2 years ago

Which kind of college class should I take as a science major for course exemption?

My school offers dual enrollment, and I am going to sign up for a college course over the summer. I plan on majoring in biology. I'm afraid if I take a STEM course, my college will make me retake it. Do colleges actually make you retake courses? I'm thinking about taking physics or humanities. Which is more beneficial in gaining college credits? Thank you.

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @ari_L,

In my experience, most of the "Dual enrollment" courses are considered 'non-majors' courses by colleges, even the college that is offering the course. A bit of a breakdown:

Most colleges have General Education requirements, and often one of them is called "Natural Sciences" or something similar. The Natural Sciences courses will be offered in the physics, biology, chemistry, etc., departments, but they'll be service courses that are largely non-majors courses. So, a history major might take the non-bio-major General Education course to check off their Natural Sciences requirement.

It's often these non-major Gen Ed fillers that end up being offered to high schoolers in "College in the high school" type programs. So, be VERY careful investigating the course you're looking to take - will it check off a box for your major, or will it check off some sort of Gen Ed requirement when you actually get to college? There's nothing wrong with just checking off your Gen Ed requirements for your future college degree, but it's still worth investigating.

The main exception I've seen to this rule is math courses offered by colleges, which you should only take if you've already outpaced the usual offerings at your high school.

I'd also be curious to know why you aren't interested in taking honors or AP Physics - are they not offered at your high school? Taking an AP course COULD be more beneficial from a weighted GPA perspective.

If you want to chat more, I'm a new adviser on CollegeVine (Carly Tribull in 1:1 advising)

2 years ago

It depends on what college you want to go to. For example, none of the Ivys will give you credit for dual enrollments (I’m pretty sure) taken before you reach their school. However, it varies among other colleges whether they will award you credit for college classes taken.

If I were you, I would look at the college(s) you are interested in and see how they allow transfer credits from other colleges. If the college you want to go to allows a transfer of credits, then you should be able to dual enroll for a STEM class and get credit for it.

It honestly just depends on the college you plan on going to whether a STEM or a humanities credit is awarded. A more stem based college may allow humanities credits to be transferred but might require you to retake STEM courses at their college.

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