When universities calculate your GPA for admission purposes, they often ignore GPA on their transcripts and focus only on your performance in these core disciplines. Achievements in physical education, music groups and other non-core courses are less useful in predicting your college readiness than those in core courses. This does not mean that elective courses are not important. Universities do want to see you have a wide range of interests and experience, but they do not provide a good window for applicants to understand their ability to handle rigorous University courses. The requirements for core courses vary from state to state, and many more selective universities want to see a strong high school academic record beyond the core. Senior positions, IB and honorary courses are required to compete in the most selective universities. In most cases, the strongest applicants for highly selective universities will have four years of mathematics (including calculus), four years of science and four years of foreign languages. If your high school doesn’t offer advanced language courses or calculus, recruiters will usually learn from your counselor’s reports, which won’t hurt you. Recruiters want to see you take the most challenging courses. High schools vary greatly in what challenging courses they can offer. Please note that many colleges with overall enrollment do not have specific curriculum requirements for enrollment. For example, Yale’s admissions website says, “Yale does not have any specific admission requirements (for example, Yale does not have foreign language admission requirements). But we are really looking for students who have taken a well-balanced and rigorous course. Generally speaking, you should try to take English, Science, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Foreign Languages every year. That is to say, it is difficult for students without basic core courses to enter Ivy League schools. Universities want to recruit successful students, and applicants without proper core courses often struggle in universities. Course requirements for enrollment. The table below shows the minimum curriculum recommendations sampled from different types of elective colleges. Always remember that “minimum” simply means that you will not be disqualified immediately. The strongest applicants usually exceed the minimum requirements.