Yes, most colleges require at least four years of high school math for admission.
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Yes, most colleges require at least four years of high school math for admission. A strong foundation in mathematics is considered essential by higher education institutions as it demonstrates critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and quantitative reasoning. Math proficiency is not only valuable for students pursuing fields in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but also for those in social sciences, business, and humanities.
To support this, mathematics is often listed as one of the core subject requirements by colleges and universities. The four years of high school math typically encompass various levels and topics, enabling students to have a comprehensive understanding of mathematical concepts. Common courses include Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. As a famous mathematician and physicist once said:
“Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: it is about understanding.” – William Paul Thurston
Interesting facts regarding the importance of math in college admissions and beyond:
- According to a study conducted by the National Science Foundation, math skills are among the most sought-after attributes by employers across various industries.
- Many college majors, including economics, computer science, psychology, and architecture, require advanced math courses as prerequisites or for fulfilling major requirements.
- The mathematical skills acquired during high school not only contribute to academic success but also enhance problem-solving abilities in real-life situations.
- Several scholarships and awards in various fields are often awarded to students who exhibit exceptional mathematical prowess.
- Math competitions such as the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) exist to encourage mathematics achievement and highlight its importance globally.
It is worth noting that while most colleges require four years of high school math, specific admission requirements may vary. Some institutions may have additional math-related criteria, such as requiring a certain level of achievement in math courses or specific standardized tests like the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics. It is advisable for prospective college students to thoroughly research the admission requirements of their target colleges to ensure they meet the necessary criteria.
Table: Typical Four-Year High School Math Course Sequence
|9th Grade||Algebra 1|
|11th Grade||Algebra 2 / Trigonometry|
|12th Grade||Pre-Calculus / Calculus|
Note: Course availability and sequence may vary between schools.
A video response to “Do colleges require 4 years of high school math?”
Carson Huey Ou, a 14-year-old boy, has graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in physics, becoming the university’s youngest graduate. Carson’s love for math at age three led him to calculus, and he graduated from high school at age ten. Carson plans to return to TCU for graduate school, while his 11-year-old brother, Cannon, will be a freshman. Despite his academic accomplishments, Carson says he has a normal life playing games, having friends his age, and a puppy.
Other options for answering your question
Most colleges want students to have at least 3 years of high school math, though more selective colleges prefer 4 years. Prioritize taking several of the following courses: Algebra 1. Geometry.
Advanced Placement, IB, and Honors courses are a must to be competitive at the most selective colleges. In most cases, the strongest applicants to highly selective colleges will have four years of math (including calculus), four years of science, and four years of a foreign language.
This is on freshman application requirements to a number of colleges such as UMD. These colleges require 4 years of math.
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At selective colleges and universities, you will need at least three years of high school math, and four years will be better. Calculus strengthens any college application. If your high school doesn’t offer calculus, look for options online or at a community college.