Hello! I really want to take classes through Harvard EdX, but don't know what will be best for me? I have taken biology, physics, chemistry, and AP biology and am currently a sophomore. Does anyone have suggestions for what classes I should take? I want to take science or medicine classes as that is what I will be pursuing. I am taking these classes for personal development, but how helpful are these classes for college applications? Do they boost a lot or do colleges just see them as "weight"?
That is the link to the harvard online classes catalog.
I think @ema_o had some good course suggestions! I think it depending on what you're hoping to get out of the summer course.
- If you want to take courses in subjects you probably won't get in High School, then courses like Bioethics could be really fascinating and challenging.
- If you want to try to get ahead on some of the material you'll be studying in AP classes over the next few years, taking a college level chem or physics course could definitely help you get a head start for AP Chem or AP Physics, for example. While it might eventually be repeat content for you, it could make your junior and senior year classes a bit easier and you can spend more time on ECs, college applications, or just being less stressed!
- If you're not 100% sure you want to study science/medicine in college, you could take this opportunity to take a class completely unrelated to STEM.
In terms of helpfulness for college applications, I'd say these online courses aren't going to make or break your application. If you have the ability, time, and internet connection to take online courses, they are certainly better than doing nothing. I think you'll see more and more students doing online courses this summer due to coronavirus. In general, I think online courses have a larger impact on your intellectual health, expanding your interests, and personal growth than they will on your college application. Certainly won't hurt though!
If you know what you want to major in specifically, that would help you a lot. Also, there are other EdX classes offered more universities other than Harvard. I'm currently doing one with Brown! If you can't find one you like from Harvard, I suggest looking at other university course offerings. :))
Here's a short list I created for you, given your interests:
- Principles of Biochemistry (15 weeks long)
- Mechanical Ventilation for COVID-19 (1 week long)
- Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics (10 weeks long, opens May 12)
According to their webinars, most colleges/universities see taking an online class very beneficial, so I believe it would boost your application to a point.
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