Exploring Online Math Classes for High School: How to Fulfill Math Credits

Posted on December 04 2020

A high school student sits at a laptop watching a video of a math teacher writing equations on a blackboard.

Online math classes for high school students offer great opportunities: working at your own pace, using new math software, exploring a broad range of mathematics topics, and customizing your math education, to name a few. Discover what high school math courses you need to graduate and the benefits of fulfilling math requirements online.

High School Math Curriculum

Math is a standardized subject that has a very similar curriculum structure across the United States, making it easier to take online than many other subjects. The Common Core standards have been adopted by 48 states and create a standardized math curriculum focused on numbers and quantity, algebra, functions, modeling, geometry, and statistics and probability. 

High School Math and Common Core State Standards

The Common Core math standards are research-based, align with college and career expectations, and are focused on the application of knowledge through critical-thinking skills. According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the Common Core was introduced to ensure “all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life.” These standards are reflected in all high school math classes, but each state decides the order their schools will teach the classes. 

High schools require students to take three years of math, but most college-bound high school students take four years. Typically, you will first take algebra I followed by geometry and algebra II. Students who want to further expand their math base can also take trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus. Additional math classes such as advanced placement (AP) classes in calculus and statistics or math electives such as computer math can also be taken if you excel in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 

The courses build on each other, so it’s important to have an understanding of one subject before moving on to the next. In calculus, you will see how math concepts you’ve previously learned come together in story problems, polynomial graphing, and more.

Algebra I

Algebra I is typically the first math course you take in high school. However, some students take this course during middle school. It focuses on real numbers and solving, writing, and graphing equations. You will learn about both linear and quadratic equations as well as polynomials. 


Your next math course, geometry, expands on constructions, formulas for measurement, and formal proofs. You will also explore plane and solid geometry.

Algebra II

In algebra II, you will study graphing and solving equations in more detail than what you learned in algebra I. Basic trigonometry concepts needed for calculus are introduced through functions and inequalities. 

Pre-calculus and Calculus

Pre-calculus is a basic introduction to calculus topics, including series, sequences, probability, statistics, limits, and derivatives. In your calculus course that follows, these concepts will be expanded on, specifically integration and differentiation. 

AP Calculus and Statistics

Advanced placement, or AP, courses are college-level and feature a nationally administered test at the end. The score you receive on the test determines if you will receive college credit, meaning you won’t have to take that course again and will go into college with that requirement already fulfilled. AP calculus explores the same ideas as high school-level calculus, but in-depth and at a faster pace. In AP statistics, you will learn about data, sampling, and anticipating patterns. Many STEM careers require a solid base in calculus, while AP statistics is applicable to a wider range of careers. 

Benefits of Taking Math Online

The math classes you take have set standards across the nation and even across the world. Since math concepts are standard and universal, math lends itself well to online instruction.

Online math classes feature many benefits for high school students. Technology enhances math courses, allowing you to use math software, watch videos of real-world math problems, and visit relevant education sites. You also are offered a broader range of courses and can move at your own pace. 

Use of Technology and Online Software     

An online math course can use a wide array of technology. Videos based on real-world math problems, online learning sites such as Khan Academy, and software such as Desmos (an interactive, digital whiteboard that can be used simultaneously by teachers and students) amplify your learning experience. 

Broader Range of Mathematics Topics         

Online programs have a wide array of elective and advanced courses (in addition to the required curriculum). Computer math, financial math, and applied math for information technology are just a few examples of the broad range of math topics offered online. If you want to pursue a STEM-related career, these advanced and broad courses help you expand your knowledge base before college.

Learn Your Own Pace

Every person learns at a different pace. Some have a greater affinity for STEM subjects such as math, while others need more personalized attention. Online math classes let you get ahead or take your time learning a lesson. You can spend more time on a subject you struggle with and fly through other concepts you already know. Taking classes online will also help you graduate from high school early. There isn’t a set time for many online courses, which means you have the freedom and flexibility to take them on your own schedule.

Learn Math Online with The American Academy

The American Academy’s Individual Courses offer you the ability to earn high school math credit at your own pace. Learn more about the classes available and discover how online courses can help you make the most of your high school experience.

Recommended Readings

How to Switch from Traditional Public School to Online School: Tips for a Successful Transition
How to Succeed in an Online High School
Time Management Tips for Online Courses


Common Core State Standards Initiative, Mathematics Standards
DigiNo, 7 Benefits of Teaching Maths Online Over Classroom Teaching
Prep Scholar, Is Online High School Right for You? 3 Steps to Deciding
PrepScholar, The High School Math Courses You Should Take

Texthelp, What Are The Benefits of Teaching Maths Using Technology?