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 a minimum of 18 high school level courses be completed. To be well-prepared, PHC recommends, but does not require, the following college preparatory courses:

      • English: Minimum of four courses, such as Grammar, Literature, Composition, Speech.
      • Mathematics: Minimum of three courses, such as Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. 
      • Science: Minimum of three courses, such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
      • History: Minimum of two courses, such as US History, World History. 
      • Government: Minimum of one course which should cover material on local, state, and federal government.
      • Foreign Language: Minimum of two courses, such as Spanish I & Spanish II or Latin I & Latin II.
      • Electives: Minimum of three courses.

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



Q: How important is my walk with the Lord as a Patrick Henry College student?

A: At Patrick Henry College, a biblical worldview is one of our three core tenets and an essential part of our community. We are looking for students who know the Lord and desire to grow in their faith and in all the spiritual disciplines. A growing PHC student will demonstrate this love for the Lord through consistent Bible reading and prayer habits, along with attending a local church body. PHC seeks out students who serve and love people and the Lord, knowing they will thrive in our Christ-centered community. 

Q: What are the liberal arts and what is PHC's 63-credit core curriculum?

A: PHC has as its mission the cultivation of “timeless Biblical values” and the formation of leaders equipped to “shape our culture.” To facilitate this, PHC has adopted the educational model of the Christian classical liberal arts. A liberal arts education is an educational approach based on the disciplines historically recognized as the “arts fitting of a free man.” Read more about the classical model of education here and our 63-credit core here.

Q: What classes should I take to prepare?

A: The College requires that prospective students complete a minimum of 18 high school level courses. Of that eighteen, four should be English, three Mathematics, three Science, two History, one Government, two classes of a Foreign Language with the rest being elective. You can see the section on recommended high school courses above for more information.

Q: What is PHC's minimum SAT/ACT/CLT score for admission?

A: PHC does not have a minimum test score requirement. We conduct a holistic review of your academic background when considering admission. To receive academic scholarships, students' scores must fall into the ranges indicated here. If your score falls outside the academic scholarship range, your application will still be reviewed.

Q: How vital are writing skills at PHC?

A: Because PHC strives to raise up the next generation of Christian communicators, we train students to write at the highest levels. Our classes tend to be heavily oriented towards reading (often of the “great books” in the field), having in-depth discussions, and practicing analytical and rhetorical skills through frequent writing assignments. Be sure to check the high school resource guide for preparation advice.

Q: How important are leadership and service at PHC?

A: As characterized by Christ, leadership and service are foundational to student formation at PHC. As Matthew 23:11 says "he that is greatest among you shall be your servant." PHC provides the training and development needed to equip a new generation of Christ-like leaders who can think deeply, write clearly, and speak with conviction.

Q: Does PHC have dual enrollment?

A: Yes. PHC offers dual enrollment through our distance learning program. Our online courses are open to students age 16 and older. If you are a current high school student who wants to prepare for college rigor, our distance learning program may be right for you. Through PHC's dual enrollment, students can complete up to 19 credits from our core curriculum at a discounted rate.

Q: What's the best way to get to know PHC?

A: One way to get to know the campus and the community is by coming to Teen Leadership Camps. Our camps are designed with a Christian worldview where teens grow deep in their faith, friendships, and academic pursuits! Another great way to learn more about PHC is by scheduling a Campus Visit. PHC offers both personal visits, where you can experience a customized day on campus, and Open House events for those who like a crowd.

Q: When should I apply?

A: It's never too early to apply, but, typically, the beginning of your senior year of high school is the best time to apply. See the apply page for important application dates.

Learn about Financing For Patrick Henry College

Cost of Attendance