Get Ready for College with the Right Classes
Academics are the most important factor in getting into and succeeding in college. College entrance requirements vary based on the type of college, how selective it is and many other factors. Here are some basic guidelines on the classes students should take in high school.
English, Math, Science, Social Science
Not only are these required for graduating high school, all colleges want to see students with 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra 1 and above), 3 years of Science (including two labs), and 3 years of Social Science like history or social studies. For more selective schools, plan on taking 4 years of each of these core classes.
Do you have your heart set on being a Beaver, a Mountaineer or a Duck? If you want to go to a 4-year public university in Oregon, you'll need 2 years of a Second Language. More selective independent colleges may also want to see two or more credits of a second language like Spanish, American Sign Language or Chinese.
Fill the rest of your schedule with classes that interest you, whether that's art, music or technology. Consider a Career and Technical Education (CTE) class to get hands-on experience with a potential career path like graphic design, welding or healthcare.
Honors, Advanced Placement, International Bacculaureate, College Now, Dual Credit
Colleges value students that take challenging classes in high school, so take as many advanced classes as you can. Bonus: you may even be able to get college credit or place out of introductory classes once you're in college.
Of course, each college may have slightly different admission requirements so be sure to check each college website for specific requirements. See if you're on track with our Right Classes worksheet.
Originally published March 2019.