Course Selection

Course Selection Sheets

Guidelines for Course Choices

When selecting courses for next year, it is important to keep the following in mind: Stoughton High School graduation requirements, requirements for four year or vocational schools, and electives. Remember, electives are courses that are selected after graduation requirements, exposing students to interests and possibilities beyond the general educational curriculum. Seniors must pass subjects totaling a minimum of twenty (20) credits. A student must be within five graduation requirement credits in order to participate in Class Night and Graduation.

Consider the requirements for admission to four-year colleges, trade and vocational skills and knowledge – certain occupations utilize basic knowledge in specific areas. Many occupations that do not require a college education, especially in the health field, require knowledge of Biology and Chemistry. For most students, computer skills will be essential. Entrance requirements and suggestions vary, as do the academic expectations of colleges.

Elective subjects are courses that students choose after they have taken care of their graduation requirements and mandatory courses. In other words, the entire Program of Studies is open for elective courses. Keep in mind the necessity of acquiring some useful basic skills. Upon graduation, students will not only have to read and write, but be able to recognize problems and organize methods for solving them. Students will be called upon to take a stand on issues and to defend their point of view. Useful skills such as these are gained from courses in a variety of subject areas. Electives help to broaden preparation for career interests. Many students have entered a career field after taking an “elective” subject. As an example, some former students have had their occupational goal influenced by the high school courses in Journalism, Psychology, Music, and Art, just to name a few. Use the Four Year Plan Worksheet to help plan coursework.

Higher Education & College Entrance Requirements

Colleges look for a student who has pursued a rigorous, college-preparatory program. The admissions requirements vary from college to college, particularly based on their entrance difficulty. The college entrance levels are generally divided into four tiers: most difficult, very difficult, moderately difficult, and minimally difficult.

The most difficult entrance level, including Amherst College, Brown University, Colgate College, Cornell University, Harvard College, MIT, New York University and Tufts University, will require 4 years of English, may require 4 years of math, 3 or 4 years of a laboratory science, 3 or 4 years of history, 3 or 4 years of a world language, in addition to being in the top 10% percent of their graduating class and high SAT/ACT scores.

Very difficult entrance levels, including Bentley University, Boston College, Boston University, College of the Holy Cross, Northeastern University, Stonehill College and Wheaton College, will require 4 years of English, may require 4 years of math, 3 or 4 years of a laboratory science, 3 or 4 years of history, and 3 or 4 years of a world language.

Moderately difficult entrance levels, including Assumption College, The Catholic University of America, Champlain College, Clark University, Endicott College, Hofstra University, Johnson & Wales University, and Xavier University, will require 4 years of English, 2 or 3 years of a laboratory science, 3 or 4 years of math, 3 years of history and 2 to 3 years of a world language.  

Minimally difficult entrance levels may not require a world language at all.  In addition to major subjects, all colleges look for students with a well-rounded course of studies in high school, including courses in the areas of Art, Music, Science and Technology are highly recommended. Knowledge of computers/word processing will prove necessary to college students. With a program such as that outlined above you would be ready for any college.

In summary, determine your needs, discuss your choices with your parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and friends, make sure of requirements and proper sequence of courses, and then explore your interests through a choice of electives. If you are already interested in any particular colleges or universities, look at their entrance difficulty level and admissions requirements. Good sources for this information include College Board as well as The Princeton Review, Peterson's, Peterson's on Twitter, and Peterson's on Facebook. Individual guides to college admissions such as Peterson’s Guide for Four-Year Colleges and The College Board’s College Handbook are good resources to use in determining your best choice for your courses in Stoughton High School.

Students should be familiar with the Massachusetts State Colleges and UMass Minimum Admissions Requirements, which can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education website. Please note that while meeting these minimum admissions requirements, meeting them does not guarantee admission, as campus admissions officials consider a wide range of factors in their admissions decisions.

Students that plan to participate in our Athletic Program should check with the NCAA website for additional information.

MA State University System and UMASS Minimum Admissions Requirements

The admissions standards for the state universities and UMass emphasize a strong academic high school background so that students enter college ready to learn. These standards represent minimum requirements; meeting them does not guarantee admission, since campus officials consider a wide range of factors in admissions decisions. Students shall have fulfilled all requirements for the high school diploma or its equivalent upon enrollment. It is important to note that admissions standards for the state’s community colleges differ. Community colleges may admit any high school graduate or GED recipient.

Please see the Guide for specific information by clicking here.