Colleges like to see students who are taking a challenging curriculum across all core subjects: math, science, humanities, social science, and foreign language. This means taking advantage of honors, AP, IB, or other advanced coursework offered at your high school. But not all schools offer an advanced curriculum. If this is the case at your high school, you might be worried about how it might affect you in the college application process.
It’s important to remember that colleges won’t expect you to take classes that aren’t available to you. If your school doesn’t have advanced classes, then colleges won’t expect you to take any. As long as you are taking what is considered to be a rigorous curriculum at your high school, colleges will see it that way too.
However, if you have a strong interest in a subject not offered at your school, or want to go further in a particular area than is possible within your curriculum, there are ways you can pursue that interest. Some ideas are to take classes at a local college, pursue an independent project with a teacher at your school, or to ask if you could be a teaching assistant in a class that you’ve already taken.
Colleges won’t expect you to pursue an academic interest beyond your curriculum, but it is an option if you have a strong interest that you can’t explore otherwise. But colleges will look to see that you’re pursuing a challenging and rigorous curriculum for your school, whether or not your school offers advanced courses.