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Will not doing AP Biology hurt me in the long run?

  1. Apr 16, 2015 #1
    Hey all, I am currently a freshman in high school, and am thinking about my courses for next year. Currently I am signed up for:

    English 3 Honors
    Chemistry Honors
    Precalculus Honors
    AP Statistics
    AP World History
    Programming 1 Honors (prerequisite for AP Comp Sci)
    Spanish 3 Honors
    Orchestra Masterclass (want to stick with this all 4 years)

    Many of my peers are taking AP Biology next year, a class which takes up two spaces in our schedule, instead of Precalculus, what I am doing. I am currently taking Biology Honors and am completely fed up with the electron transport chain/DNA replication garbage that we have to memorize–no offense to anyone, by the way ^_^. I find chemistry, physics, and computer science way more interesting due to their mathematical natures, and plan on majoring in either CS for software engineering (most likely this) or Materials Engineering (I play lots of tennis, and engineering rackets at Babolat/Head is my dream job).

    Either way, despite AP Biology I still plan on taking AP Comp Sci & AP Chem my junior year and AP Physics C my senior year. My only worry is how I will be looked at by colleges for taking Precalculus over AP Bio my sophomore year when compared to other students from my school. I am shooting for UIUC, UC Berkeley, UMich and Carnegie Mellon, as well as South Carolina Honors in state.

    Do you guys have any feedback for my plan? Am I making a mistake for not taking a second year of Biology?

    Thanks so much for all your help, guys. Sorry for sounding a bit paranoid.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think it will matter at all as you're not planning on majoring in Biology.
  4. Apr 16, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Some colleges and universities might require all their students to take both a physical science course and a biological science course as part of their general education requirements. Or a physics or chemistry major might be required to take a biology course as well. In such cases there's a good chance that you can use AP Biology to fulfill the requirement if you score highly enough on the AP exam. I doubt that it's common enough to justify taking AP Biology now on the small chance that you'll be able to use it for that purpose.
  5. Apr 17, 2015 #4
    Hey, thanks for the replies so far, I didn't know about the physical/biological science electives. Anything else I should be wary of?
  6. Apr 17, 2015 #5

    Quantum Defect

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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I agree with @jedishrfu. Your course of study sounds fine to me for someone with your interests.
  7. Apr 19, 2015 #6


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    Education Advisor

    Not taking AP biology shouldn't really matter. If you were planning on going into a field that involved a lot of biology, it would be more important to take it. But biology is basically irrelevant to the fields in which you're expressing interest. With chemistry, precalc, stats, and programming it sounds like you're on the right track for those fields. For these fields it's far more important to get ahead in math. You'll be much better prepared for later physics classes if you've had more exposure to math.

    Another point worth considering is how a future college will see the classes. AP Biology may take care of a college life science requirement, while honors biology might not. This is going to vary a lot from school to school though.
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