Homeschooler’s Guide to High School Credits

Homeschooler's Guide to High School Credits

If you are preparing a high school transcript for a homeschooler, and he or she has used a variety of different materials, outside courses and curricula to complete their coursework, then you may be wondering how to tally the credits for the courses they have taken.

The purpose of this guide is to help you decide how much credit to assign to each subject by looking at good equivalents for each type of learning tool.

In general, a course that takes approximately a school year, or 120-180 hours of work to complete counts as one credit. A course that takes approximately one semester, or 60 hours to complete, would receive a half credit. But with every student’s homeschooling journey being unique, how does that play out in terms of different learning materials?  Take a look at the following infographic to help you decide.

High School Homeschool Credit

More Resources on Dual Enrollment

Looking Back on My Dual Enrollment Experience

30 Questions – What About Dual Enrollment?

Infographic on Dual Enrollment

Dual Credit at Home

What to Expect with Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment in Your State

FAQ about Dual Enrollment



Kerry Jones is a guest author at and the admin of the web's largest community for secular homeschoolers,, She is a "homeschooling alumnus", having graduated both sons who were each homeschooled from kindergarten. You can follow Kerry on Google Plus by adding her to your circles.

August 10, 2013


  1. Brianna says:
    Posted February 1, 2017 10:45 am

    I am a 17 year old unschooler. I am graduating this year and am putting together my transcript. However, I am unsure on credits. For one thing, I took a five week course on Human Osteoarchaeology with about 6 hours of study each week, plus extra for assignments and taking quizzes. It was a course from the University Leiden, and I was taking it alongside many Archaeologists and Anthropologists who had been doing their job/ studying their field for many years (10 years+). I completed it and earned a certificate. How many credits do you think I can put on my transcript?

  2. Jamie says:
    Posted January 23, 2017 1:57 pm

    Hi Denise,
    Your son can surely do this... however, you must find a college that offers the course. He would then enroll and take the course on a college level. Once completed, you would record the course on his homeschool transcript thereby making it a dual credit. The key to getting dual college credit is actually taking a college course, then counting toward your homeschool credits for high school graduation. I hope that makes it a bit more clear.

  3. Denise Craft says:
    Posted January 19, 2017 10:51 am

    I wanted to know my son wants to take Marine Biology in high school, I wanted to know can you make this a duel credit, so he can get a high school credit but also a college credit. How do I go about doing this.

  4. Jamie says:
    Posted January 4, 2017 4:42 pm

    You can definitely put all 4 credits on his transcript. Those over the requirement for PE will count as electives.

  5. Xiomara Castro says:
    Posted December 29, 2016 5:38 pm

    Hi! My son plays soccer and has the required 1 credit (over 150 hours in one year) for the state of Georgia. By the time he graduates high school, he will have 4 credit hours in Physical Education/Health. Can I still put all 4 credits (1 per year) on his transcript?

  6. Jamie says:
    Posted December 12, 2016 2:00 pm

    Hi Megan,

    I'm sorry I missed this comment... I just now saw it! I guess it got buried. But typically music lessons can count as an "elective." The guidelines are 1 credit equals 120 instructional hours. Here are more guidelines for assigned credits

  7. Jamie says:
    Posted December 12, 2016 1:54 pm

    Hi Amy,
    Great question! Sports aren't usually listed on transcripts as "Sports." (But there's a way to use them... keep reading) Transcripts are used for specific courses. Your state will typically have quidelines for how many credit hours a student will need to have in each area to graduate. Physical Education is usually listed among those requirements. Many homeschool families will use their child's "sports activity" as the Physical Education courses. You could list it as Physical Education - Soccer. Here are the "typcial" guidelines for figuring out how much your "soccer time" was worth in course credits. QUOTED FROM A DOE page "Students are required to complete one-half unit of Physical Education for graduation. Both elective and traditional Physical Education courses require a minimum of 120 hours of course instruction to earn one-half unit of credit." To apply all of your soccer time to course credits, you could use any additional 1/2 credits earned as "electives." We've got lots more information on transcripts and credits here -

  8. Amy says:
    Posted December 10, 2016 6:43 pm

    Also, if you were listing sports played on transcript, would you put the grade on as well? And how would you grade it?

  9. Amy says:
    Posted December 10, 2016 6:40 pm

    Would you list sports in an official transcript for high school? My daughter played three years of soccer and track with a public school and we were wondering where we would mention that?

  10. Jamie says:
    Posted November 10, 2016 12:26 pm

    Hello Alice,
    Yes, of course, students can make up 2 years in one. They would just have to work harder and faster. A good curriculum to use for that would be

  11. Megan says:
    Posted October 14, 2016 5:24 pm

    How does music fit into the credit model? Would music lessons count toward credits and, if so, how would you figure out how many are needed to add up to a class? Could multiple credits accrue for each level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)? Thanks!

  12. Cassi stives says:
    Posted January 20, 2016 6:09 pm

    how many credits do they need to earn to graduate highschool?

  13. Alice Roberts says:
    Posted October 11, 2015 2:30 pm

    Can a student catch up 2 years of classes in one? My daughter got behind due to attendance issues and would like to catch up to her class for senior year.

  14. hsingmom says:
    Posted May 10, 2015 10:36 pm

    Hello Jeni,
    If you have not checked out LHSHS’s homeschool curriculum directory and LHSHS’s directory of online high schools, I would definitely suggest taking a moment and checking those out. Personally, we use Time4Learning's high school courses. T4L’s program is very affordable and it allows for kids to learn independently. Here is a link to their website if you would like to gather more information about their program
    I hope this information helps you and I wish you all the best!

  15. jeni.k says:
    Posted May 8, 2015 7:11 am

    Thank you for all the valuable info. you have on this site. I am a Mum and learning coach to my 10th grade daughter. She has completed one semester with k-12 online school in dubai and this semester I have to take up an outside job and some training classes for myself. This leaves me in a very difficult position since my daughter has a lot of learning difficulties and is very dependent on me. She has math and comprehension difficulties and cannot analyze even simple poems or word problems. A lot of time is spent trying to simplify everything and get thru to her any which way. My frustration and impatience has started to show and is causing a strain in mother-daughter relationship. Obviously I am not qualified to teach her in a way that she could grasp. My efforts to make her independent keep failing. I have a bachelor's degree in architecture, and am not working becoz of the homeschooling. Keeping her on schedule seems an impossibility, inspite of numerous individualized learning plans and time schedules. Further, I am unable to motivate her in any way, to move forward or stay interested in her work.At this point in my life, I cannot afford to be without a job as our finances are slipping and I also have the high fees to pay for my 9th grade son's cambridge( british curriculum) education. He goes to a regular school.
    I need to know if there is any tuition online that would be suitable for helping children like her. The whole purpose of a homeschooling arrangement for her, was to help her have a slower and manageable schedule, but it has proved to be more time consuming and rigorous than regular school. If there is anything I could do to help her be independent academically I am willing to try it. Thank you.

  16. Jamie says:
    Posted January 29, 2015 8:50 pm

    Hi Heather,
    I'm not exactly sure what type of class CIS is. However, when my daughter did dual credit courses, I simply aligned them with whatever required courses that she needed to graduate. If that particular class lines up in similarity to a social studies class - then by all means count it as that on her transcript. Just notate that it was "dual credit."

  17. heather sanders says:
    Posted January 17, 2015 12:13 pm

    Hello! I have a question about how to assign a credits earned in college. My daughter completed a CIS 105 class in a local community college. I'm just not sure where to assign those credits on her transcript. Is that an elective, math, or social study class? Or something I'm missing altogether?
    Thank you!

  18. Kerry says:
    Posted March 23, 2014 7:23 pm

    Sara, detail your issue in the forum, if you can, and that way a few of our admins and other site members can better understand your questions and give some advice! Thanks!

  19. Sara says:
    Posted March 23, 2014 12:10 pm

    Jennifer you are the first person I have encountered a with our same situation. We moved from Maine to Florida and our senior attended public school until December. I am told she may already be able to receive her diploma as she took several ap classes and had always done well. I have sent a letter of intent to the state we live in now also for my freshman and 7th grader. Advise and guidance is greatly appreciated!

  20. pandahoneybee says:
    Posted February 25, 2014 5:49 am

    Hi Carisha,
    How many hours total did your course take to complete? When my son did classes like that, I would keep track of hours spent. Then I would see if he was closer to 1/2 credit (60-90 hours) or full credit (120-180 hours) and add to it with additional lessons on the same subject if he didn't have enough "hours" for the credit I thought the class should be...does that make sense? I am sure several other people have done something similar and will share their experiences as well! Thanks so much for the question!

  21. Carisha says:
    Posted February 24, 2014 6:28 pm

    Hi, and thank you for a very informative article. I am just curious how you would count a 6 to 8 week course on a MOOC site, such as Coursera or Udacity?

  22. Twyla says:
    Posted January 5, 2014 6:51 am

    Hi, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this article.
    It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  23. Jamie says:
    Posted December 20, 2013 6:02 am

    Hi Jennifer, I understand completely about your frustration. You'll need to re register her in NJ. Also, check to make sure that you are following all of NJ 's state laws regarding homeschooling.

    I would find a check sheet for the courses recommended for high school in your state. You can usually find something on each states department of education website. I would take that and rebuild what she needs to take to finish. Sadly, if she failed a course, she will need to retake it. There are several great resources on the LHSHS website that really detail course credit requirements.

    I hope that helps!

  24. Jennifer Heiberger says:
    Posted December 19, 2013 7:40 pm

    I need to homeschool my daughter and i dont know where to start, looking at all the info online is overwhelming and i just need to know how to build a curriculum based on what she has left to finish....we had planned to homeschool for her senior year but then she was retained in 11th grade this past summer so i am lost.....can she just keep track of hours while catching up on the subjects she still needs or does she have to do it all over again?...i registered her for homeschooling in NC and this Nov we had to move to do i have to re-register her again? She has done nothing but reading since SEP due to our move and i want her to get busy now that we are settled in a new home....please help.

  25. Homeschooler's Guide to Teaching High School Bible says:
    Posted November 18, 2013 8:21 pm

    [...] is pretty much left to their discretion as to which courses they study. However, following the basic credit guidelines are important while keeping in mind that students need to put in 120-180 hours of course work to [...]

  26. admin says:
    Posted September 22, 2013 12:21 am

    It sounds like the person re-enrolling your daughter doesn't know much about homeschooling. I would recommend creating a good looking transcript of all the subjects your daughter has been taking in homeschool since at least eighth grade. Maybe use a formal transcript creation program like "My Homeschool Grades" so that the transcript looks really professional. Then, I would bring along the NYSED rules for re-enrollment. Maybe highlight numbers 22 & 23 about transferring back into the system. It looks like only principals can make the assessment for placement. Just remember that as a state taxpayer, you are certainly allowed to put your child into any school you want. They may be able to decide which grade to place your daughter in, but she can go to any school you want her to go to. Hope this helps!

  27. Sara says:
    Posted September 21, 2013 8:59 pm

    my daughter wants to go back to a public school ( 11 grade). we went to district 3 in N.Y. to enroll her and the lady there said she has 0 credits and that her option is a transfer school. i dont like a transfer school for her. how can she get credits? thanks.

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