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Are You STEM Ready?

Being STEM ready requires that you push your science and math preparation as far as possible during your high school years. You must start now if you plan to be a Biologist, Mechanical Engineer, Chemist, Computer Scientist, Electrical Engineer, Physicist, Civil Engineer, Mathematician or Geologist.


Strong Math Skills

Particularly important is being prepared to start in at least College Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus (science majors) or Calculus I (engineering majors). At Georgia Southern, determining if a student is prepared to begin in a course above College Algebra is based on either AP or dual enrollment math courses, or else the evaluation of a student’s high school records. Based on studying student performance from prior year, to start in these critical math courses and be successful a student will typically need:

  • College Trigonometry: 3.0 GPA, 530 (new) SAT-Math
  • Calculus I: 3.0 gpa & 630 (new) SAT-Math, or 3.5 GPA & 560 (new) SAT-Math

Students not meeting these requirements must start at a lower math course to strengthen these foundational skills in order to be successful.

Strong Study Skills

STEM majors will always have multiple math and/or science courses every semester in order to graduate on time. Practice and learn good study skills. If you don’t really challenge and grow yourself during high school, then you aren’t really developing the study skills you need.

Science Content and Analytical Skills

Just like you can’t run a marathon or win a tournament if you don’t build up and train your body… train your brain! The more scientific content and mathematical skills you develop now, in the slower pace of high school courses, the better you will adjust and the more successful you will be in fast-paced college STEM courses!

What is a typical first semester schedule for a STEM major:
English Composition I (3 hrs)
College Trigonometry or Calculus I (3-4 hrs)
STEM MAJOR Lab Science (4 hrs)
Computing for Engineers or Area E Social Science (3 hrs)
FYE 1220: First-Year Seminar (2 hrs)
   TOTAL 15-16 HRS

So Can I Finish My Stem Degree in Four Years?

Yes. You must take full loads (15-16 credit hours) each semester, but your graduation date will also depend on how well prepared you are, and on your math placement. However, our Academic Advisors help our students create a personalized schedule (if needed) to stay on track toward a four-year graduation by their sophomore year (although it typically requires a
summer term).

Tips to Graduating in Four Years

  • Seek out your professors Ask questions in class, work on assignments early, and go to your professors when you have questions.
  • Manage your time maturely STEM students jump right into their major. Everyone has the same four years. Balance social time wisely.
  • Build a relationship with your academic advisor.  Your advisor knows lots of other tips to succeed in your major, and will also keep you informed of special opportunities that come along.
  • Use the Student Success Center. It’s free extra tutoring! Good students use it to improve (even the “B” student wants the “A”)
  • Prepare for a research internship or COOP experience in your junior or senior year. Real experience provides practice to apply what you have learned and also adds to your skills.
  • Earn a “B” or higher grades in all of your classes Yes, ALL of your college courses are part of broadening your talents and increasing your overall education, skill, and adaptability.

How Can I Prepare?

  • Work hard in your math classes. You should aim to be in calculus by your senior year, or joint-enrolled at a college near your home.
  • Take extra science classes. Many STEM degrees require multiple areas of science foundation, and seeing it in high school will really help when taking the faster college-level classes.
  • Take classes that challenge you. Push yourself. You are training your brain for challenging academics. Don’t wait for the main event (college) to begin practice.
  • Take all your classes seriously. Even STEM majors must be able to read, write and communicate well.

Need Additional Advice or Information?

Our advisors work specifically with STEM majors and love to answer questions to help you succeed and be STEM READY! You can reach our advisors through either of the websites listed below:

Engineering and Information Technology
Science and Mathematics

Last updated: 7/28/2021