It is my first year in college and i am taking a Guitar class just for fun and to learn more about classical guitar music. My teacher said that to do fine in the class we must know our strumming patterns, fingerpicking patterns, and the 15 basic chords

I mostly play metal and rock, so i only know the 15 basic chords. I never really strum. I have strummed some songs but i just make up my own "strum patterns." I also make up my own fingerpicking patterns.

Well my question is are there really any general strum and fingerpicking patterns that ALL guitarists should know? I really just strum away and be creative with it and it sounds good. Pretty much the only fingerpicking songs i know are Nothing Else Matters, To Live Is To Die (Interlude), Tears in Heaven, and More Than Words.

I don't want to enter the class not knowing my strums
There are a lot of strumming patterns. There is DDDD, DUDU, DDUD, and all sorts of strumming patterns. Wonderwall uses a rather simple one, same with Horse With No Name. Pratically anything can be a strumming pattern, and I wouldn't say you need to "Know your strums" because I'm not sure what the professor has in store for you. Strumming patterns are learned rather quickly though and shouldn't be much of a hassle for you.
Guitars Owned: Yamaha F335
The guy above me is right, and about the fingerpicking patterns, i dont really know much about that, but as long as you can fingerpick fairly well it shouldn't be that much of a problem. The 15 basic chords would seem like the most important thing to me, and you've apparently got that down, so i don't think you need to worry too much.
I think it's time for a change.

Sig v5.0 (approximate)
Yeah, the chords probably takes the most practice. Chord switching is probably good to practice. Maybe do some basic strumming, ya know, getting used to ups and downs. I'd say some good practice would be Wonderwall or something simple. Just get your hand used to doing ups and downs across the strings.
I'm really not familiar with classical guitar, and I don't know if your teacher will be having you use a pick at all. Learning to use a pick for strumming might help. Thin ones generally are easier to strum with, at least during the beginning. I personally like strumming without a pick though, but that might be because I don't like making a lot of noise in the house at 10pm. The tone is just nicer in a perfectly quiet room maybe ^_^;; Generally speaking classical guitar purists will say not to use a pick, so it might help to get your thumb a little callused or at least used to strumming against the strings. It doesn't hurt quite as bad as when you first start pressing your fingers against the strings on the fretboard since you don't have to push as hard, but it does really help to practice.
Guitars Owned: Yamaha F335
Well, how well can you do fingerstyle?

other songs I'd suggest are Blackbird (Beatles), Hunger Strike(Temple of the Dog) and Think (Curtis Mayfield)

They're probably different than your taste but they're really cool songs to know
He shouldn't be too strong on the fingerpicking unless maybe you are a music major, then it's all thumb to ring(and occasionally pinky) as your plectrum, that's too formal though, I doubt he'll grade that too seriously.
Quote by paranoid joker

Metal, should kick you in the nuts, after you catch it messing around with your girlfriend.
and then make a sandwhich in your house and walk out.

Yeah, with notsee with that one. If you know basic fingerpicking I think you will be fine. Sorta knowing how to play hey there delilah sorta fingerpicking should be adequate. Fingerpicking can sometimes be easier then strumming, and is usually easier then using a pick to hit individual notes quickly. I really don't know of fingerpicking patterns that get used a lot in songs. It always seemed like they varied from song to song greatly. I mean hey there delilah had the same picking pattern for like the whole song but it was a really basic song...
Guitars Owned: Yamaha F335
Quote by 1 Winged Angel
Fingerpicking can sometimes be easier then strumming, and is usually easier then using a pick to hit individual notes quickly.

That's really a matter of practice and preferance. I used to fingerpick a lot, but after a few weeks of using a pick I found I was just as fast with a pick as with my fingers. Fingerpicking is useful for songs like Stairway to Heaven where you need to pick a lot of strings that aren't next to each other. Other that that I find it doesn't really make a difference, but the tone of a pick is nicer imo. Though Mark Knopfler would disagree.
Thomas hopes to not have offended anyone with this post. No responsibility whatsoever is taken for any spelling or grammar mistakes, should there be any.

Ahh true. Depends on what the instructor wants also though. He may be indifferent to using a pick quickly or fingerpicking. Other times instructors can be zealots to their own ideas and say that you have to do it exactly like he wants and say "No picks for you!" or something.
Guitars Owned: Yamaha F335

This might be a bit simple for you but it provides a good strumming pattern.. you can take this pattern and evolve it by putting in rests here and there. I think it's a good video as it is different then the usual DDUUDD (that has it's place for learning rhythm though)

I hope it helps.