College basics are the core courses required of every student regardless of their major.

They typically include English, math, science, history, humanities, social science, etc. The purpose of having basics – both in high school and college – is to ensure that all students receive a well-rounded and balanced education.

Related: Our free e-book shows how students can save time and money on college basics.

I like to think of the basics as a wide, but not deep, spectrum of courses. Later, when you choose a major, you’ll choose a particular area and go deep in that discipline. But for now, let’s just talk about the basics – requirements everyone has to fulfill in some way.

Every college or university has their own set of “general education requirements,” or “basics,” that must be fulfilled. Each requirement is given a name - some are easy to understand (like “mathematics” and “humanities”), while others aren’t so easy (like “global understanding” or “intellectual & practical skills”).

What each degree-seeking student must do is fulfill each requirement with a course or an exam acceptable to their college.

It can be a daunting task to understand the requirements and choose a course/exam to fulfill each one. However, for students who want to accelerate earning their accredited degree a typical list of basics can be compiled and an exam chosen to fulfill each requirement.

While it could differ from one student to the next, it doesn’t have to - when a student chooses a major, they can then take courses or exams to meet the requirements of their specific major.

Dual Credit at Home has compiled a plan that includes exams, with easy-to-follow Study Plans, that fulfill the typical basics of both college and high school. Simply having the decisions made and a plan to follow relieves the anxiety that many parents and students feel about venturing into the dual-credit-earning process.

Want to learn more about the Dual Credit at Home program? Attend our free online workshop, How to Earn a Bachelor's Degree during High School.

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