1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

College credits in highschool?

  1. Dec 25, 2011 #1
    I go to a highschool that has been listed in the top 4% best public schools in the country and is a blue ribbon exemplary school, but yet I don't know if they have college courses besides AP. What I need is a program online or not, either way I need to start getting college credits. If I try to apply to a "pretty good" college with college credits online can I get those transferred? Will this help significantly?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2011 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Help with what exactly? College is not a race.
  4. Dec 25, 2011 #3
    I know but I still would like to get a head start.
  5. Dec 26, 2011 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    You even are using the language of a race.
  6. Dec 28, 2011 #5
    It depends on how far along with the math and sciences (mainly math) you are. If at all possible, shoot to get through DiffEQ by the end of high school. It will make your life a lot easier in college, assuming you're going into engineering/sciences.

    If you do decide to take a college class, be careful. Some universities will not take the credit no matter what. Luckily my college took all my math (there is hope for taking these classes), but they would not take physics. Sort of hit or miss. Keep your notebooks, exams, syllabus, homework, everything. I submitted it all to them.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.
  7. Dec 28, 2011 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Why? I question this because by the time you actually use a differential equations course in a engineering/science course, you'll probably have forgotten the material.

    @OP: Why are you trying to get through college so quickly? To be honest, the first 2 years of a university career are kinda boring and full of General ed. stuff and is really a time to get use to college and maybe dip your toe into some research. If you're trying to finish in 3 years, that leaves you 1 year to actually do all the great things that are available to you as an undergrad. Plus, to get into a good graduate school, you need good letters of recommendation and if you speed through college without anyone really getting to know you, this will be impossible. If you shoot for 3 years, since you're going to apply to PhD schools in November/December, that actually gives you only a few months to be in any serious courses and actually do stuff that will look good on a PhD application.
  8. Dec 28, 2011 #7
    I agree, but in my experience this hasn't hurt me. Again, I'm going into engineering (ChemE), other majors (such as Physics) may find it very different in regards to the use of math in their major. I didn't hit math intensive classes until junior year thermo and fluids (this past fall). Although the courses for my major have required DiffEq since spring of sophomore year, I didn't use it until the last part of the fall semester in Fluids. And that was simply separate the variables and evaluate c1 and c2. The thermo class used quite a bit of partial derivatives (Calc 3), but again nothing special. Before these two, the one intro class (a flunk out) involved mainly algebra.

    Why did I go through the tortures of (basically) teaching myself college math? Besides the fact that college level math classes are absolutely gruesome (from friends who had to go through them) and I don't have a desire to go through painful experiences, I was able to start taking classes in my major the second semester I was in college. And now I'm taking junior level classes as a sophomore. Granted I'm going to be left with a ton of electives to finish up at the end of my 3rd/4th year, I will be done with the main curriculum in three, and graduate easily in 3 1/2 mainly because the primary pre-req for everything was math. And I only needed to get through DiffEq to be fulfill the requirements for my degree.

    As with everyone on PF, I can only offer my personal insight in places like this sub-forum. There's no "right" or "wrong" answer as it's a matter of perspective. This worked for me, OP it's going to depend. Your experience probably won't be the same as mine. But if I were you, I'd do as much math as possible. I would've done the same thing again in a heart beat. No regrets.
  9. Jan 1, 2012 #8
    I attended college during my last two years of high school. In my case, I didn't save any time in college--I took a lot of courses I wanted to take, like French, cello, and historical linguistics--but I got to explore lots of things that interested me, and I got lots of transfer credits, too. In my opinion, it was well worth it. I got a lot more out of those "extra" college courses than I ever got out of high school.

    That said, whether or not the college credits are accepted by your university of choice depends on the university. Each school makes its own determination. If you're looking for guidance as to how to select courses now that will most likely transfer, you'll need to talk to an academic advisor at the university you plan to graduate from. He or she will know what his/her school's policy is.

    In my experience, a university is first going to look at the formal course description of the class you took at your local community college/current school. If the course description closely matches its own description and has the same number of credit hours as the university's, then you might have a good shot of getting transfer credits. However, if there's a non-negligible difference between the course you took and the university's version of the course, the credits might not transfer.

    One final piece of advice: Get all communication from the advisor in writing!


    I TA'ed some labs over the summer. One of my students who was taking my course shared with me why she was taking it: Her first advisor had told her (in person) at the beginning of the spring semester--which was supposed to be her final semester in college--that Course X that she had taken at another college would count towards her general science requirements and that she would graduate in May, as she had expected all along.

    However, that advisor left the university that same semester. When the student went back to the advising office to do her "graduation check"--the process that verifies that the student satisfied all the requirements for graduation--she met with a different advisor who REFUSED to count Course X. Since the student didn't have the previous advisor's approval of the course in writing, the student had to take another science in the summer, paying full price for it--there's no financial aid, loans, or scholarships offered for summer school--delaying graduation AND getting a job.

    Caveat emptor!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook