Dear 100 Hour Board,
Could someone explain to me the American Heritage requirement? I am taking AP United States History, which says in the 2021 credit table it "Partially fulfills" the requirement at BYU (if I get a 4 or 5) and is worth 3 credit hours, but the requirement on the GE requirements page it says you only need 3 credit hours for American Heritage to fulfill the requirement. Does APUSH by itself fulfill the requirement, or do I need to take other APs aside from APUSH (like Macro/Microecon or Government)?
Ah, AP tests. I remember them so fondly (NOT).
Inklings linked the guide below, but here's the gist. You have a LOT of options.
You're in APUSH. Let's assume you get a 4 or 5 on the AP exam. This fulfills 1/2 of the American Heritage credit replacement requirement.
You could then choose to take AP US Gov and score a 4 or 5 on the exam, which would get you the other half and save you the chore of taking American Heritage.
OR you could take the courses for AP Economics. There are two AP Econ tests, one for Macroeconomics and one for Microeconomics. From what I've found, most schools offer a year-long AP Econ class, and teach Macro for one semester and Micro for one semester, then you take both exams in the Spring. If you get a 4 or 5 on BOTH exams, then this will *also* complete the other half of the American Heritage credit (3 credit hours) and (per this year's guide), will also fulfill the Social Science GE requirement (another 3 credit hours). Pretty good bang for your buck.
Either AP Gov OR AP Econ will complete the other half of the American Heritage requirement. Or, if you would prefer, you can take the equivalent of those courses at BYU instead (POLI 110 or ECON 110). A small selection of options include APUSH + ECON 110, AP Gov + ECON 110, AP Gov + HIST 220, AP Econ + POLI 110, AP Econ + HIST 220.
While yes, American Heritage is only a 3 credit hour class, there are also different options to fulfill that credit requirement. There is a number of combinations of ECON 110, HIST 220, HIST 221, POLI 110, and POLI 210 that will count for the credit. Each of those courses is 3 credit hours. So for example, ECON 110 + POLI 110 would be a total of 6 credit hours, but will fulfill the American Heritage credit, even though the American Heritage course is only 3 credit hours. There are many college coursework options that are that way. Some people will take the longer route to avoid taking American Heritage. University can be very strange.
I took APUSH and got a 5 on the exam, but I decided I was too afraid of ECON 110 and not interested in POLI 110, so I just took American Heritage. Honestly, it wasn't that bad. Maybe I got lucky (Dr. Jeremy Pope did a great job).
My recommendation to you is to invest your time in AP classes while you can. Lots of the GE classes you end up taking are super basic and can feel really repetitive, and you should spend your time at BYU learning NEW things that interest you (GEs are great for exploring, but the intro classes like BIO 100 were really lame.) Getting the credits for the small fee of a $90 exam is a no-brainer.
In my experience, the most valuable AP classes to take are AP Language & Composition (even if you don't score high enough to skip writing 150, taking the class will teach you irreplaceable writing skills), and AP Calculus BC. If you get a 5 on the test (which Pebble tells me is easy, because you only need like a 50%), you earn credits for MATH 112 and eight freaking credit hours. That is WILD.
You can look here for the AP guide, and here's the link to the guide itself for this year. It seems that it is still the same thing, that you need to score a 5 on both the Macro and Micro tests to test out of ECON 110 and therefore fulfill the other half of the American Heritage requirement (a 4/5 on the APUSH test will get you the other half). Even if you take the classes at BYU, you can take the courses separately instead of taking American Heritage, if it fits with your major. It's a pretty difficult process, but I think that's just because they don't really want students to test out of American Heritage.
Like Guesthouse said, AP Calc is a pretty great class to take in college, and I've already said a bit about the AP Environmental Science test being really good for filling requirements, even if you don't take the class. I can link that here.
Best of luck!
Just wanted to take this chance to pop in and say that not all credit hours are created equal, and not all can be transferred to fulfill different requirements.
More relevantly to your question, I took APUSH my sophomore year of high school, got a 5 on the test, and then took ECON 110 my freshman year of BYU to fulfill their requirements. Thanks to taking this class, I wound up minoring in econ which also opened the door to nice student jobs as both a TA and research assistant in that department. Remember that the purpose of GE's isn't to be a pain in the neck, but to introduce you to a wider range of academic possibilities that you otherwise might have left unexplored.