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What range of different science classes should I take in high school?

Hey guys, junior here feeling a bit stressed about course selection. I want to apply as a STEM major but I'm not sure which science classes are best. Should I go for breadth (taking bio, chem, physics, etc.) or depth (like two advanced bio classes)? What do colleges prefer?

7 months ago

Hello there! It's great that you're thinking ahead about your course selection. Colleges generally look for both breadth and depth in the science courses of aspiring STEM majors. You should certainly aim to take the foundational sciences - biology, chemistry, and physics - as colleges will want you to have a comprehensive scientific understanding regardless of which particular subject you end up focusing on.

However, colleges also appreciate seeing advanced coursework in at least one of these areas, as that gives them a more concrete sense of your specific interests and how prepared you are for your future major. For example, if you're planning to go into a field like biochemistry, taking both AP Biology and AP Chemistry can be particularly helpful.

Remember though, it's important to balance your schedule and ensure you're not overwhelming yourself. You want to be able to do well the challenging science classes you take, and in your other subjects as well—a low grade in a more advanced class won't do anything to show colleges you're ready for high-level STEM work.

Finally, if you have a particular interest in a scientific subfield and have room in your schedule for an elective, consider taking a specialized class in that area as well, either through your high school or potentially at a local community college. That can show sophisticated thinking, as colleges will see you've already refined your thinking about which areas of science most interest you.

Best of luck with your course selection!

7 months ago

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