Table 10. Percentage of public and private high school graduates taking selected mathematics and science courses in high school: Selected years, 1982 through 2009
 
Course (Carnegie units) 1982 1987 1990 1994 1998 2000 2005 2009
Mathematics                
Any mathematics (1.0) 98.5 98.9 99.9 99.8 99.8 99.8 99.9 100.0
Algebra I (1.0) 55.2 58.8 63.7 65.8 62.8 61.7 62.8 68.9
Geometry (1.0) 47.1 58.6 63.2 70.0 75.1 78.3 83.3 88.3
Algebra II (0.5) 39.9 49.0 52.9 61.1 61.7 67.8 70.3 75.5
Trigonometry (0.5) 8.1 11.5 9.6 11.7 8.9 7.5 8.3 6.1
Analysis/precalculus (0.5) 6.2 12.8 13.3 17.3 23.1 26.7 29.5 35.3
Statistics/probability (0.5) 1.0 1.1 1.0 2.0 3.7 5.7 7.7 10.8
Calculus (1.0)1 5.0 6.1 6.5 9.3 11.0 11.6 13.6 15.9
AP calculus (1.0) 1.6 3.4 4.1 7.0 6.7 7.9 9.2 11.0
Science                
Any science (1.0) 96.4 97.8 99.3 99.5 99.5 99.5 99.6 99.9
Biology (1.0)1 77.4 86.1 90.9 93.2 92.7 91.2 92.3 95.6
AP/honors biology (1.0) 10.0 9.4 10.1 11.9 16.2 16.3 16.0 22.4
Chemistry (1.0)1 32.1 44.2 48.9 55.8 60.4 62.0 66.2 70.4
AP/honors chemistry (1.0) 3.0 3.5 3.5 3.9 4.7 5.8 7.6 5.9
Physics (1.0)1 15.0 20.0 21.5 24.5 28.8 31.4 32.7 36.1
AP/honors physics (1.0) 1.2 1.8 2.0 2.7 3.0 3.9 5.3 5.7
Geology/earth science (0.5) 13.6 13.4 24.7 22.9 20.7 17.4 24.7 27.7
Biology and chemistry (2.0)2 29.3 41.4 47.5 53.7 59.0 59.4 64.3 68.3
Biology, chemistry, and physics (3.0)3 11.2 16.5 18.8 21.4 25.4 25.1 27.3 30.1
1 Students who took an AP course are included in the general category for the corresponding course.
2 At least one credit each in biology and chemistry.
3 At least one credit each in biology, chemistry, and physics.
NOTE: These data only report the percentage of students who earned the indicated credit (0.5 = one semester; 1.0 = one academic year) for each course while in high school. The Carnegie unit is a standard of measurement that represents one credit for the completion of a 1-year course. For a transcript to be included in the analyses, it had to meet three requirements: (1) the graduate graduated with either a standard or honors diploma, (2) the graduate’s transcript contained 16 or more Carnegie credits, and (3) the graduate’s transcript contained more than 0 Carnegie credits in English courses. An exception to this is that the 2005 initial release report contains an analysis of graduates with disabilities that included those graduates receiving special education diplomas and certificates of attendance in addition to those receiving honors or standard diplomas. Data differ slightly from figures appearing in other NCES reports because of differences in taxonomies and case exclusion criteria.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study of 1980 Sophomores (HS&B-So:80/82), "High School Transcript Study"; and High School Transcript Study (HSTS), selected years, 1987–2009.