10 months ago
Admissions Advice

doubling up on science classes?


This Friday, my school starts scheduling for our junior year. I am planning on taking ap bio, gov, and lang, Spanish 3, pre-calc, and a tech credit. I want to apply as a psychology major to fairly competitive schools like UMich and Notre Dame, so I was wondering if I should double up on science classes. My parents really want me to take physics at some time in high school, however, with all of the classes I want to take, I will be good on science credits so I can graduate. I was thinking of taking physics over the summer via an online server, Edgenuity, which I took chemistry and health on last summer. Both my parents and I are hesitant to take another science class over the summer as the chemistry class did not prepare me well for AP Chem. However, I do not plan to take AP Physics at all in high school and am planning on taking it in college if I have to. The way my schedule will be, I will probably get in 2 trimesters of physics if I want to take it through my school. I was wondering if it would be more beneficial if I took physics over the summer or attempt to take both physics and AP bio together? FYI, because my school is on the trimester system, physics would only be two trimesters. Also, if I took physics next year, I would have to push my tech credit to my senior year, which I do not mind at all! I know this is all kind of confusing, so if you have any clarifying questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them!

Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful day!!


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2 answers

10 months ago

I have some thoughts.

1.) You don't need to take Physics or AP Physics whatsoever if you want to be a Psychology major. You will never be required in college to take that unless you go to Caltech or MIT.

2.) If you want to show a spike in Psychology I highly recommend you take AP Psychology in HS. If AP Psych is not offered, do what I did which was invest in an online college course. I took Psychology online with Outlier.org and it was great. I was taught by no less than 10 college professors, some from schools like Columbia where I'm going to attend, and NYU, Yale, etc. I got an A and earned 3 college credits. The transcript comes from the Univ. of Pittsburgh that sponsors the back end or administrative part of the coursework. You can take it under rolling admission either a crash 7 weeks or what I took which was 14 weeks. $400 is an excellent value for that.

3) I agree UMich is a great school to study Psychology but not Notre Dame. They are marginal at best for psychology.

Here are better schools for the Psychology Major in the Midwest or NorthEast. All these are Top 20 for Psychology. Notre Dame ranks 60th.

University of Illinois - UC campus

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities


University of Wisconsin - Madison

Wash U. -St. Louis

CMU - Pittsburgh

Indiana University - Bloomington

NorthWestern - Evanston

U Chicago


4. Alternative HS courses - I would recommend AP Statistics over AP Physics. As a psychologist or psychiatrist or pharmacologist, you will be reading lots of research and/or conducting your own. It's important to understand the underlying concepts of Statistics if you are in the mental health profession or end up being a shrink that prescribes meds to patients. Also, it highly important to be able to read, write and be a great orator. So try to take AP Lit, AP Lang. Also for an afterschool EC, try joining a club where you have to speak and defend your position like Debate Club or Model UN to a lesser degree. I'm taking Advanced Constitutional Law right now and in the middle of a State championship where teams of 3 to 6 go up against a panel of Judges and Attorneys and are quizzed about Case Law and asked their opinions on how to interpret constitutional arguments, make their own positions know or explain in detail how they think the original framers of the constitution intended their words to be read and interpreted.

Good luck

10 months ago

As a junior, I can tell you that this year will be a heavy load, especially since you're taking AP classes. I wouldn't advise you to take two sciences, especially if you want both of them to be AP. Focus on doing well in the classes you take, and don't worry about the classes you don't. If you're truly interested in physics, then definitely take it over the summer! But don't just take a difficult class because your parents want you to.


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