcoms note when X is missing. Then, they keep reading. As I said, we don't know OP's fuller picture. And, we don't know, one way or the other, just how valid this i'ship really is.</p>

<p>lookingforward: The OP's guidance counselor is really the only person who can access the OP's situation with any clarity.</p>

<p>therage: Ask your guidance counselor what rating s/he will give your course schedule on the SSR (most demanding, very demanding, demanding, average, or below average). S/he can also determine if the internship will enhance that rating, or hurt it.</p>