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High School Academic Unit Requirements For First-Year Students 

As a general rule, the courses listed below fulfill the high school academic unit requirement for new freshman applicants to UWSP.  Courses must fulfill DPI and high school graduation requirements.  Should you have questions about acceptable courses, please contact the UWSP Admission Office at

English - 4 units/years

Acceptable composition and/or literature courses include:

  • Freshman English
  • Sophomore English
  • Junior English
  • Senior English
  • Composition
  • English sequences of 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Grammar (if not remedial)
  • Writer’s Workshop
  • Literature – any literature course as long as it isn’t remedial
  • Creative Writing 


  • Three of the credits must be in college prep courses of composition and/or literature.  The 4th credit may be any non-remedial English course that DPI and the school count as English for graduation. 

  • Acceptable 4th credit of English courses include: Mass Media, Speech and Literacy of Media Communications (Literature of Media)  

  • The following courses count only if the high school counts them toward the 4 credit of English for graduation: Business Writing, Yearbook, School Newspaper courses, Theater Appreciation and Journalism

Courses NOT ACCEPTED toward the unit requirements: Remedial English, courses English as a Second Language (ESL) courses and theater acting courses.

Mathematics – 3 units/years (Algebra, Geometry, and higher)  

  • Algebra I
  • Advanced Algebra 
  • Algebra II  
  • Integrated Math progression
  • Geometry
  • Pre-Calculus, Calculus
  • Trigonometry
  • College prep math courses for which Algebra and/or Geometry are prerequisites

Courses NOT ACCEPTED toward the 3-year unit requirement: Business or Computer Math, Consumer Math, General Math, Pre-Algebra, Applied Math or Statistics.

Social Science – 3 units/years 

  • American Government
  • Civics
  • Economics
  • Geography (cultural, not physical)
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Sociology 

    Courses NOT ACCEPTED toward the unit requirements: Business Law, Personal Finance and Consumer Economics. 

Natural Science – 3 units/years   

  • Agricultural Science – maximum of one approved agriculture science course.  Approved agriculture science courses must be designated “SE” (science equivalent) on the high school transcript.
  • Anatomy
  • Astronomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Chem Comm (Chemistry in the Community)
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Engineering – Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering courses identified as Biotechnical Engineering and Principles of Engineering if they have been designated “SE” (science equivalent) on the high school transcript.
  • Environmental Science (if offered through the Science Dept. and has Biology as a prerequisite)
  • General Science (9th grade only)
  • Genetics
  • Geography (Physical)
  • Geology
  • Intro to Physical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Science
  • Physics 
    Courses NOT ACCEPTED toward the unit requirements: Basic Biology or Basic Chemistry, Non-college prep or remedial science courses and “Applied” or “Technical” science courses. 
Elective Credits - 2 units/years   
  • Additional non-remedial courses in English, Social Science, Math and Natural Science (beyond those counted above)
  • Computer Science courses (excluding keyboarding)
  • Fine Arts courses offered through music, fine arts, theatre arts or art departments such as: Choir, Band, Orchestra, Ensemble courses, Music Theory, Appreciation and History, Art courses, Art History or Appreciation, Drawing, Painting, Architecture, Photography, Graphic Design, Crafts, Jewelry, Drama, Acting, StageProduction, Stagecraft
  • Foreign Language (including American Sign Language and foreign language courses taken in 8th grade if they serve as prerequisites for the next year of foreign language at the high school)

   Other Electives - 2 units/years  

  • Additional elective courses from those listed above
  • Agricultural courses
  • Business and Marketing courses
  • Family and Consumer Education
  • Health Education
  • Trade and Technology courses  
The following courses DO NOT COUNT in any area: 
    • Cooperative Education/Work Experience
    • Driver Education
    • English as a Second Language (ESL)
    • Physical Education
    • Remedial courses in all areas
    • Special Education courses   
Additional Notes:  
    • Independent study courses may be counted if they otherwise meet qualifications for content.
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