3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Can I apply to colleges for science majors if I haven’t taken mathematics in grade 11 and 12?

I studied CBSE (Indian board) in highschool. I had an option between Biology and Mathematics and chose Biology thinking I’ll pursue medicine. As far as I know, American colleges ask for your maths grade in order to admit a student in their college. I want to know if it’s true. Even if it’s true, can I take any other maths examination to compensate that? Is the math syllabus included in SAT enough?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

Each American college has different high school requirements. For instance, if you are planning to apply to Harvard, MIT, Caltech, or other Ivys or Elite colleges, they either have a 4-year math requirement or preference that you take 4 years of math prior to applying to their school.

While a college like Harvard states it is a requirement to have 4 years of math, let's say you only have 2 years of math. Well, the way around that would be either to take 2 online math courses (online college or accredited HS) in addition to your HS curriculum or to self-study for the AP Calculus AB or BC or AP Statistics and get say a high passing mark when the AP tests are giving each middle of May every year. (you don't get the results for 6 weeks). This latter method may not work if you can't take AP tests in your country, have difficulty self-studying, or don't have the available time to take this path.

The math section of the SAT or ACT is more of a threshold test of basic core competency. Respectively, there are only 58 to 60 multiple choice questions that do not cover higher maths like Calculus. Taking this would not show you understand higher maths. There was a time where you could augment your math with something called the SAT II subject test in Math I or Math II, but these have since been eliminated from Collegeboard who conducts standardized testing.

I'm afraid if you can't make up the deficit by the time you apply to college, you should either re-evaluate or re-select what colleges you might have a good chance of getting into or taking an extra year to make up the missing coursework to get into the colleges of your choice.

Good Luck.

3 years ago

Hi @timex108! Each school will have different high school course requirements. For example, Rice University says you need three math classes, but you can still be admitted even if you haven't taken three. However, the summer before you matriculate to Rice, you have to complete that requirement that you're missing. Another example is Amherst College. They do not have any high school course requirements, but they say that "successful applicants have pursued the strongest program of study available at their secondary school," which includes typically four years of math.

I suggest you reach out to the admissions offices of the schools you are interested in attending and see if they can connect with you a representative who is willing to answer more questions about your unique circumstances.

Good luck!

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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