Preparing for College

Importance of Calculus for College Admission?

Question: I am going to be a junior in high school next year and I will be taking Algebra 2. At my high school you are not allowed to take any math courses over the summer for credit so I will not be able to advance to calculus during high school. My senior year I plan to take pre calc and AP Stats, but I was wondering how important it is to colleges to have calculus completed? Also I would like to become a doctor so math will be important in my career.

Lots of students enter college without calculus and even go on to medical school. Admittedly, if you are applying to the most hyper-selective institutions, then calculus (especially AP Calc) "looks good" on applications. But it's not a deal-breaker if you haven't had it.

You might also consider taking pre-calculus next summer NOT for credit. Even if your school won't officially include it on your transcript, if you've done well in a course at a local community college (or even online), would they let you continue to calculus as a senior? If not, don't worry. As a pre-med student you can take calculus in college.

(posted 6/28/2011)