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College Coursework in High School

Are you earning college credit while you're in high school? Wonderful! While college credit isn't required for admission, taking college coursework during high school is a great way to prepare you for future college classes. Here are tips to help you plan for educational experiences that best fit with a future degree in engineering.

Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate

Are you completing Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams in high school? If so, review how your exam scores can translate to college credit at Ohio State and apply to a degree in the College of Engineering.

Advanced Placement Exam Scores and OSU Credit

International Baccalaureate Scores and OSU Credit

AP Exam Recommendations: Since engineering is based on principles in calculus, physics, chemistry and computer programming, you can strengthen your understanding by taking AP courses and exams in these areas: Calculus: AB, Calculus: BC, Chemistry, Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism, Physics C: Mechanics, Computer Science A.

IB Recommendations:  Since engineering is based on principles in calculus and sciences, you can strengthen your understanding by taking AP courses and exams in these areas: Math, Chemistry, Biology. Ohio State only awards credit for IB High Level (HL) exams. No credit is awarded for Standard Level (SL) exams.

In addition, you can complete exams in other areas to satisfy General Education requirements. These areas include English, social sciences (psychology, economics, government, etc.), history, and art. While not directly connected to your engineering coursework, these academic experiences contribute to your overall education. By completed courses in these areas, you allow yourself more flexibility as you schedule classes in college.

College Credit Plus & Dual Enrollment

You can use the resources below to see if your local college or high school offers a course equivalent that is already approved as a direct equivalent to a course at Ohio State. In general, you should select courses in which an exact OSU course (department and course number) is listed as an equivalent. Try to avoid courses in which you will only receive general, special, or technical credit. 

  • Transferology: this online portal can show you the amount of coursework that transfers between other institutions and Ohio State. Transferology is most useful to current college students who are researching how their college credit may apply to a degree at another institution, but it can also be used by you as you explore college credit in high school.
  • OSU Quick Equivalencies: Click to download a master spreadsheet of courses which have already been evaluated by Ohio State. It's a long list, as you can imagine! You can sort by the institution through which you will be taking the course or the course at Ohio State for which you want to earn credit.

Time to Degree

An engineering curriculum is inherently sequential. Subjects build upon each other from course to course. For example, a student needs to master the content in general chemistry before moving on to organic chemistry.

In general, college coursework completed during high school doesn't significantly shorten an engineering student's time to graduation. However, if you take college coursework in high school, you will be better prepared to excel in these subjects while at college. It also provides you with more flexibility to incorporate co-curricular opportunities, such as second majors, study abroad programs, and minors.

If you aren't able to take any college-level coursework during high school, that's okay! Schedule classes at your high school that are the most connected to math, science, and writing.

(Yes, as an engineering student, you will be writing. Communication --whether technical, professional, or personal --  is a critical skill to develop as you work toward your educational and professional goals.)

Choosing Subjects

Engineering builds on the foundational disciplines of math and science. Taking classes in calculus, general chemistry, and physics during high school can help you start building this foundation. When choosing a math class, look for a traditional, theory-based calculus courses as opposed to a specialized version, such as business calculus. For physics, choose a calculus-based physics courses, not algebra-based physics. For chemistry, choose chemistry courses that are listed at your local community college as leading to a degree in chemistry.

In addition to math and science, you can take classes that can apply to your General Education curriculum. The General Education is the part of your degree that provides the breadth to your college education. It incorporates coursework in the areas of writing, historical study, literature, visual and performing arts, social sciences, cultures and ideas, ethics and diversity. Courses such as first year composition, psychology, history, and literature can oftentimes fulfill these degree requirements.

Finding Course Equivalencies

You can use the resources below to see if your local college or Advanced Placement program offers a course equivalent that is already approved as a direct equivalent to a course at Ohio State! In general, we recommend that you select courses in which an exact OSU course (department and course number) is listed as an equivalent. Try to avoid courses in which you will only receive general, special, or technical credit. 

  • Advanced Placement Exams and OSU Course Credit: This chart shows you how Advanced Placement (AP) exams translate to course credit at Ohio State.
  • OSU Quick Equivalencies: Click to download a master spreadsheet of courses which have already been evaluated by Ohio State. It's a long list, as you can imagine! You can sort by the institution through which you will be taking the course or the course at Ohio State for which you want to earn credit.
  • Transferology: this online portal can show you the amount of coursework that transfers between other institutions and Ohio State. Transferology is most useful to current college students who are researching how their college credit may apply to a degree at another institution, but it can also be used by you as you explore college credit in high school.

Recommendations for Engineering

Once you have decided on subjects, you will need to choose specific classes. But which ones? One good strategy is to review whether the class you want to take will transfer to Ohio State as a specific equivalent course

Here are some general recommendations for Ohio State course equivalencies in math and science. Choose courses based on the topics you want to explore.

  • Traditional Calculus I: Math 1151 at Ohio State
  • Traditional Calculus II: Math 1152 at Ohio State
  • Traditional Calculus III: Math 2153 at Ohio State
  • General Chemistry I: Chemistry 1210 at Ohio State
  • General Chemistry II: Chemistry 1220 at Ohio State
  • Calculus-Based Physics I: Physics 1250 at Ohio State
  • Calculus-Based Physics II: Physics 1251 at Ohio State
  • Computer Programming: Computer Science and Engineering 1221 / 1222 /1223 at Ohio State, if you are strongly interested in majors connected to computer science or programming

Also, here are some recommended Ohio State courses from the General Education curriculum.

  • First Writing Course: English 1110.01 at Ohio State
  • Social Sciences: Economics 2001.01, Political Science 1100, Psychology 1100, and Sociology 1101 at Ohio State
  • Historical Study: History 1212, 1151, and 1681 at Ohio State
  • Literature: English 2201, 2202, Classics 1101 and 2220 at Ohio State
  • Visual and Performing Art: Art 2100, and History of Art 2002 at Ohio State

For most of these General Education categories, you will only need to complete one course. If you plan on taking a few General Education courses during high school, choose courses from a range of areas. Avoid choosing courses in the same category, such as four history courses or three psychology courses.

Transferring Credit to Ohio State

Once you have completed high school, you should transfer any college credit you have earned to Ohio State. This involves sending some type of official document to Ohio State that certifies your completion of the class or exam. 

  • Advanced Placement exam credit: When you take an Advanced Placement (AP) exam, you can universities to which you want your exam scores sent. If you listed Ohio State, then the scores will automatically be sent over the summer, around July. If you didn't list Ohio State initially, no problem! You can contact the College Board, which administers AP exams, and request your scores be sent to Ohio State.
  • Dual Enrollment or College Credit Plus: If you completed coursework through a partnership between your high school and a college or university, ask your high school guidance counselor about the process for sending your official transcript, including those courses, to Ohio State. If the courses you completed were through Ohio State at any campus, you don't need to send a transcript! Since they were taking at Ohio State, they are already posted to your academic record.
  • Other College Coursework: If you enrolled in coursework at a college or university on your own -- meaning, it wasn't affiliated with your high school at all -- you should contact that institution and request an official transcript be sent to Ohio State.

We hope this helps with your planning during your high school years. Good luck with your courses and we will see you on campus soon!