What should I take in high school?

Different colleges have different admission requirements. Check carefully. But no matter where you want to go college, there will be high school classes you must take to be considered for admission. And there will be classes you should take to help your admission, and your overall college experience, go more smoothly.

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Meeting the admission requirements for the University of Nebraska will prepare you for admission to almost any college or university in the United States. To be admitted to the University of Nebraska, you have to meet the following requirements and complete these courses in high school.

CLASS RANK/TEST SCORES

Be in the upper half of your high school class or have an ACT composite of 20 or higher or an SAT score of 950 or higher.

For more information, visit the ACT and SAT websites.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

16 total units (1 unit = 1 academic year)

ENGLISH: 4 Units

Classes must include intensive reading and writing. After all, the better you read and write, the greater your chances of success in college and later in the "real world." Also, some speech and journalism classes may qualify. Ask your counselor.

MATHEMATICS: 3 Units (4 at UNL)

These must include Algebra 1 & 2 and geometry.

(For UNL, an additional math or math-related unit building on algebra is required.)

SOCIAL SCIENCES: 3 Units

They must include:

  • One American or world history
  • One history, American government or geography, and
  • One from any social science.

NATURAL SCIENCES: 3 Units

These must include two biology, chemistry, physics or earth sciences and one must include laboratory instruction.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: 2 Units of 1 Language

You may qualify for admission without taking a foreign language in high school, if you meet the 16-unit requirement. But you'll then be required to take 2 semesters of foreign language at NU.

ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC REQUIREMENT: 1 Unit

For UNL – One math or math-related unit building on algebra is required.

For UNO or UNK – One unit in any academic discipline is required.

Also, it's a good idea to take college prep, advanced placement and honors classes whenever possible. While these courses are tougher, they demonstrate your commitment to your education – and you may earn college credit for some of them. After all, the point of going to school is to learn as much as possible, right? Of course these classes are tougher, but they demonstrate your commitment to your education – and you may be able to earn advance college credit for some of them.

WHAT YOU DO OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM ALSO MATTERS

Colleges look for well-rounded students who are involved in activities beyond the classroom. For example, you may want to:

  • Participate in student government,
  • Do volunteer work,
  • Attend a music or science camp, or
  • Get a job after school.

These activities will not only help you become a more well-rounded person, they can also improve your chances for college admission, grants and scholarships.