Is this a reasonable senior year math?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Is this a reasonable senior year math?
By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 10:34 pm: Edit

POL 201: Statistical Methods in Political Science

Elementary statistical methods in empirical political science, focusing on the analysis of public opinion, survey research designs, sampling, and probability. The course considers the application of descriptive and inferential statistics to testing hypotheses on various political issues.

At Stony Brook, this course satisfies the math requirement. But in college admissions will they consider this an acceptable and strong senior year math for me?

Thanks in advance.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 10:48 pm: Edit

I think it should fly. You could take a look at the description of the AP Stats course on the College Board website. Very likely, there is a lot of overlap.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 10:58 pm: Edit

I would suggest adding a letter of explanation to your letter. Keep in mind that adcoms have limited time for each app. If you don't make something out of the ordinary obvious for them, they will miss it.

By Mom2003 (Mom2003) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 06:40 am: Edit

I am sorry you have probably posted this before but are you finished with your Calc BC etc? The reason I ask is that my son did AP Stat course with a similar curriculum and it was OK since the next math step would have been multivariable calculus for him (not easily available with his schedule) but it would not have been a good substitute for Calc BC.

By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 07:01 am: Edit

I don't think colleges expect students to have taken AP Calculus whether AB or BC if they are not going to be math, science or engineering majors. My older S did not. In fact, if a student is not going to be a math/science/engineering major, statistics is far more helpful than calculus. Ap Stats is not meant to be a substitute for Calc. The question is whether it is a math course; and on that, I think most colleges would say yes. But Ilcapo must underline the fact that a course that is labeled Politics 201 is actually a math course.

By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit

I have taken Calculus, but not AP Calculus AB or BC...and AP Statistics did not fit into my schedule.

I think that this stat methods in poli sci will be the best use of my time anyways. I am not mathematically inclined and get very bored unless it relates to something that interests me (such as politics)

By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

Marite, while in theory you are right, in practice, for the admissions game, things are more complicated.

Most colleges consider AP Stats to be AP lite. At last Saturday's freshman opening convocation at U. Chicago, the admissions dean even made a joke about AP Stats.

Maybe the problem is that top colleges know that many kids have math phobia, probably unnecessarily. And, since calculus is the gateway to most college level math, and college level math is the gateway to a huge range of disciplines, not just math/science/engineering, they want to keep the pressure on?

Keep in mind also that college is the time to explore academically. If you've already shut the door on many areas due to lack of higher math...

By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit


My older S did not take either AP Calc or AP-Stats (not offered in his school) but was admitted into a top LAC. It was clear from his application that he would not be a math/science/engineering student. From everything that Ilcapo has posted, I have the feeling that a career in these fields is not in the cards.

AP-Stats indeed is not granted credit at many top colleges. It did not matter for my S, whose college only allowed to APs to be used for credit, which essentially meant placing out of a couple of introductory courses.

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