Are AP (Advanced Placement) and college level courses in high school really worth the hype? 

Author: Luzolo Matundu

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The simple answer is no… and yes…

Notre Dame does accept AP scores for credit; HOWEVER, it ~technically~ does not apply any of these credits to University, college, major, or minor requirements with a few exceptions. So while you will have more credit hours upon graduation, you still have to take courses during your time at Notre Dame to fulfill the requirements you need to graduate if applicable. Notre Dame also does not include college credit courses taken in high school on your transcript after undergrad. 

One exception would be how taking an advanced writing course like AP Lang would exempt you from the Ways of Knowing requirement Writing & Rhetoric. But… you have to take another, more advanced writing course in its place to fulfill the requirement. Fortunately, you can double count this requirement with a writing intensive course required for your major if applicable. In this case you are “exempt” from a class. Another exception is the language requirement in some colleges like the College of Arts and Letters. This college requires proficiency of Intermediate II at minimum and at least one language course taken at Notre Dame. This means that even if you test at an Intermediate II level on the placement exam, you still have to take at least one language course. If you are starting from scratch, you take four language classes. 

The good news is that if your school does not offer AP or college credit courses, you are not at a disadvantage. The bad news is that if you hoped to be exempt from a few classes… not gonna happen (at least not to the extent you probably thought). But do not fret! You have plenty of time, space, and resources to complete all of your requirements and graduate on time. 

So no, AP and college level courses in high school are not worth the hype because even if you do achieve a high score, it will not apply to any of your requirements if you attend Notre Dame. 

But yes, AP and college level courses in high school are worth it because they show universities your desire to learn and challenge yourself. 

If you take these classes just for credit, you will be disappointed. My advice to you if you would like to attend Notre Dame is to take advanced courses for the sake of learning and to prepare yourself for a college workload.