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Articles / Applying to College / Stats or Calculus for Business Major?

Stats or Calculus for Business Major?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | May 18, 2004

Question: I would like to study business in college. Is it better to take statistics or calculus in my senior year of high school?

If you're aiming for highly selective colleges and universities, most admission officials consider calculus to be more challenging than statistics and thus look upon it somewhat more favorably. However, if you'd be taking stats at the AP level and calculus at the regular or college-prep level, we'd vote for the AP class. You'll probably find the stats to be a better bet for a business major, too, although in many business programs--especially the more elite ones--you will be expected to take both stats and calc.


Overall, this is a close one, so, if other concerns intervene (e.g., scheduling conflicts, teacher preferences), you can't go wrong with either.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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