The best dual enrollment classes depend on many factors, like your future professional goals, difficulty level, schedule, and transferability. With this in mind, classes like American History 1&2, English composition 1&2, Mathematics, and foreign language are excellent choices.
Philosophy is also a great concurrent enrollment class if you intend to attend some of the best liberal arts colleges. You could also consider psychology and sociology, computer science, or a natural science class like biology and chemistry.
But what makes these classes stand out as the top best options? Keep reading to find out the best classes to take for dual enrollment and what to consider before choosing one.
What Are Dual Enrollment Classes & Their Benefits
Also referred to as dual credit or concurrent enrollment, dual enrollment is college classes that you can take while in high school. This means you must apply as a college student while being a high school student.
To apply for these classes, you must submit transcripts and test scores, including ACT/SAT, to the college. And once accepted, you can register for the classes. But why take dual enrollment classes? Here are some of the benefits:
Boosts Chances of College Acceptance
Having good grades in your dual credits can increase your chances of getting accepted into most colleges. This is because the classes demonstrate your readiness for college-level coursework.
Dual enrollment classes can reduce the amount of time you spend in college or post-secondary school. For example, if you do two years of concurrent enrollment, you will only spend two or three years in college. However, this is only if the college accepts all of your credits.
Additionally, the program may help parents save money on books, college expenses, and tuition. Besides, some community colleges offer discounts on the cost of books while some states provide financial assistance.
Earn College Credit
Another benefit is that you get to earn college credit before graduating with a high school diploma. Even better, you can transfer these credits to most universities, bypassing some college classes.
Offers a Better Head Start
By letting you take up college-level courses, dual enrollment may give you a great head start in your college career. Consequently, you can decide which degree program is best for you or whether college is the right path.
8 Best Dual Enrollment Classes To Take
Choosing the best concurrent enrollment classes can be daunting because of the many options available. Below is a list of some of the top choices worth considering.
1. American History 1 & 2
Students in most colleges are required to technically take a history course to fulfill their general education requirements. This is because nearly all degrees need two semesters of history.
Generally, if you take up U.S. history in college, it satisfies American history in high school. This means you could transfer the credit to the university.
You could take World History or even Government. However, the best history class should not overlap with the Advanced Placement (AP) history classes you take.
Related: What Are AP Classes In High School?
2. Foreign Language
Although not mandatory, most top colleges or universities require you to take at least two years of one foreign language. This makes the language an excellent dual enrollment class.
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Additionally, many majors require passing one or more college semesters of a foreign language. You may also need a second type of foreign language, which is a requirement for graduation. Some of the most popular languages you could study include:
- American sign language
Philosophy is a standard General Education requirement in most liberal arts colleges. If you are planning to enter law school or be a pre-med, philosophy is one of the best dual enrollment classes to take.
For example, you could take an Introduction to Philosophy class to get humanities credit out of the way. As a result, you will receive 3 credits.
4. English Composition 1 & 2
English composition is another standard college prerequisite course in most universities. This class is usually complicated at the university level but more manageable at the community college level.
Typically, you must pass at least two semesters of this class to earn your college degree. Therefore, if you take English as one of your dual enrollment classes, you won’t take the course in your first year of college. You simply transfer the college credit to your university of choice.
If you plan to major in a STEM field, you will need college-level math to graduate. Conversely, non-STEM programs require at least one math course to satisfy the general education (GE) requirements.
You could take calculus, geometry, algebra 1 & 2, or statistics. Taking a math dual enrollment class also ensures you don’t have to take a math placement exam. This test is a requirement in some colleges and determines whether or not you must do a math course at the university.
6. Psychology & Sociology
These two are excellent concurrent enrollment classes, especially if you wish to attend a medical school or pursue a STEM degree. The two courses will ensure you don’t bother with social sciences while attending university.
However, for non-STEM degrees, you should take General Psychology instead. This class may count as a science or elective credit, even if you don’t wish to major in psychology.
7. Computer Science
Computer science is one of the best dual credits if you intend to pursue a STEM major in university. In fact, it is a prerequisite course for various majors, including engineering and programming.
But because of the growing popularity of computer science, even non-STEM students can also benefit a lot from this class. You can learn valuable technical skills like problem-solving and logical thinking that may apply in various fields.
8. Science Class
Science credits are part of the GE requirements needed for graduation. It does not matter which field you intend to study in college. Generally, most colleges require you to have at least one natural science class, including:
Other colleges require you to have taken between 2 and 3 years of science to get admission. But if you can take 4 years of science classes, the better, especially if you plan to study for a STEM degree.
How To Choose The Best Dual Enrollment Classes
There are things to consider to choose the best dual enrollment classes based on several aspects. They are as follows to help you.
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Most dual enrollment classes are transferable to state universities. Unfortunately, these same dual credits cannot be transferred to some private colleges. Therefore, ensure the dual enrollment classes you choose can be transferred to the university you intend to attend.
Level of Difficulty
Of course, concurrent enrollment classes are a step up in difficulty when compared to standard high school classes. Therefore, choose a class you are good at to get good grades. For example, if you are great at math, start with this class instead of philosophy.
The best dual credits are the ones that fit well with your high school schedule. So, choose classes that will only soak up a little of the time required to complete your high school classes.
The best dual enrollment classes should also align with your future goals. So, consider choosing courses that may lead to your target degree at your target college. Most colleges have suggested paths for each degree, showing the order in which classes you can take.
Before choosing the dual enrollment courses to study, consult with the class instructor first. This will help you get a sense of the class expectations and workload.
How Much Does It Cost To Take Dual Enrollment Classes?
Each class may cost you about $400. However, these costs vary from one state and college to another.
For example, in California, the classes are free as long as you enroll in courses that don’t earn you over 12 units. You only pay for transportation and other course-related fees. Other states that offer free dual enrollment classes are:
In Florida, tuition and fees are usually waived and books are free for dual enrollment students from public high schools. However, in some colleges like the Alabama State University, each dual enrollment class will cost you approximately $300.
Meanwhile, you can expect to pay $50 per credit hour at the Midwestern State University in Texas. Also included is a fee of $33.33 per semester credit hour.
Let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions about choosing the best dual enrollment courses.
Are dual enrollment classes mandatory?
No. However, the classes are fundamental if you intend to attend college or university. They can give an added advantage during the college admission process.
How many dual enrollment classes can I take?
You can take up to 4 courses each fall and spring term, which equals 13 credit hours. For the summer term, you can register for two classes equivalent to 7 credit hours.
What grade levels are eligible for dual enrollment classes?
It varies from one state to another. For example, if you live in Alabama or Georgia, you must be in the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades to qualify for dual credits. But in Michigan, dual enrollment classes are available for 9th to 12th grades.
Can homeschool students participate in dual enrollment classes?
Yes, as long as they meet the necessary college requirements. After all, some community colleges allow you to take dual online credits from the comfort of your home.
There are many advantages of taking dual enrollment classes, including earning college credit and getting a better head start. Even better, these classes save time and money when you finally join college. However, it is always challenging to choose the best concurrent enrollment class.
This is because of the many choices available, like mathematics, History, English, Foreign language, psychology, computer science, and science class. That is why you must consider the dual credit’s transferability, level of difficulty, and future career goals.