High School Course Pattern Requirements

Main Content

New freshmen and transfer students (with fewer than 26 semester hours or 39 quarter hours) must satisfy these course pattern requirements in high school:

  • English: 4 units
  • Social Studies: 3 units
  • Mathematics: 3 units
  • Science: 3 units
  • Electives: 2 units*

Note: One year is defined as 1.0 unit; 1/2 year = 0.5, 1/3 year = 0.33, and 1/4 year = 0.25.

English: Coursework must emphasize written and oral communication and literature. Typically not acceptable are general reading, mass communications, radio/television/film, and theater.

Mathematics: Algebra I and II, and a proof-based geometry course. A fourth unit is highly recommended: trigonometry and pre-calculus, or statistics, depending on the student's area of interest.

Lab Science: Acceptable coursework includes biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, agriculture, or other college preparatory science. General science courses are typically not acceptable.

Social Science: Coursework must emphasize history and government. Anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology are also acceptable.

Electives: Coursework in foreign language, music, art, or vocational education is acceptable. If a foreign language is taken, it must include two semesters of the same language.

College Prep Courses

Talk to your guidance counselor or one of our Admissions Counselors regarding college preparatory courses that will satisfy SIU's course subject pattern requirements.

Students admitted provisionally because of a course pattern deficiency will be required to correct their deficiency in the following manner.

* Earn an ACT-English subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 22);

* Earn an ACT or mathematics subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 22);

Lab Science
* Earn an ACT-Science Reasoning subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 22);

Social Science
* Earn an ACT-Reading subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 23);

Note: It is possible to redistribute excessive units to correct course pattern deficiencies as follows: high school units in excess of the required number of units in social science or lab science may be distributed among the other categories by applying no more than one unit to any of the following categories: social science, lab science or electives.