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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
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How detailed should my courses and grades section be on the Common App?

Hey everyone! Starting to prep my Common App and I’m a bit confused about the courses and grades section. Do colleges want to see every single class I've taken in high school, including that one-off elective freshman year? I'm also curious about how to present classes that aren't standard (like a special research course or independent study)—should these be described in detail? Thanks for any advice!

7 months ago

Hey there! It's wonderful that you're tackling the Common App with such diligence. Yes, colleges do want to see a full picture of your high school coursework, so you should include every class you've taken from freshman year to senior year. This includes all electives, even that one-off class you mentioned.

For non-standard courses like a special research course or independent study, it's a great idea to describe these in some detail to provide context, especially if they relate to your academic interests or potential major. You often can include a brief description in the additional information section or in your counselor's letter of recommendation.

Pro tip: remember to be concise but specific. For example, if you worked on an independent research project, you might note the subject you researched and why it was significant to you. This can help to showcase the initiative and depth of your interests. Best of luck with the rest of your application!

7 months ago

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