That way, you can plan your schedule to have a manageable workload.
What High School Classes Should I Take?
It’s essential to ensure that you meet all the graduation requirements set by your school and district.
This typically includes core subjects like
- social studies
- physical education.
Taking Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, if available and aligned with your strengths and interests, can provide college credit and a competitive edge when applying to colleges or universities.
Hone your skills in areas of genuine interest, whether that’s in the
- or other electives, as these classes can foster passion and potentially guide future career choices.
What Do I Need For Personal Growth?
Beyond the foundational and academic considerations, it’s equally important to select classes that cultivate a well-rounded skill set and personal growth.
Consider courses that challenge your critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills, as these are universally beneficial irrespective of your chosen path.
If you’re unsure of a specific career or major in college, try a mix of classes to explore various fields and discover where your passions lie.
Furthermore, engaging in extracurricular activities or joining clubs related to your courses can amplify the learning experience, provide practical applications, and open doors to networking opportunities.
Remember, high school is not just about preparing academically but also about personal exploration and growth.
Asians have the highest ACGR in the United States (93%) according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The Average Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) is a metric used in the United States to determine the percentage of students who graduate from high school within a specified period of time.
Complete List of High School Classes
If you attend a larger high school, you may get to take a business class. You might start with an introductory business course to learn the basics. However, you could continue on to accounting, marketing, or other classes.
Some high schools even offer classes in business law. Usually, you don’t have to take a business class to graduate, but it can still be good to learn about business.
That way, you can learn about how companies work. You may even find a new potential career path that you’d enjoy.
- Banking and finance
- Business law
- Business management
- Consumer education
- Introduction to business
- Personal finance
Computer science classes have slowly become more popular. Some are as basic as typing or using programs like Microsoft Word.
Other classes may require more advanced skills, such as web or graphic design. You could even join a yearbook production class. Smaller schools may combine classes with the yearbook committee to avoid having to offer it as a club.
Larger high schools could offer advanced courses, such as app development. Be sure to take at least one computer course so that you can learn how computers work.
- Artificial intelligence
- Game development
- Theory of computation
- AP Computer Science A
- AP Computer Science Principles
- Computer Science I
- Computer Science II
- Web Design
- Mobile App Development
- Game Design
- Software development and testing
- Web applications and databases
English (Language Arts)
English is one of the most important high school classes you can take. Typically, you need to take at least one credit for all four years, but you may be able to double up so that you don’t have to take English your senior year.
Along with standard English classes, you can take classes in American literature, theater literature, creative writing, and journalism.
While the standard classes may break up students by grade, other classes could combine grades.
You can also usually take the advanced placement (AP) version of many classes. That way, you’ll get college credit as long as you get a high enough score on the AP exam.
- American Literature
- British Literature
- Contemporary Literature
- Creative Writing
- Communication Skills
- English Language and Composition
- English Literature and Composition
- Journalism (Mass Communications)
- Literary Analysis
- Modern Literature
- Popular Literature
- Works of Shakespeare
- Speech and Debate
- Technical Writing (Business Writing)
- World Literature
- Written and Oral Communication
The importance of family and consumer science often shines the brightest. While a well-rounded education is essential, it is the practical, real-world skills gained from these courses that will be drawn upon almost daily by students as they navigate the complexities of adulthood.
- Chemistry of Foods (Food Sciences)
- CPR Training
- Culinary Arts
- Early Childhood Development
- Early Childhood Education
- Family Studies
- Fashion and Retail Merchandising
- Fashion Construction
- Human Body Series
- Human Resource Management
- Hot Topics – Allergies
- Home Economics
- Interior Design
- Parenting Basics
Another essential type of high school class revolves around mathematics. Most students have to take geometry and algebra 1 and 2. Once you pass those classes, you can take pre-calculus or calculus.
Did you know that males dominate the Math classes?
Some schools also offer more applied math classes. That way, you can see how math works in the real world, such as through a personal finance course.
If you prefer more advanced math classes, you may take statistics or probability. A lot of math classes are available as AP courses as well.
- Number and Quantity
- Algebra 1
- Algebra 2/Trigonometry
- Statistics and Probability
History and Social Studies
You’ll probably also have to take a few history and social studies courses. When it comes to history, you may study US history, world history, or ancient history.
Other social studies courses could include psychology, government, and geography. You might also be able to take an economics course. Some of those classes are general, while others focus on either macroeconomics or microeconomics.
Of course, a lot of schools offer AP courses in these subjects. You can also take the regular version.
- World History
- U.S History
- European History
- U.S. Government and Politics
- Human Geography
Another common high school graduation requirement is a few science credits. Most high schools offer at least a few options, such as biology and chemistry.
After those two years, you might be able to take biology 2 or physics. Some larger high schools might even offer courses on anatomy, zoology, and other science specialties. Like the other types of high school classes, you can usually take them at the AP level.
You may need three credits worth of science. That means you can take a year off, which is nice if you’ll have a large workload one year.
- Environmental science
- Earth science
- Forensic science
- Marine biology
Many high schools offer world language classes. Smaller high schools will typically offer at least Spanish and/or French for a couple of years, if not more.
At a larger high school, you might be able to take courses in Italian, Japanese, German, and other less-common languages. Some schools even offer American Sign Language (ASL) classes.
You might be able to take AP language classes to help prepare for college. Then, you could avoid having to repeat a language requirement later on.
High schools might offer a variety of classes in fine and performing arts. You could take fine arts classes on drawing, painting, or ceramics.
Performing arts include dance, theater, and music. While most anyone can join a dance or theater class, music classes typically work as ensembles. That means you’ll need to audition or have prior experience to get in.
However, you can also take non-performance classes. For music, that includes music theory, while theater students can learn about theater tech, playwriting, and other skills. Arts classes can be a great way to destress from all of your other classes as these are usually more fun.
- Visual and performing arts
- Dramatic arts
- Film arts
- Fine arts
- Graphic arts technology
- Drama/theatre arts
- Visual art classes
- Fine and performing arts courses
- World Music
Another common requirement to graduate high school is to take a physical education class. Some high schools will let you fulfill this requirement in the summer or at an approved facility, such as a gym. You might start with a generic PE course.
After that, you could learn specifically about swimming, gymnastics, dance, or other things. A larger high school will typically give you more options.
Luckily, you usually only have to take one year’s worth of PE classes. Then, you won’t have to worry about showering for all four years of high school. If possible, schedule PE for the end of the day so that you won’t sweat all day long.
- Ping Pong
- Weight Training
Philosophy and Religion
Another less-common high school class type is on philosophy and religion. You’ll usually find these classes at parochial and other religious high schools. But some larger public schools may offer a course or two on the subject.
You can study world religions or the religion that your high school follows. Other classes may focus on ethics or general philosophy.
Learning about philosophy and religion can help teach you how to think. Even if you don’t agree with the teachings, you may learn how others see the world. That can make it easier to talk things out when you disagree.