Vancouver School of Arts and Academics Career Center

Career-4 Year College/University

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FOUR YEAR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES                             


Minimum high school core course pattern requirements for the public baccalaureate institutions in the State of Washington (CWU, EWU, TESC, U of W, WSU, WWU):



4 years


3 years







Social Studies

3 years


2 years







Foreign Language

2 years

Fine, Visual, or Performing Arts

1 year


English:  Four years of English study are required, at least three of which must be in composition and literature.  One of the four years may be satisfied by courses in drama as literature, public speaking, debate, journalistic writing, business English, or a course in English as a Second Language (ESL).  Courses that are not generally acceptable include those identified as remedial or applied (e.g., developmental reading, remedial English, basic English skills, review English, yearbook/annual, newspaper staff, acting, library).



Mathematics:  Three years of math are required, at the level of algebra, geometry, and advanced (second year) algebra.  More advanced mathematics courses are recommended, such as trigonometry, mathematical analysis, elementary functions, and calculus.  Successful completion of math beyond Algebra 2, prior to senior year, meets both the math and senior year quantitative credit requirements.


Social Science: Three years of study are required in history or in any of the social sciences, e.g., anthropology, contemporary world problems, economics, geography, government, political science, psychology, or sociology.  Credit awarded for student government, leadership, community service or other applied or activity courses will not satisfy this requirement.


Science:  Two years of science are required.  (Some colleges require 3 years.)  One full year of basic principles of biology, chemistry, or physics must be completed with a laboratory experience. It is strongly recommended those students planning to major in science or science related fields complete at least three years of science.

Note: WWU specifies that one credit must be an algebra-based chemistry or physics course.


Foreign Language: Two years of study in a single foreign language are required.  A course in foreign language or study in American Sign Language taken in middle school may satisfy one year of the requirement if the second year course is completed in high school.  Two years of study in American Sign Language will satisfy the foreign language requirement for colleges in the State of Washington.  The foreign language requirement will be considered satisfied for students from non English-speaking countries who entered the United States’ educational system at the eighth grade or later.


Fine, Visual, and Performing Arts; or Academic Electives: One year of study is required in the fine, visual or performing arts.  The fine, visual, and performing arts include study in art appreciation, band, ceramics, choir, dance, dramatic performance and production, drawing, fiber arts, graphic arts, metal design, music appreciation, music theory, orchestra, painting, photography, pottery, print making, and sculpture.


What Students and Parents Should Know

Anyone applying to a four-year college or university must complete an SAT or ACT.  Meeting the requirements does not constitute a guarantee that the applicant will be offered admission; nor does not meeting the requirements mean that the applicant will not be offered admission.  In order to ensure that applicants whose grades and scores alone do not indicate probability of success, Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) policy provides that up to 15 percent of the first-time freshmen enrolled at each institution may be selected using alternative admission standards.  Contact the director of admission at the institution(s) in question for additional information.



Colleges are essentially looking for students who would thrive in their particular college setting.  An applicant does not have to be an “angel” to be accepted.  At the most selective colleges, the admission committee will be looking for an excellent record in the most challenging courses available to you.  More than that, however, they are looking for interesting people who have had unusual experiences, have significant talent or represent a group that is underrepresented on that campus. They are looking for students who are serious about their studies and who have made significant contributions of time and effort either to the school or to the community in extra-curricular activities.