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Courses Chemistry or Algebra-based Physics?

  1. May 9, 2016 #1
    I am a high school student attending school at a community college (Early College High School located inside). I am currently a sophomore and I am signing up for classes for Fall/Autumn. For my Senior year, I want to take Calculus-based Physics but of course, that class is known to be difficult. I am undecided whether I should just take General Chemistry I and II during my Junior year and open up the door for Organic Chemistry if I decide to take it Senior Year, or whether I should start with Algebra-based Physics my Junior year to prepare me for Calculus-based Physics my Senior year. I am leaning on General Chemistry because I believe it will add diversity to my college application when I apply for colleges. I also have no decided major which is why I'm uncertain of what to take. Something dealing with STEM, obviously. I have heard that as long as I have Calculus then I should be good for Calculus-based Physics, but I'm still hesitant. I will definitely have Calculus I and Calculus II prior to my Senior year when I take Calculus-based Physics but will that be enough? I am pretty strong in math, but I would have no prior Physics experience. Here is my course plan to get an idea:

    *Indicates high school classes, everything else is college.

    Freshmen Year (Not too much going on this first year):

    *Algebra I
    *World Geography
    *English I
    *Physical Education A
    *Preparing for College


    Intro to College (Some dumb required college class)

    Sophomore Year:

    *World History
    *English II
    *Algebra II A
    Texas Government
    Honors Art Appreciation
    Honors Humanities

    Summer 2016:

    College Algebra
    US History A
    US History B


    Honors Federal Government
    English Language and Composition I
    Music Appreciation
    Algebra-based Physics I or General Chemistry I
    *Spanish I

    (This space indicates a transition from Fall Semester to Spring Semester)

    Honors Calculus I
    Honors English Language and Composition II
    Algebra-based Physics II or General Chemistry II
    *Spanish II

    Summer 2017:

    Calculus II
    Intro to Engineering


    Calculus III or Differential Equations
    Calculus-based Physics I
    World Literature A
    Organic Chemistry I or Engineering course
    Intermediate Spanish I

    (This space indicates a transition from Fall Semester to Spring Semester)

    Calculus III or Differential Equations
    Calculus-based Physics II
    World Literature B
    Organic Chemistry II or Engineering course
    Intermediate Spanish II

  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2016 #2


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    Physics First deserves some support. Chemistry is a great science and it depends very much on Physics for its present status of development. Understanding Physics will help more with learning Chemistry than understanding Chemistry would help with learning Physics.

    You are not too likely to benefit from going through Algebra-based Physics as preparation for Calculus-based Physics. On the other hand, any physical science which uses significant algebra can be good for you as you study for and earn your way up through to two or three semesters of Calculus needed for the typical science & engineering Physics course series (the calculus-based Physics courses series for science and engineering students).
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