About This Course

History 103: US History I is designed to be used to prepare you to earn real college credit by passing the US History I CLEP exam. This course covers topics that are included on the exam, such as the Jamestown settlement, Mesoamerican civilizations, the 13 colonies and the American Revolutionary war. Use it to help you learn what you need to know about U.S. history topics to succeed on the exam.

The history instructors are experienced and knowledgeable educators, who have put together comprehensive video lessons that cover the period ranging from 28,000BCE to the late 1800s. Each category is broken down into smaller chapters that will cover topics more in-depth. These video lessons make learning fun and interesting. You get the aid of self-graded quizzes and practice tests to allow you to gauge how much you have learned.

Category Objectives
First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE) Take a look at the origins of the Native Americans and study the Mesoamerican civilizations. Also find out about the effects of European colonization and explorers.
Settling North America (1497-1732) Learn about failed colonies, Like Jamestown. Also learn about successful settlements, like Plymouth Rock, the 13 colonies.
The Road to Revolution (1700-1774) Discover the American enlightenment and the first great awakening. Additionally, examine some early struggles, like the French and Indian War, the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.
The American Revolution (1775-1783) Explore the war that helped American gain its freedom. Look at the Declaration of Independence, loyalists vs. patriots and George Washington.
The Making of a New Nation (1776-1800) Examine how the U.S. was structured with the creation of state constitutions, the Articles of Confederation, the constitutional convention, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the new U.S. government.
The Virginia Dynasty (1801--1825) Study the presidents that made up the Virginia Dynasty and some of the important events of their presidencies.
Jacksonian Democracy (1825 -- 1850) Take a look at the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Find out about some of his most famous moves, such as the Trail of Tears. Also find out about Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison.
Life in Antebellum America (1807-1861) Study the U.S. in the rocky period preceding the Civil War. Learn about reform movements, transportation changes, economic development and slavery issues.
Manifest Destiny (1806-1855) Follow the course of American history as it spread to the west with a look at Manifest Destiny, the California gold rush and the Oregon Trail. Additionally, study the presidencies of Tyler, Pol, Fillmore and Peirce.
Sectional Crisis (1850-1861) See what happens as tensions rise over the issue of slavery with a look at Bloody Kansas, the Dred Scott case, John Brown and Lincoln's election. Look at the southern secessions and the start of the Civil War.
American Civil War (1861-1865) Examine the Civil War as it begins by comparing the North and the South. Find out about key battles, the effects of the war and the turning points. Finish up with a look at how the war ended and President Lincoln's assassination.
Reconstruction (1865-1877) Follow history through the reconstruction period in the south and how Andrew Johnson handled this rough period. Study the presidency of Grant and the different aspects of how southern reconstruction affected the country.

Education Portal Instructors

Education Portal's 53 instructors bring a diverse array of experience and expertise to each course. From teaching philosophy in Athens, Greece, to exploring the mystery of genetics, each instructor is uniquely qualified to bring students the best online learning experience possible.

Jessica Bayliss, M.S.

Jessica Bayliss Jessica is our Director of Education and leads the development of Education Portal's free courses. She has 10 years of experience in education and online teaching. Her work with students of all age levels drives her belief in the power of free online resources to make higher education more affordable and efficient. Jessica's favorite part of the day is reading feedback from Education Portal's students. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in instructional technology from Texas A&M - Kingsville.

Greg Chin, Ph.D.

Greg Chin, Ph.D.Greg has taught genetics, molecular biology, and general biology to high school, collegiate, and post-graduate students at Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, Santa Clara University and the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He has also taught science workshops for the general public and led biology teacher enrichment workshops throughout the U.S. He received a B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Find out how your genes work in Greg's introduction to genetics video lesson!

Max Pfingsten, M.Ed.

Max Pfingsten, M.A. & M.Ed.Max has taught classics, history and philosophy at a variety of levels at the Dikemes Academy in Athens, the Boulder Valley School District, University of Colorado at Boulder and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). His work is noteworthy for its synthesis of technology and simulation with more traditional teaching approaches. He received a B.A. in Classics from Depauw University, a M.A. in Classics from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a M.Ed. from Jones International University. See Socrates come to life in Max's lesson on the life, death, and philosophy of the great Socrates.

How to Earn Real College Credit You Can Transfer

Psych 101: Introductory Psychology prepares you to earn three college credits by taking the College Board's Psychology CLEP exam. Watch our free video lessons to learn all about famous psychologists and different types of psychology, including behavioral, cognitive, and clinical. Here are some details about how you can earn credits.

3 Ways to Earn College Credit

Education Portal's free online courses lead to real college credit so you can avoid debt and earn your degree faster. We do not offer credit directly, but we designed our courses to prepare you to pass credit-granting exams. There are three widely accepted ways to earn college credit by exam.

Option #1: Take a CLEP Exam

CLEP Credit Accepted at 2,900 Colleges, Including:

  • University of Florida
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Arizona
  • Michigan State University
  • DePaul University
  • Florida State University
  • Arizona State University
  • Drexel University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Temple University
  • George Mason University
  • University of Louisville
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Colorado State University
  • Emerson College

The College Board, which is the same organization that offers AP and SAT tests, has 33 CLEP exams that lead to widely accepted college credit. Use CLEP exams to test out of your college general education requirements and cut up to two years off the length of your degree program.

 CLEP Exam Detail

  • 33 exams covering general college subjects
  • Credit accepted at over 2/3 of U.S. colleges and universities
  • $80 per exam (plus a small test center fee that varies)
  • Each exam worth 3-12 college credits
  • 90-minute long exams
  • Over 1,700 U.S. testing centers

Ready to earn college credit? Here's how:

  1. Make sure your school accepts CLEP credit
  2. Choose an Education Portal course and start learning.
  3. Find a local CLEP testing center and register for your exam.
  4. Take the exam and have your credit reported to your school.
  5. Apply to win $1,000 for passing the exam.
  6. Give us feedback by clicking the Thumbs Up or Down button. We need your help to make our courses better.

Option #2: Take Excelsior College's Credit-by-Exam

DSST Credit Accepted at Over 2,000 Colleges Including:

Accepted at Colleges Nationwide Such As:

  • Ohio State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Oregon
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Arizona
  • Boston College
  • Florida State University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Alabama
  • Boston University
  • University of Tennessee

Excelsior College is a regionally accredited, not-for-profit college that offers 54 exams that lead to credit accepted at many universities. You can use Excelsior College's exams to test out of general education requirements or upper-level college classes.

Excelsior College's Exam Details

  1. 54 exams covering general and upper-level college subjects
  2. Most exams are $95
  3. Each exam worth 3-8 college credits
  4. Over 4,000 U.S. and international testing centers

Option #3: Take a DSST (DANTES) Exam

DSST Credit Accepted at Over 2,000 Colleges Including:

  • UC—Berkeley
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • George Washington University
  • University of Alabama
  • Indiana University
  • University of North Texas
  • Howard University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Arizona
  • Seattle University

The 38 DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) have been evaluated and approved for college credit by the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Accepted at over 2,000 colleges and universities, the DSST exams are an affordable and time saving way to earn college credit without taking a traditional course.

DSST Exam Details

  1. 38 exams covering many general education subjects
  2. Credit accepted at over 2,000 colleges and universities
  3. $80 per exam (plus a small test center fee that varies)
  4. Exam worth 3 college credits
  5. Most exams are two hours long
  6. Over 1,000 U.S. testing centers

Earning Credit FAQs

Is college credit earned by exam really transferable?

In most cases, yes. Credit-granting exams are designed to help you graduate more quickly and with less debt. Credit by the College Board's CLEP exams are accepted by 2/3 of all U.S. colleges and universities, and thousands of students have cut their education costs by taking these exams. Excelsior College's credit is also widely accepted and is recommended by the American Council on Education.

Does Education Portal earn money when I take a credit-granting exam?

No. We do not have any financial relationship with the organizations that offer credit-granting exams. Our mission is to provide you with free college courses that lead to credit, and we do not see a penny of the exam fee. We discuss our business model more in depth.

How do your scholarships work?

We award $1,000 to the first ten students each month who take one of our completed courses and earn credit by passing an exam. Read success stories on our testimonials page.

I'm not enrolled in school. Can I still earn credit?

Yes. You can take a credit-granting exam and earn credit even if you are not currently enrolled in school. In fact, credit-by-exam is a great way to start testing out of your general education requirements before starting a degree program. You can also use our courses to check out a subject you think you might want to major in. Not all schools accept this credit, so we recommend checking the schools that you may be interested in attending. Once you enroll in school, talk to your advisor to find out how to transfer the credit.

How else can I use the credit earned by exam?

There are many uses for credit-by-exam even if you are not enrolled in a degree program. Your employer might recognize the credit as professional development credit. Also, you can use credit-by-exam to satisfy certification requirements, such as requirements for teacher certification and subject-area endorsement in some states.

Can high school students earn college credit?

Yes. High school students can use our courses to test out of general education requirements and earn college credit that can be transferred to over 2,900 colleges and universities. Talk to a college advisor to find out if credit-by-exam is accepted at the college that you plan to attend.