April Maguire 4 min read Academics, Choosing Classes

A Complete List of all High School Classes

Are you choosing the right classes?

Our free guide to 10th grade tells you exactly what you need to focus on in high school.

Whether you’re just starting high school or are further along in your education, you might be wondering what classes to take. After all, your chosen curriculum can affect your ability to discover your talents, succeed on the SAT and other standardized tests, and even get into your dream college.

 

Below is a complete list of courses found at high schools across the U.S. While your school might not offer all or even most of these classes, perusing this list can give you a sense of what to expect when the time comes to design your curriculum.

 

Designing Your High School Curriculum

 

The most competitive colleges seek out well-rounded students who undertake challenging high school curricula. To boost your odds of getting accepted at your school of choice, be sure to take classes every year in English, math, science, social studies, and a foreign language. Additionally, high school students should sign up for honors and AP classes when available and pursue electives about which they’re passionate. According to the Princeton Review website, peppering your schedule with electives is a great way to identify new talents and areas of interest.

 

Dealing With Limited Class Offerings

 

Of course, your high school is unlikely to offer all the courses on our list. Limited resources and funding mean that most schools have to pick and choose which classes to offer. However, if you have good grades and room in your schedule, you might be able to pursue a subject that interests you through an independent study. Additionally, some students opt to take classes not available through their high schools at a local community college.

 

If your high school has limited class offerings, don’t panic. According to an article from Yale’s Admissions department, colleges only evaluate students’ course selections based on the options available to them. In other words, you won’t be penalized for neglecting to take advantage of opportunities your high school didn’t provide.

Ready to conquer 10th grade?

Our free guide to 10th grade goes in-depth about subjects like how to build a rigorous course load, standardized testing, extracurriculars, and more.

Complete List of High School Classes

 

Wondering how your high school stacks up to the competition when it comes to course offerings? Read on for a list of the most common classes offered by schools across the nation:

 

Business

 

  • Accounting
  • Business law
  • Business management
  • Consumer education
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Introduction to business
  • Marketing    
  • Personal finance

 

Computer Science and IT

 

  • Animation
  • App development
  • Audio production
  • Computer programming
  • Computer repair
  • Film production
  • Graphic design
  • Keyboarding
  • Media technology
  • Music production
  • Video game development
  • Web design
  • Web programming
  • Word processing  

 

English

 

  • American literature
  • British literature
  • Contemporary literature
  • Creative writing
  • Communication skills
  • Debate
  • English language and composition
  • English literature and composition
  • Humanities
  • Journalism
  • Literary analysis
  • Modern literature
  • Poetry
  • Popular literature
  • Rhetoric
  • Shakespeare
  • Technical writing
  • World literature
  • Written and oral communication

 

Consumer Sciences

 

  • Chemistry of foods
  • CPR training
  • Culinary arts
  • Early childhood development
  • Early childhood education
  • Family studies
  • Fashion and retail merchandising
  • Fashion construction
  • Home economics
  • Interior design
  • Nutrition

 

Foreign Language

 

  • American Sign Language
  • Ancient Greek
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

 

Math

 

  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Calculus
  • Computer math
  • Consumer math
  • Fundamentals of math
  • Geometry
  • Integrated math
  • Math applications
  • Multivariable calculus
  • Practical math
  • Pre-algebra
  • Pre-calculus
  • Probability
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Statistics
  • Trigonometry

 

Performing Arts

 

  • Choir
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Guitar
  • Jazz band
  • Marching band
  • Music theory
  • Orchestra
  • Percussion
  • Piano  
  • Theater technology
  • World music

 

Physical Education

  • Aerobics
  • Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Health
  • Lifeguard training
  • Pilates
  • Racket sports
  • Specialized sports
  • Swimming
  • Weight training
  • Yoga

 

Sciences

 

  • Agriculture
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Earth science
  • Electronics
  • Environmental science
  • Environmental studies
  • Forensic science
  • Geology
  • Marine biology
  • Oceanography
  • Physical science
  • Physics
  • Zoology

 

Social Studies

 

  • Cultural anthropology
  • Current events
  • European history
  • Geography
  • Global studies
  • Human geography
  • International relations
  • Law
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Modern world studies
  • Physical anthropology
  • Political studies
  • Psychology
  • Religious studies
  • Sociology
  • US government
  • US history
  • Women’s studies
  • World history
  • World politics
  • World religions

 

Visual Arts

 

  • 3-D art
  • Art history
  • Ceramics
  • Digital media
  • Drawing
  • Film production
  • Jewelry design
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

 

Vocational Education

 

  • Auto body repair
  • Auto mechanics
  • Building construction
  • Computer-aided drafting
  • Cosmetology
  • Criminal justice
  • Driver education
  • Electronics
  • FFA
  • Fire science
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • JROTC
  • Metalworking
  • Networking
  • Plumbing
  • Production technology
  • Refrigeration fundamentals
  • Robotics
  • Woodworking

 

AP Classes

According to the College Board website, the following AP courses are offered by U.S. high schools:

 

AP Capstone

 

  • AP Research
  • AP Seminar

 

Arts

 

  • AP Art History
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
  • AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
  • AP Studio Art: Drawing

 

English

 

  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition

 

History and Social Science

 

  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • AP European History
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP United States Government and Politics
  • AP United States History
  • AP World History

 

Math and Computer Science

 

  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP Statistics

 

Sciences

 

  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics
  • AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based
  • AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based

 

World Languages and Cultures

 

  • AP Chinese Language and Culture
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP German Language and Culture
  • AP Italian Language and Culture
  • AP Japanese Language and Culture
  • AP Latin
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture

 

High school students and their families often have questions what it comes to class selection. Should you take bio or chemistry? Spanish or French? What’s the ideal number of AP classes? If you are looking for more guidance about choosing classes, college applications, and extracurriculars, check out our free guide for 9th graders and our free guide for 10th graders. Our guides go in-depth about subjects ranging from academicschoosing coursesstandardized testsextracurricular activitiesand much more!

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.