The Best Dual Credit Courses To Take By Grade

by | Mar 1, 2022 | Learning Design

Courses through TEL are college-level, so most of our dual-credit courses are a good fit for the final years of high school and the first years of college. Students can scaffold new topics onto material they learned earlier in high school, such as taking Algebra I and II before College Algebra. But some courses are more general and can be taken earlier.

Using student success data, we created these suggestions on when students should include various courses in their schedules. Interested in a course not on this list? Let us know! Counselors, teachers, and students should take into consideration the student’s motivation, time management skills, and content knowledge when deciding which courses to take.

Download the Infographic

Any Grade

College Readiness

We recommend College Readiness for any student interested in taking dual credit courses, and that students take it before enrolling in any of our other dual credit courses. This course helps students learn how to study and manage their time. The skills students learn in this course will help them throughout their learning journey. This is also a one-hour course, which is easier to fit into a schedule.


These courses don’t require specific prior knowledge, or they build on material students would have learned by this point. The concepts and time commitments are high, but not unreachable for sophomores in high school, especially in their second semester or the summer following their sophomore year.

Introduction to Communication

With Introduction to Communication, there are no prerequisites and yet it helps students learn how to present their ideas in ways other people can understand. With a variety of assignments from writing to videos, this is a good introduction to dual-credit courses.

U.S. History I

U.S. History I and II are typically required courses for students to graduate from high school. Taking the U.S. History I as a sophomore gives students more flexibility on when they can take U.S. History II, if they want.

American Government

All students in the U.S. should have a basic understanding of how our government works. Building on information from U.S. History courses, students learn how the governing systems evolved from the original founding, and are asked to think critically about what has worked and what could be improved.


These courses typically require more time-management skills and maturity. They also ask students to extrapolate what they’ve learned in core subjects like English, math, and science and apply them in new ways. These courses also help students set higher standards for writing and making connections.

Language & Composition

Commonly referred to as Comp I, Language & Composition introduces students to college-level writing expectations. With the mastery assignments, the course guides students through writing several different types of essays.

College Algebra

College Algebra is a standard first-year college course. Students who take it as dual credit can get this requirement out of the way. Students will need to successfully complete Geometry and Algebra II in order to do well in College Algebra.

Physical Science + Lab

Physical Science is often one of the first of the sciences that students encounter. It helps students understand the building blocks of science, such as atoms, chemical reactions, and motion. Because it contains a number of algebraic equations, we recommend students take it with or after College Algebra.


Many of the courses students take as a senior are similar in scope and sequence to those as a freshman in college. Seniors are often expected to manage their time and priorities well and have experienced a wide range of concepts in their academic careers. They can use this knowledge to take on more complex topics and ideas.

Chemistry + Lab

A mix of math and science, Chemistry is typically one of the more challenging science courses. Students should have successfully completed Algebra II and feel comfortable navigating complex chemical reactions safely (and with support).

Research & Composition

Often referred to as Comp II, Research & Composition is also typically required for high school graduation. Building on skills learned in Language & Composition, Research & Composition helps students clearly outline and support their ideas through written essays and research papers.

Music Appreciation

This Fine Art credit helps students understand different types of music and how music has been used over centuries. This course was co-written by an instructor from The Julliard School and the audio format requires students to study in a different way than other courses. It’s helpful, but not required, if students have had some experience with foundational music properties.

Create A Clear Path For Your Students

Help your students make the most of their dual credit experience by giving them a sequence of courses that build on each other. At TEL, we have several programs that make it easy for schools to recommend courses based on where their students are, including our Core Four Bundle and our +1 Program for a year’s worth of college creditDownload our guide or reach out to your account manager to learn more.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!