UNH First Step Concurrent Credit Program

UNH Manchester view of the main campus building

The University of New Hampshire is committed to building partnerships that foster education at every age. That’s why we launched UNH First Step, a concurrent credit program that allows New Hampshire high school students to earn UNH credit at their high schools. The program brings high school and college educators together with the shared goal to advance academic excellence and opportunity for New Hampshire students.

Participating High Schools

Bow High School
Pinkerton Academy

UNH First Step launched at Pinkerton Academy in fall 2019 as two-year pilot, during which time the University anticipates offering the program at several additional high schools near its Durham and Manchester campuses. Due to the pandemic, the pilot has been extended. Once the pilot is successfully completed, the goal is to continue to expand to high schools throughout the state.

“The ultimate goal of UNH First Step is to make college more accessible to New Hampshire students. When students choose to stay here, they become part of the workforce engine that strengthens our state’s economy.”


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Frequently Asked Questions

Economic development is at the core of the University’s mission, and UNH First Step directly supports one of UNH’s four strategic priorities: Embrace New Hampshire. The long-term objective of UNH First Step is to encourage New Hampshire students to pursue their education and career in the state by fostering academic opportunities at every education level. By providing New Hampshire high school students with the opportunity to earn early University credit, the goal is to increase interest in and accessibility to four-year colleges and universities in the state.

UNH and the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) have a shared mission to expand academic options for New Hampshire students. Both programs bring college-level courses into New Hampshire high school classrooms to enable students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit. Running Start participants earn Community College System of New Hampshire credits and UNH First Step participants earn UNH credits, both of which are accepted at a wide variety of institutions. Both programs are available to high school juniors and seniors, however, to align with UNH admission standards, UNH First Step participants must have an overall “B” average and be on track to be admissible to a four-year college. Students in both programs may benefit from lower tuition costs, an opportunity to complete higher education requirements in less time and a smoother transition from high school to college.

During the two-year pilot phase, UNH Manchester worked with several area high schools. UNH Manchester communication arts and computer science faculty partnered with Pinkerton Academy for the initial launch, expanded to Bow High School and continue to work closely with other high schools on similar curricula. Due to the pandemic, our two-year pilot has been extended. Once the pilot is successfully completed, the goal is to continue to expand to high schools throughout the state. To learn more, contact Mary Young at mary.young@unh.edu.

UNH First Step currently offers curricular options in communication arts and computer science, however we are actively expanding into more subjects including biotechnology, engineering and more.

UNH First Step participants pay $150 per 4-credit course, however we will continue to waive this fee during the pilot phase. The program is the same cost to students as Running Start.

The success of the pilot will be determined by the number of students who choose to enroll in UNH courses and by the academic success of those students to complete the courses. Once the pilot is extended and expanded, as intended, the most important metric is the percentage of New Hampshire high school graduates who choose to pursue higher education in the state.

Connect With Us

For more information, contact Mary Young via email or 603- 641-4119.