Connect AP to Majors and Careers
Explore the relationships between AP courses, majors, and careers based on your choice.
AP Course: AP Calculus AB
Skills You'll Learn
AP can get you on your path
Related Majors and Careers
Accounting majors learn how to gather, record, analyze, interpret, and communicate information about an individual’s or organization’s financial performance and risks.
If you're a big baseball fan, you know that keeping track of how well your favorite team plays and predicting how it will do in the future is part of the fun. In businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits, accountants often engage in very similar activity.
Not simply bean counters, accountants analyze financial information and consult with upper management about important business decisions. Of course, some accountants also keep the books, recording every financial transaction.
Aerospace engineering majors learn how to use math and science to design and develop aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. They also study such topics as aerodynamics, orbits, launch, flight controls, and engines.
For thousands of years, people enviously watched birds coast through the skies and wondered how they did it. But in the last one hundred years, flying on this earth has become as unremarkable as walking, and space travel is no longer the stuff of science fiction.
As an aerospace engineering major, you’ll learn the basics that helped the Wright brothers and others conquer the age-old problem of flight. You’ll learn how to apply these ideas to developing new types of air- and spacecraft that are better, safer, and stronger. You’ll find out how space flight works and dream up new ways of exploring galaxies unknown.
As an agricultural engineering major, you’ll learn how to use science to improve the production, processing, storage, and distribution of food, timber, fiber, and renewable energy sources while protecting the environment.
Could the earth run out of earth? It doesn’t seem possible, but it takes thousands of years for soil to develop. This means that soil is practically a nonrenewable resource. Meanwhile, soil is being worn out by farming, polluted by chemicals, and eroded by wind and water.
If this concerns you, you’re not alone. Some agricultural engineers come up with farming practices that use soil more efficiently. Others help farmers by designing power systems, tools, and storage space. Still others look for ways to ensure food safety during processing. Thanks to agricultural engineering, farmers are getting better at producing safe food more efficiently while protecting the environment and using natural resources wisely.
Agriculture students learn how to use general principles of agricultural research and production to approach practical agricultural problems. These problems range from soil conservation and animal husbandry to plant cultivation and business management.
The essence of agriculture is providing food, whether you grow soybeans, herd cows, or develop a new hybrid tomato. But the basic task of keeping humans fed is complicated by environmental, scientific, economic, political, and legal questions.
How can local government agencies help keep farmers from having to sell their land to developers? What pesticides are effective yet have the least impact on the environment? How can water sources be managed so that they last? How will a surplus in Chinese apples affect international trade? Agricultural students learn how to answer all of these questions and more.
Air transportation majors study aviation as well as the technical and business sides of the aviation industry.
Love to fly? Fascinated by planes? If so, consider a major in air transportation. It will give you a foundation in all aspects of aviation, from the physics of flight to the art of piloting to the science of management. Air transportation majors often go on to careers as pilots, air traffic controllers, flight instructors, airport and airline managers, and government administrators.
Anthropology is the study of humans and other primates (such as chimps). As an anthropology major, you'll study how groups live with each other and how their bodies and cultures have changed over time.
How are people alike? How are they different? How have these differences come to be? As an anthropology major, you’ll explore all kinds of mysteries about people and primates.
You might, for example, look at how one group of people communicates without the help of modern technology -- or you might study the effects of cell phones on another society. You might study how ancient societies protected their people against disease -- or how public-health policy affects modern city dwellers. As an undergrad, you might specialize, focusing on culture, biology, archaeology, or language.
Students of architecture prepare to become professional architects. Classes cover such topics as architectural theory, design, and history; drafting; and project and site planning.
While architecture is grounded in science, its heart is in the arts. Well-designed buildings not only serve the people who use them. They are also works of art that help define the town or city in which they stand.
As an architecture major, you'll learn how to work with others to imagine buildings, from straw-bale houses to the tallest skyscrapers. And with the technical know-how you pick up in such classes as architectural engineering and construction materials, you'll know just what needs to be done to bring them to life.
Astronomy students study space, the history and future of the universe, and the objects within, such as planets, stars, and galaxies. Subjects of study include the evolution of stars, how the stars and planets move through space, chemistry, and advanced math.
When you look up at the night sky, what do you see? There are patterns of stars, planets, the moon, and some sights that you may not be able to explain. Astronomy is the study of those objects in space — how stars, planets, and galaxies form and behave — and the universe itself.
If you want to understand the mysteries of the night sky, this could be the major for you.
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
Meteorology students study the atmosphere (the gases that surround the earth), focusing on the weather and how to forecast it. Areas of study include the climate, the physics of the atmosphere, and chemistry.
You’ve got your bathing suit on and your sun block packed, but by the time you get to the beach, it’s pouring rain. What happened to that sunny day you expected? Why is the weather so changeable, so uncertain?
Meteorology is the field of science that seeks to understand and predict short-term weather as well as long-term climate processes.
Business Administration and Management
This program prepares students to plan, organize, direct, and control an organization's activities.
With the creation of large factories in the late 1800s came the need to manage large groups of workers. In his 1911 book The Principles of Scientific Management, Frederick Winslow Taylor addressed that need. He suggested that each worker be trained to do a single task with no wasted effort. His philosophy made such a big impact on the business world that it was nicknamed Taylorism and is still studied today.
Of course, there’s a lot of disagreement about Taylorism: some people argue that it's inhumane, while others celebrate the increased productivity it has led to. As a student in business management, you’ll add your voice to this debate and others like it.
Chemical engineering majors learn how to put chemicals to work. Classes cover such topics as improving the way factories use chemicals to make products and solving problems such as rust and pollution.
Suppose you have this great recipe for chocolate ice cream. You like to make it at home for your family and friends. You make it in a little one-gallon machine that goes into your freezer. But what if you sell your recipe to a big food company? Now they have to be able to make thousands of gallons a day. Each gallon of ice cream needs to taste exactly the same and look exactly the same.
What kind of equipment could they use? How would the recipe change? How can the factory make the ice cream at low cost? These are all questions for the chemical engineer.
Chemistry majors use math, theory, and experimentation to study matter (physical substance). They look at what it’s made of and how it behaves, down to the atomic level.
Lightning crackles in the sky as the camera pans over a dark castle. Down in the laboratory, a mad scientist stands among his many vials, test tubes, and beakers, mixing liquids to produce a bubbling, smoking potion.
The popular B movie villain, haphazardly mixing chemicals for evil purposes, is a far cry from the professional chemist. In reality, chemists work in controlled environments, using the scientific method to make valuable contributions in a range of fields, including medicine, biology, psychology, and geology. As a chemistry major, you’ll explore many different topics, from the chemical basis for life to the environmental problems caused by chemicals.
Civil engineering majors learn how to use math and science to design big construction projects. Topics covered include the calculation of how much weight a structure will hold and the environmental issues that surround construction.
The first Homo sapiens who put a bunch of sticks together to get a roof over their heads were, in a way, civil engineers. Today’s civil engineers have more responsibility than ever. They build skyscrapers that reach thousands of feet in the air. They hang suspension bridges that support tons of cars and trucks each day. They create water systems that support millions of city dwellers. If you study civil engineering, you’ll learn what you need to know to work on the projects that make modern life possible.
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Students of communication sciences and disorders study the science behind communication problems and their development. They also learn how to treat children and adults and use what they learn to come up with new strategies and technologies for diagnosis and rehabilitation.
Imagine a birthday party for a three-year-old child. The room is full of chatter: children asking for more ice cream or complaining that another child took their toy. But one child, who appears to be as healthy as his peers, is silent. He is not playing with others, and his face shows an absence of emotion.
If you study communication sciences and disorders, you’ll learn the cause of this child’s behavior. You’ll also learn how to help him interact with others and break his silence.
Computer Networking and Telecommunications
Students of computer systems networking and telecommunications learn how computers communicate with each other. They study the design, installation, and improvement of computer networks and related software.
It’s hard to believe there was a time when we didn’t have email, the Internet, or cell phones. But when we telecommunicate, sending messages and information via phones and computers, we rely on relatively new technology -- from fiber optics to satellites.
If you choose this major, you’ll learn how to work with the latest technology as well as the technology that’s right around the corner. By the time you graduate, you’ll know how to expand the capabilities of networks already in place and to build new ones.
Computer science majors learn about computer systems and the way humans and computers interact from a scientific perspective. Instruction includes programming and the theory and design of software.
In countless old Star Trek episodes, a baffled captain asked the computer for help, and the computer promptly replied with an answer. What was once science fiction is becoming reality, thanks to computer scientists working in voice recognition.
If you study computer science, you may learn how to design computer programs that allow humans and computers to speak to one another. Keep in mind, your work is more likely to help a vision-impaired person than a captain navigating the universe, but you never know.
Economics majors learn about economic theory, economic systems such as capitalism, and mathematical methods. They use their knowledge to analyze how limited resources are made, traded, and used.
As the old song says, money makes the world go 'round. However, without the proper knowledge, it’s difficult to figure out exactly how.
Economics majors learn to decode the systems behind what can often appear impossible to understand. They study economic models and theories to analyze how the seemingly simple acts of buying and selling can be complicated by factors such as taxes, interest rates, inflation, labor disagreements, and even the weather.
As an electrical engineering major, you’ll study electricity: how it works, how it’s generated, and how it’s used to power everything from lightbulbs and radios to cell phones and robots. You’ll also learn how to design your own electric-powered projects.
Imagine a blackout. You’re in the dark and without the gadgets you normally take for granted. There’s no better time to appreciate electricity.
As an electrical engineering major, you’ll go far beyond an appreciation of the awesome powers of the electron. You’ll learn how to harness that power and use it to perform a few miracles of your own invention.
Engineering and Industrial Management
Students of engineering and industrial management learn how to plan and manage engineering and industrial projects.
From estimating the costs of materials to ensuring that a site is safe for workers, industrial managers make sure that engineering projects are completed safely, on time, and within budget.
Majors in engineering and industrial management prepare for this role. They learn how to manage finances by mastering mathematical methods and studying economic theories as well as looking at real examples from the business world. Students also gain hands-on experience in factories and other job sites.
Engineering technology majors learn the engineering skills they need to assist engineers in a variety of projects.
Why are some car parts made from plastic while others are shaped from metal? How does a refrigerator work? What’s the best way to build a robot that can weld? If knowing what makes things tick is just the beginning for you -- if you want to know how to make them tick -- then consider a major in engineering technology.
Engineering technology majors learn many of the engineering concepts and design skills that engineering majors study. But they have the option of earning an associate’s degree, which they can complete in only two years.
Entrepreneurship majors learn how to build, promote, and manage their own businesses. They also learn how to apply their creativity and energy to make existing businesses more productive.
Have you ever said to yourself, “You know, I can think of a better way to do that” -- and then actually done something about it? If so, you already have the basic ingredients for success as an entrepreneur.
These businesspeople do whatever it takes to bring the world the latest products and services -- whether it's the next best computer software or ballpoint pen. Becoming an entrepreneur is one way to improve people’s lives.
Students of environmental science learn how the physical and biological processes that shape the natural world interact. They also look at how we affect nature and come up with solutions to environmental problems.
When coal and oil are burned, they form acids that fall to the earth as rain. Acid rain can do a lot of damage, such as killing off living things in lakes. Scientists figured out, however, that lakes on limestone rock were less affected than others. Why? Limestone weakens acid. So as a short-term solution, scientists added lime to lakes where it doesn't occur naturally.
No single science was enough to come up with this solution -- it took experts in biology, chemistry, geology, and other sciences. If you major in environmental science, you'll learn to use the ideas and methods of a number of biological and physical sciences to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Students of environmental studies use what they learn in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities to understand environmental problems. They look at how we interact with the natural world and come up with ideas for how we can prevent its destruction.
We use cars to get to work, run errands, and visit friends. Most of these cars run on gas, but the oil we use to make gas is running out. What’s more, drilling for oil destroys natural areas, and burning gas creates pollution. Other ways to power cars, such as electricity, ethanol, and biodiesel, already exist. So why isn't everyone using these energy sources?
To answer this and other important environmental questions, you’ll need to draw on the ideas of many fields, such as science, economics, and politics. If you major in environmental studies, you’ll learn how.
Exercise science majors study the science of the human movement. They also learn how to help people live healthier lives through exercise, rehabilitation, and nutrition.
Do you get a rush from organized sports? Do you feel proud when you work out with teammates and help one another succeed? Is eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle a priority to you?
If so, maybe you should go for gold and study the field of exercise science. You’ll learn the science behind everything from jogging to low-carb diets.
Fishing and Fisheries
Students in this major learn about the biology and ecology of fish and shellfish and study the areas where they live. They also examine the ways we produce, manage, and use these animals to ensure their protection.
Almost every species of Pacific salmon is endangered or threatened. One way to make sure that salmon survive is to limit the number of fish that can be caught. However, people depend on fishing for salmon to make a living, and their needs must also be considered. What's more, overfishing is only one piece of the puzzle. Development -- from new highways to power-producing dams -- as well as pollution can disrupt the salmon's life cycle.
If you choose this major, you'll learn to look at the big picture and use methods from the biological, physical, and social sciences to make sure that fish populations, like the Pacific salmon, remain healthy.
Students in this major learn how to manage and develop forests for varied purposes, from the production of wood products to recreation to preserving biodiversity (the variety of living things in an area).
By 2004, there were 200,000 acres in
If you go into forestry, you'll have to balance growing trees for wood products with preserving the variety of living things in an area. To meet challenges like these, you'll have to combine ideas from the life, physical, and social sciences and be a strong communicator.
Geology students look at the earth and the forces acting upon it, including the solids, liquids, and gasses that make it up. Study includes such topics as historical geology, rock and soil chemistry, and the use of minerals in industry.
If you study geology, you’ll learn about the Earth's treasures, such as fossils and gems, as well as its dangers, such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
Industrial engineering majors learn how to improve the way factories, hospitals, and other organizations run. They learn to take all factors into account -- from equipment and materials to people.
How many copies of the first Harry Potter book should the corner bookstore keep on its shelf? How many people need to work the night shift at a cupcake factory in order to supply the local chain of grocery stores? Will technology stocks rise or fall over the next three months?
As an industrial engineering major, you’ll draw on math, science, business, and psychology to answer questions like these. You’ll learn how to create factory schedules, determine delivery routes, set up customer service systems, and much more.
Information science majors learn how to create systems for finding and storing data. Students look at the big picture of information exchange and learn how people interact with, use, and sell information.
Students of information science learn about computers, but they also study people. Most importantly, they explore the way people and computers come together.
If you major in information science, you’ll examine the many challenges we face when it comes to technology: How can we build websites that are easy to use? How can we use computers to open new worlds to children without endangering them? How can we bridge the “digital divide” between the haves and the have-nots?
International business majors learn how to think globally about the business world. They also learn how to manage multinational businesses and turn local and national companies into international success stories.
Do you want to travel and explore other countries? Are you fascinated by foreign cultures? Maybe you’ve got an idea for a T-shirt that would sell great in China. Or maybe you know of a Swedish recipe that restaurant diners in your hometown would gobble up.
Thinking globally -- and understanding how to bring different cultures together -- is the first step in understanding international business.
Management Information Systems
MIS majors study information systems and their use in business and other organizations. They learn about computer databases, networks, computer security, and more.
Everyone who works in business, from someone who pays the bills to the person who hires and fires, uses information systems. For example, a supermarket could use a computer database to keep track of which products sell best. And a music store could use a database to sell CDs over the Internet. If you major in management information systems (MIS), you’ll learn how to put technology to work.
Marine biology majors study the creatures that live in the oceans. They also look at the habitats and ecological environments in which these organisms live.
Oceans cover two-thirds of the earth's surface. And while their surfaces often look smooth, the oceans are teeming with life. Oceans provide animal habitat all the way down to the ocean floor. Since oceans are, on average, over 2.5 miles deep, this means that they contain 99.5 percent of our planet's livable habitat. Within that vast space, the oceans are filled with a huge range of microscopic organisms, animals, and plant life.
If you major in marine biology, you’ll learn how this life thrives in the oceans. You’ll study such subjects as the chemical makeup of water, the ocean’s geology, marine mammals, fish, plants, and biological habitats.
Marketing majors learn how to create and sell new products and services in ways that will build a large and loyal group of customers.
When Barbie first came onto the scene in 1958, she was unique. Unlike the other dolls on store shelves, Barbie was no child. And playing with her, young girls for generations have acted out visions of their future. Barbie is more than just a plastic doll; she's a fantasy.
As Barbie shows, when people make a purchase, they buy more than a product or service. They also buy something that's harder to put your finger on. Marketing majors learn how to discover the special something that people want and how to convince them that their product has it.
As a materials engineering major, you’ll use math and science to study ceramics, metals, polymers (such as glass, rubber, and plastic), and other materials. You’ll learn how to invent and manufacture new materials.
In 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the top of
High-tech gear like that wouldn’t be possible without modern materials. Everything is made out of something, whether cotton, titanium, or GORE-TEX -- materials engineering majors study that something.
Math majors study quantities, forms, and symbolic logic in such subjects as algebra, geometry, calculus, logic, topology, and number theory.
Most of us are comfortable using everyday math -- when we go shopping, for example. But higher level math, such as calculus, may seem mysterious, a completely unfamiliar language. As a math major, you’ll study this language and learn how to use it to describe the world. You’ll explore calculus, modern algebra, and other high-level math in the purest light.
If you love to solve math problems just to know the answer and enjoy using abstract concepts to discover whether something is true or false, this could be the major for you.
As a mechanical engineering major, you’ll learn the science behind machines and the energy that makes them work. You’ll also apply what you learn by creating your own machines.
Machines may not have taken over the world as imagined in some science fiction, but they are certainly a big part of life today.
Students of mechanical engineering learn about the machines that bring convenience and excitement to our lives. They study the physics that make roller coasters loop and planes fly. They learn about the properties of materials that can withstand the heat of the sun and the cold of outer space. And they discover the secrets behind control systems such as the cruise control in the family car.
Molecular biology majors explore cells, their characteristics, parts, and chemical processes. You’ll pay special attention to how molecules control a cell’s activities and growth.
There’s a range of complexity in life on earth. You can see an amoeba, a complete organism that consists of just one cell, under a microscope. Or you can look in a mirror and see a human being, made up of trillions of cells working together.
In both the amoeba and the human, the cell is a complex, functioning structure, with parts and chemical processes that define what the organism is and does. In molecular biology, you’ll study the cell and gain an understanding of how it works.
Neuroscience majors study a combination of subjects, including psychology and chemistry, to deepen their understanding of the brain and the nervous system.
Everyone gets stressed out now and then, and some stress is healthy. Say a dad sees his toddler toppling off a play structure. His brain releases chemicals that trigger other reactions in his body, giving him a burst of energy to dash to his daughter before she hits the pavement.
But neuroscientists have found that too much stress can hurt a part the brain’s hippocampus, which plays a key role in memory. Neuroscientists are working on treatments for stress -- but the best remedy may be to just mellow out. If you major in neuroscience, you’ll study stress, memory, and other mysteries of the brain and nervous system.
Nuclear engineering majors study radioactive materials and radiation and learn how to use them in areas such as power, nuclear medicine, and industry.
It wasn’t long ago that scientists first began to split the atom, releasing nuclear energy in a process called fission. Now nuclear energy is used to supply electricity to homes all over the world and may someday be used to power rockets twice as fast as a space shuttle. And in medicine, radiation plays a big role, making possible everything from x-rays to treatments that destroy cancer cells.
Of course, nuclear energy also creates problems, such as the radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. As a nuclear engineering major, your studies will go beyond the basics of fission and the benefits of nuclear energy to include its challenges.
Nursing majors train to care for sick and disabled patients and to promote better health.
It’s a typical morning at a city hospital. A woman arrives complaining of severe stomach pain. A nurse asks her a series of direct questions about her symptoms and learns what may be causing the pain. The nurse alerts a doctor, and they work together to order tests and begin treatment. Upstairs, a second nurse administers chemotherapy drugs to a patient who suffers from cancer. On another floor, a third nurse helps to deliver a baby.
If you study nursing, you may train in a hospital like this where nurses care for, educate, and enhance the lives of patients every day. You’ll learn about everything from examining patients and treating their immediate needs to keeping up the health of people with long-term conditions.
Nutrition sciences majors research the complex relationship between the body, nutrients, and health.
In terms of health, we are what we eat. Nutrition science majors study how our bodies transform everything from hot dogs to salads into energy we can use. They also study how changes like aging, illness, exercise, and pregnancy affect our digestion.
As a student of nutrition sciences, you'll explore the latest research in, for example, the benefits and possible dangers of antioxidants.
Operations management majors learn how to manage the development, production, and manufacturing of products and services. Topics of study include factory management, labor relations, and quality control.
Hamburgers didn’t become one of the world’s most popular foods just because they taste good -- although that didn’t hurt. Fast food got a big boost in 1954, when Ray Kroc franchised the McDonald brothers’ restaurants. He came up with the idea of using assembly lines to turn out cheap, identical burgers.
Operations management majors learn from success stories like Kroc’s. Their goal? To become experts on getting the best products and services to consumers as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching
This major prepares students to teach physical education and coach sports at various educational levels.
Freddy Adu, soccer superstar. Kimmie Meissner, figure-skating champ. Annika Sörenstam, golf pro. What do these world-class athletes have in common? They all have gifted coaches behind them, people who have helped them reach the heights of strength, grace, and speed. But coaches and physical education teachers don't just groom future sports celebrities. By working in schools and youth programs, they help all young people have fun while getting fit.
Would you enjoy coaching a basketball team, teaching a dance class, or demonstrating a juggling trick? Do you want to help kids become confident, coordinated, and team-spirited? If so, consider a career as a physical education teacher or coach.
Physics is the scientific study of matter and energy. Topics covered include classical and modern theories, electricity and magnetism, and relativity.
How does the universe work? What are atoms made of? While the first question is about the biggest of things, the second asks about the unimaginably small. Yet both questions fall under the scope of physics.
Physics majors seek to understand the laws that govern the universe. From gigantic stars trillions of miles away to the subatomic particles within our own bodies, physics takes on matter and energy in all its forms.
Predentistry programs guide students as they prepare for admission into dental school.
"I thrill when I drill a bicuspid," sings Orin Scrivello, the leather-wearing dentist in the musical Little Shop of Horrors. Fortunately, real dentists don't share Orin's taste for causing pain. In fact, some dentists are starting to use painless lasers to root out tooth decay.
If you want to join the legions of professionals who protect teeth and gums from disease -- and keep our smiles bright -- you can start by signing up for a predentistry program.
Premedicine programs provide guidance to students as they prepare for medical school, osteopathic medical training, and podiatric medical training.
If medical school is your holy grail, undergraduate programs are available to guide you on your quest for admission. But it’s not a major -- what you choose to major in is up to you.
Students often choose majors in chemistry or biology because they must take several classes in these fields. However, medical schools are also impressed by students with diverse interests. For example, if you have a passion for music, you may want to indulge it before concentrating on your medical studies. As long as you fulfill all of the prerequisite courses for med school, feel free to choose a non-science major.
Real estate majors learn how to develop, appraise, purchase, and sell land, houses, and buildings.
When you and your friends have game night, do you always want to play Monopoly? And once you’ve snatched up Park Place and Broadway, are you the type of player who will wheel and deal until you’ve built hotels everywhere? If so, you may want to study real estate.
Real estate professionals are the masters of buying and building property all over the world. These business people know how to make investments pay off, and once you graduate you’ll be ready to join them.
Statistics students study probability theory and sampling theory. They also learn to use techniques based on these theories to study the relationships between groups of measurements.
Who will win the next presidential election? To find out, you might ask each and every registered voter how they plan to vote. But a more practical way to get your answer is to conduct an opinion poll, questioning only a small sample of registered voters. But how can you use the answers of a small group of people to make a prediction that involves many millions of people nationwide?
That’s where statistics comes into play. Statistics is a field of applied mathematics that relies heavily on computers. Using statistics, pollsters can decide who to interview and how to weigh the information they collect to make accurate predictions.