What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

A Complete List of All High School Classes

What’s Covered:


Whether you’re just starting high school or you’re further along in your education, you might be wondering what classes you should take. After all, your chosen curriculum can affect your ability to discover your strengths, your success on the SAT and other standardized tests, and even your chances of getting 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.


FAQs About Choosing High School Classes


What classes should I take?


Colleges want to see a balanced curriculum because they like to accept students who are well-rounded with diverse areas of expertise and potential. While these requirements will likely be baked into your high school graduation requirements, you should make sure to take 4 years of math, English (with writing practice), science (with at least 2 years being lab-based), and a foreign language. You should also take at least 3 years of history.


Keep in mind that some colleges provide a suggested high school curriculum, so you can check that if your dream schools have one.


As you choose your classes, consider your interests. For example, if you are thinking of studying engineering later on, your curriculum should be heavy on math and science courses like calculus, physics, chemistry, and computer science.


If your career path doesn’t directly correlate with any particular high school courses, think about a skills-based approach to course selection. If you want to be a lawyer, you should be knowledgeable about the power of language and history. Legal terminology is also heavily rooted in the Latin language, so you might consider taking Latin.


On the other hand, if you’re interested in entrepreneurship, you’ll need to communicate your ideas through language. You might also consider an advanced math class to engage your problem-solving skills.


High school is a good time to explore potential interests. You might hate what you thought you’d love or love what you thought you’d hate, and that’s okay!


How many AP/IB/honors classes should I take?


It depends on the schools you want to get into. Most top schools value course rigor extremely highly in their admissions process. This means that if you’re applying to selective schools, you should take as many advanced classes as you can.


For the top 20 schools, most admitted students take 8-12 AP/IB classes. For competitive state schools, you should take at least 6. For less competitive schools, 2-4 will help you stand out during admissions. For more information, check out our article about which AP courses you should take.


We’ve also made it easy to understand the impact of your AP/IB courses by creating a free admissions chances calculator. This calculator will let you know how your course rigor stacks up against other applicants at specific colleges and universities. It’ll also give you tips for improving the rest of your profile, including your grades and extracurriculars.


What if my school doesn’t offer advanced classes or doesn’t have a lot of course variety?


Having limited resources and funding means that most schools have to pick and choose which classes to offer. Unfortunately, you’ll just have to do your best with what is offered to you.


If your high school has limited class offerings, don’t panic. Many colleges only evaluate students’ course selections based on the options available to them—this can even be seen at prestigious universities like Yale. In other words, you won’t be penalized for neglecting to take advantage of opportunities your high school didn’t provide.


That said, if you have good grades and room in your schedule, you might be able to pursue a subject that interests you through independent study. Additionally, some students opt to take classes that are not available through their high schools at a local community college.


Complete List of High School Classes


Regular Classes




  • 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




  • 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




  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Calculus
  • Computer Math
  • Consumer Math
  • Fundamentals of Math
  • Geometry
  • Integrated Math
  • Math Applications
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Practical Math
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Precalculus
  • 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




  • 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
  • U.S. Government
  • U.S. 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
  • 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




  • AP Art History
  • AP Music Theory




  • 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: Modern
  • AP African American Studies (pilot program)


Math and Computer Science


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




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


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


Where to Get Free Homework Help for these Classes


Balancing your classes in high school can be pretty tough, especially when you have extracurriculars and other responsibilities. To help you get your homework done as efficiently as possible you can use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy. Ivy can help you with all subjects, from math to languages.

Brooke Elkjer
Blog Writer

Short Bio
Brooke is a film and television production assistant, originally from Dallas, Texas. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in English and Neuroscience from the University of Southern California. At USC, Brooke was a producer for the intersectional feminist production company on campus, a Resident Assistant (RA), and a student worker for the Thematic Option Honors GE Program. In her free time, Brooke enjoys reading, writing, and watching Gilmore Girls.