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What Counts as an Academic Elective?

undecideddevilundecideddevil Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Hopefully someone can help me out!

I am a high school senior and am very interested at UA. I am a Honors/AP student and have a ACT score of 28, though I am going to raise it to at least a 30. However, I don't know if I even qualify because I don't know what an academic elective is! I did take two years of Spanish, two years of band, and two years of Honors music exploration. I have already done all of the required math courses to graduate but I am taking another math class so does that count as one? I am also taking Psychology and Sociology for my fourth year social studies credit so I don't know if that counts either!

Right now, UA is my top choice with Arizona State being my second. I would be heart broken if I am not even eligible for admission due to my course history! I have tried to ask my counselors but they are of no help.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Replies to: What Counts as an Academic Elective?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    Where are you seeing that you need an Academic Elective? Can you copy/paste this and provide a link?
  • 2016BamaDad2016BamaDad Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    This is likely the UA link that @undecideddevil is talking about:


    I believe that any actual course that could be considered "Academic" would certainly be counted. Probably not things like athletics, wood shop, arts & crafts, etc... but most definitely any extra Math, Science, Foreign languages, Psychology, etc.

    The list essentially mirrors the "Advanced Academic Diploma" requirements for Alabama Public Schools; 20 academic credits across 4 years of instruction (grades 9-12).
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    4 units of English
    4 units of social sciences, including world history or a comparable course
    3 units of mathematics (must include algebra I, algebra II, and one unit of either geometry, trigonometry, or calculus)
    3 units of natural sciences, including two courses with lab components
    1 unit of foreign language
    5 additional units of academic courses (We recommend courses in fine arts or computer literacy, with additional courses in mathematics, natural sciences, and foreign language.)
    Students who exceed the minimum number of units in math, natural sciences, or foreign language will be given additional consideration.

    Yes, your 4th year math counts, and likely the psych and sociology classes count as well. Your 2nd year of Spanish counts.

    Did you take any Fine Arts classes? What else did you take? Did you take a 4th year of science?
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 8,893 Senior Member
    Will you have 5 math classes total? You said you did required math and one extra.
    Did you do 4 history courses plus the sociology and psychology?
    And like mom2collegekids said everything over 1 yr of foreign language is extra.

    So you should have the 5 extra academic courses.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    I am confident that this AP/honors student is fine. Can't imagine that he'd be graduating w/o the needed courses.

    That said, Bama does make exceptions for students graduating from state that might require fewer social sciences or whatever as long as the overall course load indicates a college-prep curriculum.
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    ^ yes to #5. UA granted my son an exception because of lacking 1 class in S/S, but he had other college-prep courses instead.

    TIP: Any student reading this who is still in HS: take the MAXIMUM college-prep you can (not the minimum that your HS requires).
  • undecideddevilundecideddevil Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Thanks for the help! I live in Arizona and here we only have 3 years of history but psychology and sociology are techniquelly social study courses. I have also taken band, symphony orchestra, and honors music exploration. I started high school math classes in middle school so my junior year I started college level courses. I already meet my graduation requirements for math my junior year. This years math is counted as an elective class because it is a fifth year math course. In total, I am graduating with 26 credits, 4 more than I need to graduate.

    Thanks for much for the help! I am feeling a lot better about applying now!
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    ^ #7: YES, this is also a cautionary tale for those smart kids who 'run out' of classes to take in HS because they started language, maths, or similar sequence in middle school.

    Good luck with your choices, @undecideddevil!
  • jrcsmomjrcsmom Registered User Posts: 927 Member
    My son was another of those that was admitted with 3 years of social sciences because his small, rural high school didn't offer any social sciences required or elective courses during sophomore year. He did have 4 years of math (well technically 5 since his algebra 1 class from jr high was included on his hs transcript), 4 years of English, 4 years of science, and 4 years of Spanish and earned our states academic honors diploma. So, yes they will take into consideration the options that are available to you when making admissions decisions.
  • amazondotmomamazondotmom Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Check into CLEP courses!! You can take them anytime too (middle school and high school), well worth checking into. This summer my son just completed taking 3 exams for 9 credits of History and Social & Behavioral Sciences. Because of schedule conflicts and block scheduling he was not able to take AP History classes at his high school. He now is coming in with 50 credits (Dual, AP and CLEP). :)
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    CLEP tests are amazing. Especially good for those who are semi-fluent in a FL. Many kids don't do well on the AP Spanish, French, etc exam, but can take CLEP and emerge with a good number of credits. I think the difference may be that the CLEP exam doesn't have an audio part that trips some kids up??? Not sure. @SEA_tide knows about this. I think he CLEP'd French.

    If you don't do CLEP or AP, then you have to take the FL placement test. You might test into a 3XX course, but you still have to take it in order to get those 1XX/2XX credits. You don't have to do that with CLEP.
  • bamagirlsbamagirls Registered User Posts: 2,063 Senior Member
    The Spanish CLEP actually does have an audio portion. There are listening passages, fill in the blank questions, and reading passages. Still, it is a great option. The fill in the blank is part grammar and part vocab.
  • kjcphmomkjcphmom Registered User Posts: 1,091 Senior Member
    ^My son who did not have Spanish his senior year (although did have it 9-11) ended up taking the Spanish clep test and was able to get the needed credit for it. He found some practice tests online before his test, however, be aware that some of these tests repeated the phrase twice. He was surprised to find the "real" test did not so the first sentence or two he ended up getting wrong since he was expecting the repeat. Just thought I'd pass that on.....
  • amazondotmomamazondotmom Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    edited July 2015
    I am so grateful to have found this forum! I have learned so much about the U Alabama and its various programs, CLEP tests and so many other useful things about college. I hope someday I can help others and pay it forward!
  • bamagirlsbamagirls Registered User Posts: 2,063 Senior Member
    Yes, our students also took the Spanish CLEP and picked up 14 credits each. It isn't necessary to wait until senior year to take the test either. Ours took it as a sophomore and a junior in high school and started with 300 level classes. Our students graduated with five years of Spanish and have done fine with their placements, but starting in 300 level FL classes should not be taken lightly. It is definitely not easy breezy for everyone who plans to continue in FL to jump in at that level.
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