When applying to college, requirements for high school preparation in science vary greatly from school to school, but in general, the strongest applicants have taken courses in biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, and environmental science. In addition, for colleges and universities with programs that focus on science or engineering, more science education in high school is generally required and recommended in high school.
How do we prepare our students…?
Beginning in the 6th grade, our students take courses that introduce them to the major fields of science, including but not limited to the life sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, engineering, social sciences and robotics. Our highly acclaimed middle school curriculum provides the foundation for an academic curriculum in high school that meets the expectations and requirements of all colleges and universities. Aside from electives that include computer science, technology and engineering, robotics, forensics (and others), these courses include biology, chemistry, environmental science and physics. Even if a college doesn’t specifically outline these requirements, it’s always a good idea to have taken these fundamental courses, as they provide a strong general foundation for college-level STEM classes. This is especially important for students hoping to pursue a degree in fields such as engineering or one of the natural sciences.
Colleges and universities also stipulate that high school science classes must have a laboratory component in order to fulfill their science requirements. At the Science Academy, our advanced science classes incorporate hands-on laboratory work in the classroom, giving the students the opportunity to experience first-hand the scientific applicatory and investigative process.
As an example, the table below summarizes the required and recommended science preparation from a number of top American institutions:
|Auburn University||2 years required (1 biology and 1 physical science)|
|UC Berkeley||2 year (lab science) required, 3 or more years recommended|
|Princeton||2 years (lab science) required, 3 or more years recommended|
|Georgia Tech||4 years required (2 with laboratory)|
|Harvard University 4 years recommended (physics, chemistry, biology, and one of those advanced are preferred)|
|MIT||3 years required (physics, chemistry, and biology)|
|NYU||3-4 years (lab science) recommended|
|Pomona College||2 years required, 3 years recommended|
|Duke||3 years recommended|
|Stanford University 3 or more years (lab science) recommended|
|UCLA||2 years required, 3 years recommended (from biology, chemistry or physics)|
|2 years (lab science) required, 4 years recommended|
|3 years required; 4 years required for engineering/nursing|
|CSUN||2 years (lab science) required|
A final Note… don’t be fooled by the word “recommended” in a school’s admissions guidelines. If a selective college “recommends” a course, it is most definitely in your best interest to follow the recommendation. Your academic record, after all, is the most important part of your college application. The strongest applicants will have completed the recommended courses. Students who simply meet the minimum requirements will not stand out from the applicant pool.
And remember, it is always “a great day for Science…!”