Updated: Mar 27
Are you interested in STEM and want to pursue a STEM major in college? Are you wondering which AP courses you should take if you are interested in STEM? Well, picking your courses in high school is very important so you can test out the field and really show your interest in it! While picking any of these STEM AP courses to take, keep in mind what you would like to specialize in since not every AP course is for everyone. Additionally, your school might not even offer all these courses. So, you should take the AP courses that interest and are the most available to you. Here are some STEM AP courses you can take if you are interested in STEM.
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus AB explores the concepts, methods, and applications of differential and integral calculus. You should take this course if you are good at algebra and trigonometry. AP Calculus AB is equivalent to a first-semester college calculus class. In this course, you will learn skills such as determining expressions and values using mathematical procedures and rules, connecting representations, justifying reasoning and solutions, and using correct notation, language, and mathematical conventions to communicate results or solutions. This course is designed to prepare you if you want to major in mechanical engineering!
AP Calculus BC
AP Calculus BC is the further advancement of AP Calculus AB. It covers topics learned in AB, but there are added complex topics including, parametric, polar, and vector functions, and series. This course is not easy, so you should have a strong mathematics background. It is equivalent to a first-semester college calculus class and the subsequent single-variable course. In AP Calculus BC, you will learn the same skills as you would in AB. This course is designed to prepare you if you want to major in aerospace engineering.
AP Physics is important if you want to go into engineering in the future. There are four AP Physics classes, Physics 1, Physics 2, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, and Physics C: Mechanics. In AP Physics 1, you are taught the foundational principles of physics and explore Newtonian mechanics; work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sounds; and introductory, simple circuits. It is equivalent to a first-semester introductory college course in algebra-based physics. In AP Physics 2, you will go deeper, learning about fluids; thermodynamics; electric force, field, and potential; electric circuits; magnetism and electromagnetic induction; geometric and physical optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. This course is equivalent to a second-semester introductory college course in algebra-based physics. In AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, you will explore concepts like electrostatics, conductors, capacitors and dielectrics, electric circuits, magnetic fields, and electromagnetism. This course is equivalent to a semester-long introductory calculus-based college course in physics. In AP Physics C: Mechanics, you will explore concepts such as kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy, and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; rotation; oscillations; and gravitation. This course is also equivalent to a semester-long introductory calculus-based college course in physics. Any of the AP Physics courses can help you prepare for any scientific field.
AP Biology studies the core scientific principles, theories, and processes that govern living organisms and biological systems. This course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course for biology majors. In this class, you will learn skills including designing experiments and procedures to test a prediction or theory, collecting and analyzing data, interpret data to conclude, and developing and supporting a scientific claim with evidence. This course is designed to prepare you if you want to major in biology, environmental science, botany, ecology, etc.
In AP Chemistry, you will learn about the fundamental concepts of chemistry including structure and states of matter, intermolecular forces, and reactions. This course is equivalent to a one-year introductory college general chemistry course. You will learn skills including, designing experiments and procedures to test a prediction or theory, creating graphs, diagrams, and models that represent chemical phenomena, explaining how the microscopic structure of a substance determines its chemical properties, balancing a chemical equation, and making a scientific claim and supporting it with evidence. This course is designed to prepare you if you want to major in chemistry, environmental studies, food sciences, astronomy, etc.
AP Environmental Science
AP Environmental Science explores and investigates the interrelationships of the natural world and analyzes environmental problems, both natural and human-made. This course is equivalent to a one-semester introductory college course in environmental science. In this class, you will learn skills including, explaining environmental concepts and processes, analyze data, visual representations, and writings, applying quantitative methods in solving problems, proposing a solution for an environmental problem and supporting your idea with evidence, and analyzing a research study to identify a hypothesis. This course is designed to prepare you if you want to major in environmental engineering, fisheries, geology, aerospace engineering, etc.
AP Computer Science A
In AP Computer Science A, you will get familiar with the concepts and tools as you learn a subset of the Jave programming language. This course is equivalent to a one-semester introductory college course in computer science. You will learn skills including, designing a program, developing the algorithm it needs, and writing code to implement them, testing program code and correcting errors, and documenting and explaining how to program code works. This course can help you build a foundation in information technology and computer management.
AP Computer Science Principles
In AP Computer Science Principles, you will learn the principles that underlie the science of computing and develop thinking skills that computer scientists use. This course is equivalent to a first-semester introductory college course in computing. In this class, you will learn skills including, making connections between concepts and computing, designing a program to solve a problem or complete a task, applying abstractions in computation and modeling, analyzing computational work, communicating ideas about technology and computation, and working collaboratively to solve problems. This course is designed to prepare you if you want to major in robotics or software development.
These are all the STEM AP courses that the College Board offers. You should take the courses that are most interesting to you. However, make sure that your school provides them. Taking any AP STEM course will be great to show that you are interested in the field. Although AP courses may be hard, taking one will definitely be fun if you are a STEM enthusiast.
“What AP Courses Should I Take For A STEM Major?: Chitown Tutoring.” Chicago Test Prep & Tutoring, 17 Feb. 2020, chitowntutoring.com/what-ap-courses-should-i-take-for-a-stem-major/.