General Information

Create a Solid Academic Portfolio

Your course selection may seem like a random selection of classes to you, but college admission officers see it as a blueprint of your high school education. They're looking for a solid foundation of learning that you can build on in college.

Take at least four solid academic classes every year. The following subjects and classes are standard fare for success in high school and beyond, whether you plan to attend a four-year, two-year, or technical school.



Take English every year. Traditional courses such as American and English Literature help you improve your writing skills, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. Elective English courses are a great way to expand on your skills.

  • English 9,10,11, & 12
  • AP English 11 & 12
  • College Composition I & II
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature Through Film
  • Photojournalism

Four core english classes are required for both diploma types.


In college math classes and in most careers, you need algebra and geometry. Take them early on, and you'll be able to enroll in advanced science and math in high school -- and you'll show colleges you're ready for higher-level work. 

  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra, Functions, & Data Analysis
  • Algebra II
  • Advanced Math with Trigonometry
  • Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry
  • Statistical Reasoning
  • AP Calculus AB/BC 
  • AP Statistics
Four math classes are required for an advanced studies diploma. 


Science teaches you to think analytically and apply theories to observations of the natural world. Laboratory classes let you test what you've learned through hands-on work. 

  • Earth Science 
  • Environmental Science
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Human Physiology & Anatomy
  • College Biology
  • AP Environmental Science
Four science classes are required for an advanced studies diploma. 

Social Studies

Understand local and world events that are happening now by studying the culture and history that have shaped them. Social sciences round out your core curriculum.


  • World History I & II
  • VA & US History
  • AP US History
  • US History I & II DE
  • VA & US Government
  • AP US Government & Politics
  • US Government I & II DE
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • American Conflicts
  • AP Psychology
Four core social studies classes are required for an advanced studies diploma. 


Foreign Languages

Solid foreign language study shows colleges you're willing to stretch beyond the basics. Many colleges require at least two years of foreign language study, and some prefer more.

  • Spanish I, II, & III
  • Spanish IV: Intermediate Spanish Conversation I
  • Spanish V: Intermediatie Spanish Conversation II
  • French I, II, III, IV
  • AP French Language & Culture

 Three semesters of one language, or two semesters of two languages are required for an advanced studies diploma. 

Fine Arts

Research indicates that students who participate in the arts often do better in school and on standardized tests. The arts help you recognize patterns, discern differences and similarities, and exercise your mind in unique ways, often outside of a traditional classroom setting.

Computer Courses

More and more college courses and jobs require at least a basic knowledge of computers. Computer skills also can help you do research and schoolwork better and faster. 





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