Applying to Cornell engineering without Physics and Calculus?

My school does not have Physics at all, and Calculus conflicts with AP Literature. I really want to take AP Lit but I am going into engineering most likely so if I miss Calculus that would be pretty bad. I found a pre-college class at UPenn that offers Calculus but it is a review class and it is not guaranteed admission.

I'm looking at Cornell Engineering, which requires Calculus, Physics, Biology and Chemistry. What should I do? Should I give up AP Lit? What about Physics?

If you're devoted to engineering as a major choice, I would recommend taking calculus instead of AP Lit. Ideally, you'll be able to take an alternate English class that's offered during another period.

Ask your guidance counselor or current science teacher about the possibility of taking physics as an independent study. Provided your school allows independent study classes, ask if there's an advisor you need to contact and if you need to prepare specific materials to receive approval (you may be required to design a course plan and get it approved by the advisor). You can read this guide for more detailed information on how to take an independent study class in high school.

You might also look into physics classes offered by your local community college. We have a guide to taking community college classes in high school that you can read for more information on the pros and cons of this option and how you can fit these types of classes into your schedule. Again, you'll need to discuss this with your guidance counselor or academic advisor before enrolling.

If you try all these avenues and can't make a physics class happen, I still wouldn't be concerned about Cornell rejecting your application (at least for this reason specifically). Admissions officers understand that students are somewhat bound by the constraints of their high school environments; after all, it's not your fault that your school doesn't offer the class.