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High School Physics Requirement?

BobbehBobbeh Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
edited July 2014 in University of Minnesota
I am a risong senior and I have applied to the university of Minnesota for fall 2015 already. However, I never actually looked at the high school course requirements for freshman admission and noticed that I need physics to be considered for admission to the college of biological sciences. This is a problem because my small school (200 total students) has not offered physics for three years, for lack of enough student interest.

I could have arranged to work one on one in an independent study situation with my science teacher, but my handbook says that I have to request this 30 days prior to the start of the semester (19 days away as of today.) Now I'm sure that I could still argue my case for this and could very well win. The only obstacle may be the fact that the school would be required to pay my teacher more for this and they will not be willing to.

My other option is to add a dual enrollment physics course offered at my local CC. I've done many of these courses but never one as intense as physics. It would prove more of a challenge but I'm sure I can manage if I tried. The only problem here is a possible conflict between the CC physics and a required high school course.

Or, I could just be over thinking this and making it a bigger problem than it is. I also don't have the one year of art, and I've heard that colleges are lenient about that requirement. I know I'm well above average in all other aspects for admission to the U of MN and I would hope that this one requirement wouldn't hurt my chances too much...just need some advice how to proceed.

Replies to: High School Physics Requirement?

  • heptagirlheptagirl Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    Definitely call someone from admissions. They're very friendly and helpful! I think there's a very good chance they might just waive the requirement for you, since your school does not offer the course. Though since you will have a course record from a CC, they might question it if you don't try physics there as well. If you've taken any music classes, I believe that counts as fine arts by the way. I never took any art classes in high school but I did do music all four years and it was fine.
  • gman333gman333 Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    I doubt you need physics for admissions, I'm in engineering and I never took physics in high school. I don't think if I didn't need it for engineering you would need for biological sciences.
  • quirky294quirky294 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    You sure it's required? I know they have a recommended amount of courses but what's only required is the basic biology and chemistry in high school from what I remember.
  • sedluhssedluhs Registered User Posts: 179 Junior Member
    On their website ( http://admissions.tc.umn.edu/admissioninfo/fresh_planning.html ) they do state that biological science, chemistry, and physics are required for Management, Biological Sciences, and Science and Engineering. I don't remember this being a requirement in 2011 when DD was admitted to CBS, but I imagine it is something they have added because of the increased numbers of applications they are getting.

    In their FAQ's, they address what happens if an applicant is not able to fulfill the four year math requirement:

    "Our overall, holistic assessment of a student's application does take into account the courses offered at the student's high school. Students attending schools where math is either not offered in the senior year or the where the student has exhausted the math options at their school will not be denied admission because of a missing fourth year of math. Admission decisions are based on an overall assessment of a student's academic credentials and secondary factors, and no single factor is a deciding factor. We do expect students to take full advantage of the math offerings at their high school and will consider the students' success in their academic coursework in our review of their applications."

    ... I would think that the same would apply to the science requirement, but as heptagirl said, it would be best to call someone from admissions.
  • 3boystogo3boystogo Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    How about looking into your state's virtual school options? Minnesota Virtual Academy says they have part time options, so you should be able to pick up a Physics class there for free if you're in state. I'm not 100% certain of this, but we have a similar program in Florida (FLVS) and it has really helped fill in the gaps. Plus, these programs tend to be much more flexible and are easier to work into an already full high school schedule, IMO.
  • BobbehBobbeh Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    As suggested, I will definitely get into direct contact with admissions there.

    @heptagirl‌ I was also thinking that they would use my CC history against me for this. I will have taken 50 credit hours by the end of the spring semester next year in a variety of courses, so it might be looked upon negatively if I didn't try physics there. Although, I did look into it on the CCs website and apparently theirs is independent study as well so that might be doable if the instructor approves.

    @3boystogo I'm from Illinois. I looked into it, and while I don't know much about these things, I did find an option to take physics in a similar program. This would cost me $190, but that is still cheaper than what my dual enrollment courses cost me. I've looked at my high school's handbook and it says that they are able to give credit for such a course. Also, the virtual school's website says they haven't worked specifically with my school before, but have worked with schools in my county, so that seems promising.

    I'll get ahold of admissions at MN and I'll talk to my GC next week at registration to see what she thinks as well.
  • gman333gman333 Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    Interesting the website does say that. But like I said i was admitted this past year to CSE without ever taking a physics class.
  • quirky294quirky294 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    That's strange; I've never heard of any college across the country requiring physics.
This discussion has been closed.