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Best high school classes to take to be an FBI agent

What to study now to prepare for a career as a special agent

The FBI looks for special agent candidates with a wide range of backgrounds and skill sets. They’re especially interested in applicants with talents in STEM, language, law, education, IT, healthcare, psychology, law enforcement and finance.

Pursuing a career in the FBI isn’t limited to work as a special agent. There are many different career paths you can take within the FBI, and taking the right classes in high school can help you prepare for the rigorous application and training process.

No matter which unique role you see yourself in, you’re in for a lengthy and stringent process. All special agents need at least a 4-year college degree before they’ll be considered. Start now by choosing high school classes that will prepare you for higher education and a future career in the FBI.

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high school classes to take to be an FBI agent

Recommended high school courses for a career in the FBI

The role of special agent with the FBI requires hard work, adaptability and dedication. Here are the classes you should take in high school if you want to be a special agent:

Health/P.E.

The FBI has tough physical fitness and health requirements for special agent candidates. The earlier you make a habit of getting and staying in shape, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to apply. Teamwork and collaboration are also core competencies for special agents, so participating in sports is another great way to prepare (did you know you can enroll in online high school and keep playing sports at your local school?).

All High School Health Courses

Information Technology

Cybercrime is widespread and growing. The FBI needs special agents who are strong in computer science and I.T. not only for investigating crime but using various technology-based equipment on the job (for example surveillance).

All High School IT Courses

Foreign Language

The FBI values high-level foreign language skills, especially in Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Korean and other east-Asian and middle-eastern languages. Spanish is also a desirable foreign language to know as an FBI agent, though standards are much higher than other careers. You’ll need to have a very high level of proficiency and years of experience speaking and interpreting.

All High School Foreign Language Courses

Math

Forensic accounting is a specialty within the FBI, working closely with special agents. Tracking criminal money trails and protecting national security requires a strong foundation in math. FBI profilers also use math, especially geometry, pattern analysis and probability. Pushing yourself to advance and earn good grades in high school math will prepare you for the college-level math study and work experience you’ll need to have.

All High School Math Courses

Science

In the special agent job description on the FBI website, individuals with STEM skills are listed first among desired candidates. You should take all the hard science (biology, chemistry, physics) classes you can in high school and build a strong foundation for more advanced science courses in college.

All High School Science Courses

Business Education

The FBI investigates a wide range of financial crimes including fraud. If you’re interested in this aspect of FBI work, you’ll need a solid understanding of finances and accounting so you can go on to gain the necessary experience in the financial sector.

All High School Business Education Courses

AP Classes

AP classes can help boost your GPA, prepare you for higher education and even let you earn college credit while still in high school. A career as a special agent with the FBI is extremely challenging. Taking AP classes in high school will get you in the habit of continually pushing yourself to grow through hard work.

All High School AP Courses

What university should I choose if I want to become an FBI agent?

best majors for FBI special agents

If you have specialized skills in STEM, linguistics or technology, you could have a promising career in the FBI.

In terms of enhancing your FBI application, the specific college you attend isn’t as important as your major, specialized skills and subsequent work experience. Because FBI agent prerequisites and training are stringent, you should attend a university where you’ll be challenged academically and have ample opportunity to explore and develop your unique talents.

If you already know what you want to major in, seek out a school or program with a strong reputation and ranking in that field. Also keep in mind your college grades and overall GPA will be a factor. Wherever you decide to apply, make sure it’s an accredited institution so your degree meets the requirement.

We’ve compiled a great resource with recommended high school classes for college admissions at top institutions in Wisconsin and nationwide. eAchieve students also have access to an academic advisor and guidance counselor who can help you select and apply to a university.

What’s the best major for an FBI agent?

The best majors for FBI special agents are:

  • Chemistry, Physics, Biology or other hard science
  • Engineering
  • International Relations
  • Computer Science
  • Management Information Systems
  • Finance

In addition to a four-year degree, you need at least two years’ experience working in a field related to your college major. If you go on to earn a master’s degree you only need one year of related work experience.

You can also be considered as a candidate if you have a major in Criminal Justice, Psychology or Political Science – IF you possess at least one other “critical skill” which could mean a post-graduate degree or experience in military intelligence.

Is it hard to get into the FBI?

Requirements are stringent, but for qualified candidates the process is more ‘intensive’ than it is ‘hard.’ Prerequisites for FBI applicants include:

  • Age between 23 and 36
  • Written tests
  • Oral exams
  • Medical exam
  • Fitness test
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Background investigation
  • Lie detector test

If you meet all requirements and are accepted, you’ll head to 17 weeks of training at the FBI academy in Virginia.

The best way to learn exactly how to prepare is checking with an FBI field office in your area – there may be additional restrictions.

eAchieve Academy has the resources to help you prepare in high school for a role in the FBI:

There are many different roles and career paths within the FBI. Whether you’ve set your sights on a specific job title or aren’t sure how your skills would best serve, it’s never too early to start preparing.

More about eAchieve Academy

You’re not limited to the courses offered at your local school. We have a very wide range of online high school courses and electives, and students living anywhere in Wisconsin are eligible to enroll with ZERO tuition costs. Students outside Wisconsin are also welcome to enroll, with paid tuition.

If you’re considering making the switch, find out more about how online high school works. We also offer part-time enrollment so you can stay at your current school and take one or two online classes every semester. This is a great way to make up credits or graduate early. 

Every class is accredited, and every instructor is a Wisconsin state certified teacher with years of experience. The diploma you earn from our online school is 100% as legitimate as any other public high school diploma.

Ready to take the next step? Request enrollment information or send us an email with your questions.
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