Preparing for a Computing Major

To prepare for any major in college, there is no substitute for a solid and broad academic education that includes challenging courses in academic subjects and good grades. The high school transcript is an important element of the college application.

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A minimum of elementary algebra and geometry should be completed, while trigonometry, calculus, physics, and chemistry are highly recommended but not required for acceptance by all computer programs. Emphasis is placed on basic computing literacy and any advanced placement (AP) computer and advanced technology courses available in the junior and senior year that are challenging and rigorous are desirable, but not required. Additional subjects in high school should include English, social studies, foreign languages, and the arts. Solid English and communications skills are very important.

Most high schools offer a college preparatory track and advanced placement courses and exams that prepare students for college-level work. Students who take these courses are often more prepared for the academic challenges presented in college. In addition, if the AP test scores are sufficiently high, students can often receive advanced placement in college or credit for a college course.

Many of the courses recommended for college-bound students are also essential preparation for the college entrance examinations such as the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or the ACT Assessment. You should check the admission and college entrance examination requirements at each school to which you want to apply. It is a good idea to consult a guidance counselor early in high school to plan your program of study and to research potential colleges.