Will not taking physics in high school hurt my college admissions chances (psych major)?

I am a junior right now and am scheduling classes for next year. I am planning on majoring in psychology (and maybe music cognition if I go to Northwestern) and will be applying to Cornell, Northwestern, UChicago, BC, Notre Dame, and Skidmore.

I was going to take physics online this summer (not an honors course though) because I can’t fit it in my schedule for next year. However, the class is two parts and my guidance counselor said it would be impossible to fit it all in over the summer. My classes for next year are AP Lit, AP psych, AP bio, AP Stats, AP french, honors Anatomy, and music psychology. So there is no room for physics, as I am taking the max amount of classes. Also, I’m not really interested in physics at all.

My question is, will not taking physics hurt my college admissions chances? I know it would definitely hurt if I were an engineering or science major, but since I want to major in a humanity, will it hurt? Also, any advice would be nice.

Thank you so much!

You should be fine! did you take chemistry/calculus? Those are sometimes grouped with physics in terms of difficulty/types of reasoning needed. Though, FLVS (online florida school) offers Physics Honors and its pretty easy from what I hear! Its free for florida residents but ~$300 for non residents (not 100% sure) look into it if you are interested! They also have anatomy which is easy to take online, i took it, if you’d want to switch out anatomy to physics in your regular schedule.

You are applying to a lot of highly selective colleges. I think your 5 APs is a little excessive. Did you take none in any other years? Highly selective colleges would probably rather see physics than anatomy. Just my opinion, but I would drop one of your APs (bio, unless you have never had bio) and anatomy, and take physics. If you already have an AP or two, there is no reason to take five. Your senior year is going to be extremely stressful as it is. And if you haven’t had any APs yet, I don’t think colleges are going to be impressed that you are cramming five into a year. It will smack of desperation. Have a look at each college’s requirements, usually they will say what sciences they expect high schoolers to have done. If in doubt, call the admissions office and ask.

I don’t know your stats, but you don’t have a safety school on this list at all. Cornell, NU, U of C, ND, and BC are all very difficult to get into. Students applying to those schools are of the highest caliber. Skidmore is not a safety, and in fact they routinely deny students wiht good stats who don’t show interest. You do not have a safety school at all. You only have one potential match school. You need about two safeties and three matches to be sure you will have a college to attend. I see a list of five reaches and a potential match depending on your stats. Please do some research and find some more viable options.

Hey thanks for the advice! I’m definitely going to look into the Florida Online School physics. Do you think it would be easy enough to complete this summer?

I’m taking 5 APs because I know my limits and I know that I will be able to handle the work. I took 3 this year and handled them very well. About safety schools, I didn’t write it in my original post but I will be applying to Ithaca and Umass Amherst. I’m honestly not sure where I’ll get in but I am 3rd in my class (I don’t think that counts for much tho). Hopefully ECs/service will help.

Thanks guys!

It counts!!

I think the thing is rigor. Does eiliminating physics show less rigor? (All APs are not created equal).

If not, then you are fine. If so, I’d take the advice to switch one out for it! You GC would know. Good luck!!!

If you drop one AP, you will still have 7 APs, which is plenty. 8 APs isn’t necessarily going to be more impressive than 7. Colleges don’t actually need to see you winning an AP arms race. If it were down to you and another very similar candidate, and that candidate had physics and you didn’t, and all other apsects were evenly balanced, (of course you are unique, but when it comes to selective colleges, I am sorry to say there will be many high stats candidates with similar apps), then I would give the edge to a student with physics. Why? Becasue physics is hard. It requires a lot of effort and thinking. It helps fulfill the basic American ideal of the well-rounded student. IMO, with the schools you are aiming for, I encourage you to get physics into your schedule. Take H physics if you can. It won’t be easy,but it shows rigor. Good luck.

P.S. Most colleges do not care about rank anymore. Your grades will show that you are third in the class, along with the high school profile. That is impressive.

Yes, skipping Physics will hurt you. You are taking AP Bio. Have you already taken Bio? If then answer is yes, you should take physics. Several other people are saying that 5 APs is more than enough. I guess the answer depends on your high school. At my high school, many of the Seniors take at least 5. You need to ask your guidance counselor if taking less APs will drop you down a level when she checks if you are taking the most rigorous schedule. Ask that question very clearly so that she understands what you are asking and you understand the answer. You want to make sure that she is checking the most rigorous schedule. Lindagaf is saying 7 APs is enough. Again, I think that is relevant to each high school. If other kids in your high school only take 5 APs on average, then you are good. If other kids are taking 10+ APs, then you will look like you took an easier path. And, colleges do care about rank for high schools that report rank. Elite schools want to make sure that they are admitting only the elite kids and rank is how they determine that.