course selections

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by 2018mom, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. 2018mom

    2018mom Parent

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    I have read in several places on here that students are given tests upon entering as to whether they can get a waiver for a particular course or if they can use AP credits and I understand that they have to select a major by their sophomore year. So, are they basically assigned freshman classes their first year and then are advised on a major based on how well they do their first year? My other DS and DD went to a state university and we as parents attended new student conference with them where we met with their adviser. They had to apply for a major when applying to the university. Just a very different process with the Academy and I want to make sure we aren't missing something.

    As far as I can tell, they pretty much show up on June 26 and parents are out of the picture. No meeting with advisers or selecting classes, etc? That is fine and my DS will be absolutely fine. Just way different than the other two.
     
  2. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Yup, your schedule is basically set before you meet with your advisor after basic. Declaring a major doesn't really make a difference unless you validate a lot of classes...I know a kid who validated 8, so he's already declared and into some of his major classes this semester. If you only validate a few, you're probably just going to take sophomore core classes in their place.

    If you know what you want to do, you can declare as early as you want...some people like to so they can get to know their department. If you validate at least one calc class and do decently in math and science here, chances are someone will push you towards a STEM major, but honestly a lot of departments recruit pretty hard for new majors.
     
  3. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    Right-o. It really surprised my extended family that even though I was "headed off to college" in June, I couldn't tell them even halfway through the summer who my adviser was or what my classes would be. Even after that first semester there's little to no choice about instructors or timing. And you don't find our your second semester schedule (as in, the times--you know the classes beforehand) until a day or two before classes start.

    One of the nicest things is that you don't have to declare most majors until mid-October sophomore year. A few--Chem and CompSci, I think, maybe others--require a spring of freshman year declaration. I'm still undeclared, though I'm pretty sure what I'll be declaring. A lot of my friends came in pretty sure they were going to do Aero Engineering, and are now looking at completely different majors. The fact that you don't have to decide (though, as BlahuKahuna mentioned, you can) is very freeing.
     
  4. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    The Academy core classes load is heavy by itself...testing out lightens your overall class load. Once you declare a man then some core classes might change to match the maj, and you will fill the electives with the maj classload.
     
  5. 2018mom

    2018mom Parent

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    Thanks for the feedback. Do I need to have my son send his AP scores to the Academy or will they automatically have him take a validation test based on the courses he has taken? He has a few more AP tests to take this year, but if he waits and sends the scores after testing in May, the Academy won't get them until mid-July.
     
  6. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    I would encourage sending everything, even if it arrives at the academy during the summer. Not every class has a validation test, and it's much easier to get transfer/validation credit if the registrar already has your stuff on file.
     

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