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Preparing for College

Message from the Director

The college decision is one of the most impactful and formative decisions a young person and their family can make. We believe a prayerful and planned approach is the key to success, as Proverbs 21:5 states.

My team and I want to help you and your family make the most of the high school years as your student prepares for college. We know that these resources will aid your student in their college journey, and we hope you reach out to the Admissions Team with any questions or thoughts. We are here to help!


Stephen Pierce
Director of Student Recruitment

Recommended High School Courses

Patrick Henry College recognizes that there are many legitimate approaches to preparing for college. Regardless of the form of academic preparation, applicants must provide documentation of all high school level studies. The College requires that prospective students complete a minimum of 18 high school level courses. The following courses should be completed prior to admission to Patrick Henry College.

  • English: Minimum of four courses. To be well-prepared, students should pursue a well-rounded, college preparatory English program that emphasizes literature, grammar, and composition. Examples: Grammar, Literature, Composition, Speech, and Debate. Please note: competitive speech and debate may count for one English course.

  • Mathematics: Minimum of three college preparatory courses, which must include: Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Examples: Algebra (I & II), Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. To be well-prepared, students should take courses at least through trigonometry.

  • Science: Minimum of two different college preparatory courses. Examples: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. It is preferred that students complete three courses and that those courses include labs.

  • History: Minimum of two courses, which must include at least one comprehensive course in U. S. history and one comprehensive course in world history.

  • Government: Minimum of one course. The course should cover material on local, state, and federal government.

  • Foreign Language: Minimum of one course. Examples: French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Latin, or Greek. It is preferred that students complete two consecutive courses.

  • Electives: Minimum of five courses. Examples include Bible, Fine Arts, Logic, Rhetoric, Music, Economics, Geography, and Computer courses, as well as courses in areas such as biblical worldview and apologetics.

Transcripts and Preparation

Preparing a transcript can present special challenges for homeschooling families, but recordkeeping doesn’t need to be an intimidating process. The goal of a successful transcript is to document high school coursework and provide a means of evaluating the student’s academic mastery. Each student’s high school background is different, and PHC recognizes that there is no single educational model that best prepares all students for college-level work. Homeschooling families should not wait until beginning the college application process to prepare a high school transcript; rather, PHC recommends keeping an ongoing list of all courses, grades, and extracurricular and volunteer activities throughout high school. Your transcript may use one of a variety of formats, but all transcripts should include the following information:

  • Subjects studied, with specific course titles. Please include a brief course description if the content of the course is not readily apparent from the title.

  • Units, credits, or another method to indicate the course duration and amount of material covered in each course. A typical year-long high school course covers 1 credit worth of material; a semester-long course is typically ½ credit.

  • Year or months in which each course was completed.

  • Grades for each course (please include your grading scale on the transcript). Please note: PHC strongly prefers that the transcript list a grade for each course. If grades are not assigned, use some other means to indicate the level of mastery in each course to allow the Admissions Review Committee to accurately understand and assess the student’s achievement.

  • Any courses planned or in progress for a current high school student, any high school level courses completed prior to ninth grade, and any college-level courses completed for dual high school/college credit.

  • Verification that a student has completed or will complete the designated high school program with a full graduation date (i.e., June 15, 2022, not June 2022).

  • An original signature, dated and hand-signed in ink by the school administrator (usually the parent). 

  • Optional information: extracurricular activities, volunteer and service areas, special awards or honors, and standardized test scores. 

As an alternative, homeschooling families may provide a narrative description of a student’s college preparatory work, including a description of subjects studied and an overall evaluation of the quality of work. In order to evaluate applicants thoroughly, the College needs to know what subjects applicants have studied as well as when and to what extent they studied them.

If applicable, you may want to prepare an addendum with additional information that will help the Review Committee better understand your high school program, such as course/curriculum descriptions or your school’s specific educational philosophy. For example, it is helpful to indicate if your curriculum followed a classical or Great Books model, emphasized interdisciplinary courses, or used a unit studies approach.

Transcript Template

For your convenience, a transcript template and sample high school transcript are available for you to download.

Additional Preparatory Programs

The HSLDA Online Academy

National Bible Bee

Generation Joshua

TeenPact Leadership Schools

Worldview Academy

Stoa Christian Home School Speech and Debate

National Christian Forensics Association (NCFCA) Speech and Debate

Answers in Genesis



Coming soon!

Learn about Financing For Patrick Henry College

Cost of Attendance