USNA Without Calculus/Science Courses

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by runner_1987, May 31, 2016.

  1. runner_1987

    runner_1987 New Member

    May 31, 2016
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    Is it possible to be accepted to the academy if you don't take classes they suggest such as calculus, chemistry, physics... even if I was to get a 4.0 in political science related courses. It would be my second time applying to the academy and I will have lots of club involvement and will be running NCAA D2 cross country and track. I want to attend USNA, but I also want to attend law school and don't want my GPA to plummet if I somehow did poorly in the classes. Could a strong ACT compensate for not taking these courses such as a 29 or higher?
  2. Trc98

    Trc98 Member

    Dec 21, 2015
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    It would be really hard as a college applicant to get in without those courses, in my opinion. Also in most places a 29 on the ACT isn't cutting it either. Best bet is to shoot higher for that and take some classes that a plebe would take and ace those.
  3. time2

    time2 Member

    Jul 17, 2007
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    It sounds like you are trying to hedge your bet for Law School (with a high GPA) by not taking the college classes 'suggested' by USNA (math/science). You may need to choose which path you want to follow. Since you previously got a TWE, if you don't take college classes suggested by USNA, you diminish you chance of an appointment as a re-applicant.

    A 4.0 in political science classes won't provide the foundation you need to do well in challenging STEM courses at USNA.
    MammaMia and Sydney C. like this.
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Jun 9, 2006
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    First of all, law schools like to see candidates with science/math/engineering backgrounds. Obviously, it's not a requirement (there really isn't any specifically undergrad course requirement for law school), but folks who have such courses bring a different -- and good -- perspective to looking at legal issues. So, taking such courses would definitely not be a "waste" for law school and could be a benefit by making you stand out from the thousands of poly sci majors applying to law school each year. Also, I would find it hard to believe that a law school would ding you too much for a B or even a C in a hard core math/science course if your other grades are all excellent.

    If you plan to apply to USNA -- and especially as a college reapplicant -- you really must take at least some of the plebe courses. USNA wants to see how well you do in those courses. If you get As and Bs, great. If you don't, it suggests you may struggle at USNA.

    So, as the others above have said, it comes down to whether you want to be competitive for USNA or you want to go to law school (now). If you want to have a shot at USNA, you need to take at least two of the following: calc, chem w/lab, physics w/lab. If you don't do that, then --being brutally honest -- it's really not worth your time and effort to reapply.

    One other point, which you probably know. You can't attend law school directly out of USNA and, as a USNA grad, it's VERY, VERY hard to attend law school while in the USN. So, if your true desire is law school, either go now or (better yet) do something else for a few years after college and then go to law school. Based on personal and anecdotal experience, those who do something else first typically "enjoy" law school more than those who go straight through from college.
    Capt MJ likes this.
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Jun 18, 2012
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    Stick with going to Law school and forget about USNA.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    If law school is the real goal, with an idea of wanting to serve as a naval officer mixed in there, finish college, get into law school, do well, apply for direct commission JAG Corps. That's how the majority of military JAGs are made.

    Note usna1985's comments. A small handful of officers, once they earn their warfare pin and with a certain number of years in their warfare specialty, are allowed to attend law school and transfer into JAG Corps. These officers are top performers and participate in a highly competitive application process.

    Some officers get out of the service after their obligated time and use their GI Bill benefits to obtain a law degree, then apply to come back in as a JAG. Small numbers.

    FYI: 2012).pdf

    Of course, we may have taken your post the wrong way, and you are thinking USNA, warfare, get out, law school, civilian law career.

    You can major in Poli Sci at USNA, but you will be sweating and straining through all the required courses for the B.S. degree just like everyone else. For college re-applicants, demonstrated success in the suggested core courses is one of the primary predictors of success. I think you should read "suggested" with all-caps emphasis.
  7. Joedoe

    Joedoe Member

    Mar 20, 2014
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    Every mid must take the very courses you are trying to avoid to graduate. Since you seem pretty keen on the law school route and not so keen about taking some of the recommended courses for consideration as a reapplicant, it sounds like you've made your decision.
    time2 likes this.
  8. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Oct 27, 2008
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    You have to remember that all USNA graduates earn a Bachelor of SCIENCE degree ... even if they major in Animal Husbandry (which they don't have, by the way). History majors still have to take Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Thermodynamics and Electrical Engineering courses. Now, it's true that the liberal arts majors take a different version of Thermodynamics (and other, similar, courses) than those who major in engineering, but it's still very much a STEM-oriented education. Those who struggle academically usually struggle with the technical courses ... not Leadership.
  9. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

    Jan 5, 2012
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    I think there is a sticky in this forum with good gouge on reapplying....I saw it long ago, and one of the points that I remember is that CGO is going to look specifically at your performance in STEM classes after the first semester to determine if you can hack the USNA curriculum. If USNA is your goal, this is not the time to play it safe and try to keep your powder dry for a future law school application.

    You need to decide whether you want to be a Naval Officer first, with a possible lead in to law school, or focus on law school. As stated above, selection to Navy's law program is highly competitive, and usually only after a successful first tour in a warfare specialty. If your dream is to be a lawyer, then USNA may not be the place for you.

    That being said, if your goal is to serve an Naval Officer first, but have an interest in perhaps going to law school, the USNA /USN experience is a great launching pad. Face it, there are lots of kids coming out of college and going directly to law school, many with great grades in Political Science etc. at State U or other private schools. You are not going to distinguish yourself playing it safe to get good grades -- but will stand out as a mature, former Naval Officer. I am not going to go as far as USNA1985 and say I "enjoyed" law school, but my experience at USNA and as a Naval Officer certainly helped me get into and do well at a Top 20 school, and get the job I wanted.

    Bottom line -- if you want to go to USNA, be bold --take the STEM curriculum and do well.

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