Buchanan High School &
the College Bound Academic Plan

College may still be over four years away, but it is a very important consideration when planning your high school career. It may seem like there is “no room” for band, colorguard, or orchestra in your schedule if you want to go to college, when in fact, participation in music enhances your college application. The Buchanan Instrumental Music Program is made up of some of the best and brightest students on campus and we have a place for you!

Knowing which courses to take and how to make it all work can be very confusing. We hope this document will show you how you can take an academically challenging schedule and still make time for music and other electives. Let’s start with the basics: 

Required Courses to Graduate from Buchanan High School

English: 8 Semesters. Honors and AP Courses are available at every level. 
Mathematics: Two years of college prep mathematics. Many students progress all the way to Calculus! 
Science: Two years are required - One year of biological science and one year of physical science.
Social Science: 6 semesters. World History (Grade 10), US History (Grade 11), Government/Economics (Grade 12)
Health: 1 semester (Taken opposite of geography*)
Physical Education: 8 semesters. Four semesters must be Core PE and 4 semesters can be Elective PE.
Academic Breadth: 3 Years. Usually satisfied with foreign language and performing arts courses.

University of California & California State University Requirements 

The following courses meet the minimum requirements for admission to both the U.C. and the CSU systems:

English: Four years of college prep English (same as Buchanan)
Math: Three years through Algebra 2. Fourth year recommended. 
Science: Two years of lab science from 2 of 3 disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (3 years recommended)
Social Science: Two years including World/U.S. History/Gov’t/Econ (same as BHS).
Foreign Language: Two years of the same language. (3 years recommended)
Visual and Performing Arts: One year of an approved college-prep course is required (band, orchestra, & colorguard satisfy this requirement)
Electives: One additional year of elective course work is required. (Band/Orchestra/Guard) 

Advanced Placement and Honors Courses

Buchanan offers Honors and Advanced Placement courses in nearly every subject (including Music Theory!) and at nearly every level. You will find the challenge you are looking for. Students will often take several AP courses during their time at Buchanan giving them the ability to earn college credit each spring during AP exams. Buchanan is filled with teachers who are passionate about the subject matter and inspire students to achieve academically. 

Summer School

While not required, summer school is offered to those with impacted schedules (i.e. those who do band, orchestra, and colorguard) freeing up time in their regular fall and spring schedules for elective courses. It is recommended that incoming band and orchestra students take Health & Geography* prior to their freshman year and World History prior to their sophomore year. This will allow music and other elective courses to fit more comfortably into your high school schedule. 

Foreign Language

Buchanan offers Spanish, French, and Chinese. We highly recommend that you take Spanish. French and Chinese offer a limited number of sections each semester and can make your schedule less flexible later on in high school. 

Now how do I fit it all in? Click the link below because we have the answers!