Tips for Choosing Your Senior Year Schedule

Choosing a class schedule for senior year can be a daunting task. Here's how to strike a balance between all your options.

Choosing a class schedule for senior year can be a daunting task. There are so many options! You must take the remaining classes you need to graduate, but you also want to take all the fun electives that you didn’t have the chance to take over the last three years. The solution? Find a balance!

Graduation requirements

Start by looking up your graduation requirements and choosing a class for each required core subject. If there are multiple options for each, you should choose the one that interests you most. The important thing is to receive all the credits you need to graduate. If you’re not sure where to find your graduation requirements, set up a meeting with your guidance counselor to discuss what classes you should take. In addition, if you know where you want to apply to college, make sure the classes you choose fulfill their admission requirements as well. Some schools will require certain classes for specific majors, so make sure to check if your desired college has any of those requirements.

Electives

Once you have your graduation requirements fulfilled, you will most likely have open spaces to fill with electives. Seniors generally have the most options of electives to take, so you may find it overwhelming, but don’t worry―this is the fun part! Begin by ruling out the classes you’ve already taken and can’t or don’t want to take again, then look at classes that interest you. It’s okay to branch out and choose fun classes that you may not have taken otherwise or may not have the chance to take again. In addition to electives, some schools offer study halls. If your schedule is filled with advanced classes, working a study hall into your schedule is a good idea because you’ll have a chance to catch up on all the homework you’ll receive from those tough classes.

Related: Senior-Year Priorities

Dual credit

Many schools offer dual credit options in conjunction with local colleges, where you receive college credit for the dual credit classes you take on campus or online. If you don’t want to attend the college you dual enroll with, it helps to make sure that those hours will transfer to the college of your choice. It’s also beneficial to take dual credit classes that relate to your future major. For example, if you plan on studying Medicine, you should take extra science classes for credit hours, since your college material will concern a lot of biology and anatomy. It’s also possible to take most of your general first-year classes while still in high school through dual credit courses, allowing you to begin taking classes that count toward your major once you actually get to college. Just make sure those credits will transfer to your intended university so you don’t have to take them more than once. If you don’t know which dual enrollment classes to take, talk to your guidance counselor. They’re there to help you!

Related: Dual Enrollment: Are Online or In-Person Classes Better for You?

Final tips

If your school gives you the option to take classes by semester and you play a sport, I recommend requesting to take your harder classes during the season you don’t have that sport. This way you don’t have to worry about balancing hard classes with practices and games. Finally, relax! This is an exciting time as you enter your final year of high school, so be sure to enjoy it. 

Not sure where you’re headed after senior year? Check out our College Search tool to help you find your next step!  

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About Hannah Dodson

I am a junior in high school and preparing for the college search. I love playing volleyball, playing guitar, painting, and spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy traveling and am planning a trip to Ireland this summer. I am excited to begin my senior year and cannot wait to see where it takes me!

 

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