Diploma Requirements for High School

Overview

High School Graduation Requirements

State requirements for a standard high school diploma vary. These include specific courses students must complete, pathway options for different types of diplomas (where applicable), credit requirements and high school assessments. (Updated August, 2017)

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Alabama
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Alabama provides students with multiple paths to the state’s single high school diploma. All students must earn 24 credits — 21.5 of which are required. However, students can pursue either a General Education, Essentials, or Alternate Achievement Standards Pathway by substituting some of the required credits with credits from Career and Technical Education, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Postsecondary credits through dual enrollment, or other state-approved courses. Effective with the 2017-2018 school year, only students with disabilities will be allowed to enroll in Essentials courses. If a student takes four or more core courses on the Essentials Pathway he or she is required to complete the work component requirements of this pathway.

Regardless of the paths that students choose, they must complete four units each in core subjects (English, math, science and social studies), one unit of physical education and a half unit of health. Students must take three units of either foreign language or career or technical education or arts education. Two and half credits of electives complete the 24-credit requirement.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

English 9-12

Comparable AP, IB, postsecondary or other state approved course

Math

4

Algebra I

Geometry  

Algebra II with Trigonometry or Algebra II

Fourth math

Substitutions may include: CT, AP, IB or postsecondary or other state approved courses

Science

4

Biology

A physical science

Two other rigorous science courses

 

Chemistry, Physics or Physical Science

CT or AP or IB or postsecondary or other state approved courses

Social Studies

4

World History 

U.S. History I and II

1/2 Credit U.S. Government  

1/2 Credit Economics

CT or AP or IB or postsecondary or other state approved courses

Physical Education  

1

Lifelong Individualized  Fitness

JROTC

Health Education

1/2

 

 

Career Preparedness

1

Career and academic planning, computer applications, financial literacy

 

CTE/ Foreign Language/ Arts Education

3

   

Electives

2 1/2

   

Total Credits

24

   

Assessment Requirements

To be determined. 

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Arkansas
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

The state requires districts to enroll high school students in the Smart Core unless parents sign a waiver to opt their children out of the default curriculum, in which case they will participate in Basic Core. While the two diploma paths require the 22 course credits in each subject area, specific course requirements vary.

Subject Basic Core Smart Core

English

4 Credits:

English 9, 10, 11, and 12

4 Credits:

English 9, 10, 11, and 12

Math

4 Credits:

Algebra I or A&B

Geometry I or A&B

Third math (if both Algebra I and Geometry were completed

Fourth math (if Algebra I or Geometry were completed)

4 Credits:

Algebra I or A&B

Geometry I or A&B

Algebra II

Fourth math beyond Algebra II

Science

3 Credits:

Biology

Physical Science or Technology I

Third science (Chemistry or Physics) or Technology II

3 Credits:

Biology

Physical Science or Technology I

Third science (Chemistry or Physics) or Technology II

Social Studies

3 Credits:

World History

U.S. History

Civics

Other social studies or Economics

3 Credits:

World History

U.S. History

Civics

Other social studies or Economics

Oral Communication

1/2 Credit Oral Communication

1/2 Credit Oral Communication

Fine Arts

1/2 Credit

1/2 Credit

Health and Safety

1/2 Credit

1/2 Credit

Physical Education

1/2 Credit

1/2 Credit

Career Focus

6 Credits*

6 Credits*

Total Credits

22

22

*Courses Approved for the following career clusters: Agriculture, Food & Nature Resources, Architecture & Construction, Arts, A/V Technology & Communications, Business, Management & Administration, Education & Training Finance, Government & Public Administration, Health Science, Hospitality & Tourism, Human Services, Information Technology, Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security, Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales, & Service, Science Technology, Engineering, & Math, Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics

The state requires high school students to take a half-unit digital course.

The Academic Challenge Scholarship (ACS) provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education. Students who graduated from an Arkansas public high school and made a 19 or higher on the ACT or an ACT equivalent are eligible for the ACS. Unconditional admission to more selective public universities requires the completion of the Smart Core.

Assessment Requirements

The state requires ACT Aspire for Grades 9 and 10. ACT participation in Grade 11 is optional.

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Delaware
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 24 units to earn a high school diploma.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

Four English courses

An English II course must be completed.

Math

4

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II or Integrated Math III

Another advanced math course

No less than the equivalent of the traditional requirements of Geometry, Algebra I and Algebra II courses.

One math credit must be earned in the senior year.

Laboratory Science

3

Biology and two other courses

Not specified

Social Studies

3

U.S. History and two other social studies courses

Not specified

World Language

2

Two courses in the same language

Demonstrating Novice-high or higher proficiency level on a nationally recognized assessment of language proficiency, except English

Physical Education

1

 

Not specified

Health Education

1/2

   

Career Pathway

3

 

Credits pre-planned and sequential courses designed to develop knowledge and skills in a specific career or academic area.

Electives

3 1/2

   

Total Credits

24

   

Assessment Requirements

Delaware System of Student Assessments (DeSSA) requires students to participate in the following assessments:

Grades

DeSSA Assessment

10

DeSSA/DCAS Science, PSAT 10

11 

DeSSA Socail Studies, SAT

12 

ACT WorkKeys

8 to 12

DCAS

High school sophomores were required to take the PSAT in fall 2014. High school juniors were required to take the SAT in spring 2015. 

Delaware also offers optional assessments: Smarter Interim Assessment for all grades as well as the PSAT for grade 9 and the PSAT/NMSQT for grade 11.

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Florida
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering Grade 9 in the 2016-2017 School Year

Students must complete at least 24 credits to earn a standard high school diploma.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

English I

English II

English III

English IV

ELA Honors, AP, AICE, IB and dual enrollment courses

Math

4

Algebra I

Geometry

Third math

Fourth math  

Industry certifications that lead to college credit may substitute for the third and fourth math credit.

Science

3

Biology

Two from equally rigorous science courses having a lab component    

An industry certification leading to college credit may substitute for up to one science credit (other than Biology I).

A computer science course with a related industry certification may substitute for up to one science credit (other than Biology I).

Social Studies

3

World History

U.S. History

1/2 Credit U.S. Government  

1/2 Credit Economics  

Eligible courses/substitutions are specified in the Florida Course Code Directory at www.fldoe.org/policy/articulation/ccd

 

They include AP, IB, Credit Recovery

Physical Education  

1

 

To include the integration of health

Fine Arts

1

Fine and Performing Arts, Speech and Debate, or Practical Arts  

Electives

8

   

Total Credits

24

 

Students must earn a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and must complete one course online.

Districts may use computer science courses to satisfy certain graduation requirements for math and science if students also earn the related industry certification.

Students can use earned industry certifications as substitutes for certain math and science units. All students still must earn course credit in Algebra I, Geometry and Biology I.

Diploma Designations for the Standard Diploma

Scholar Diploma Designation

In addition to meeting the 24-credit standard high school diploma requirements and the state assessment requirements, a student must:

  • Earn 1 credit in statistics or an equally rigorous math course
  • Earn 1 credit in chemistry or physics
  • Earn 1 credit in a course equally rigorous to chemistry or physics
  • Earn 2 credits in the same world language
  • Earn at least 1 credit in AP, IB, AICE or a dual enrollment course.

A student is exempt from the Biology I or U.S. History assessment if the student is enrolled in an AP, IB or AICE Biology I or U.S. History course and the student:

  • Takes the respective AP, IB or AICE assessment
  • Earns the minimum score to earn college credit
Merit Diploma Designation
  • Meet the standard high school diploma requirements
  • Attains one or more industry certifications from the list established (per section 1003.492, Statutes [F.S.])

Assessment Requirements

To graduate, high school seniors must pass the grade 10 English Language assessment or obtain a concordant score on the ACT/SAT. Both ninth and tenth graders must take Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) in English Language Arts reading and writing. Students must also pass the Algebra I, Algebra II (if enrolled), Geometry, Biology I and U.S. History EOCs, which constitute 30 percent of final course grades.

State Board Rule 6A-10.0315, establishes the test scores used to determine whether a student is ready for college level coursework. If a student does not meet the state established cut score, this indicates that additional preparation may be necessary before entering college level courses. Assessments used to help determine readiness include the SAT, Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading, and ACT exams.

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Georgia
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 23 units to earn a regular high school diploma. 

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

Grade 9 Literature and Composition

American Literature and Composition

Third English

Fourth English

AP or IB equivalent courses

Math

4

Math I or GPS Algebra

Math II or GPS Geometry

Math III or Advanced Algebra

Fourth Math

AP, IB, dual enrollment or *other math courses aligned to GPS or CCGPS

Science

4

Biology

Physical Science or Physics

Chemistry, Earth Systems, Environmental Science

Fourth science

AP or IB equivalent course

Social Studies

3

U.S. History

World History

1/2 Credit American Government/ Civics

1/2 Credit Economics

AP or IB equivalent course

Health and Physical Education 

1

Students shall combine one-half or one-third units of credit from the following courses: Health, Personal Fitness, or Advanced Personal Fitness

Districts may waive this requirement for students who earn three credits in JROTC if the courses include health and physical education curriculum requirements as outlined in state board rule.

Career and Technical Education; modern language/ Latin; or fine arts

3

Students choose one of three areas:

CTE

Foreign Language*

Fine Arts

Districts may award foreign language credit to students whose native language is not English.

Students are encouraged to select courses in a focused area of interest.

Electives

4

 

Fourth science may substitute as an elective credit.

Total Credits

23

   
*Students planning on attending college need to take two years of the same foreign language.

Assessment Requirements

Schools administer Georgia Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) exams in eight associated courses across four subjects, including:

  • English Language Arts: Grade 9 Literature and Composition, American Literature and Composition
  • Math: Coordinate Algebra, Analytic Geometry
  • Science: Biology, Physical Science
  • Social studies: U.S. History, Economics

Each exam counts for 20 percent of the final course grade. Middle grades students who take high school courses also sit for EOCs.

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Kentucky
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 22 units to earn a regular high school diploma. 

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

English I

English II

English III  

English IV

Students not meeting the college readiness benchmarks for English must take a transitional course.

Math

3

Algebra I

Geometry  

Algebra II

An integrated, applied, interdisciplinary, occupational, or technical course that prepares a student for career paths based on their individual learning plan may be substituted on an individual student basis, if the course meets the content standards in the Kentucky core academic standards.

Science

3

First science

Second science

Third science

Lab-based scientific investigation experiences must be incorporated.

Social Studies

3

First  social studies    

Second social studies

Third social studies

Not specified

Health

1/2

 

Not specified

Physical Education 

1/2

 

Not specified

History and Appreciation of Visual and Performing Arts

1

 

Not specified

Academic and Career Interest Standards-Based Learning Experiences

7

 

7 Credits — four of which must be standards-based learning experiences in an academic or career interest based on the student’s individual learning plan. Students must also demonstrate performance-based competency in technology.

Total Credits

22

   

Assessment Requirements

High school students take ACT Quality Core end-of-course tests in English II, Algebra II, Biology I, and U.S. History. Students in grade 11 take both the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-Prep) exam and the ACT. Twelfth grade students who do not meet ACT benchmarks must take the Kentucky Online Testing (KYOTE) in designated subjects. Students enrolled in CTE courses may take the Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards Assessment (KOSSA) after completing two credits as well as the ACT WorkKeys upon enrolling in a third CTE credit in an approved career pathway.

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Louisiana
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering Grade 9 in the 2014-2015 School Year

Students may complete two types of high school diplomas: the Taylor Opportunity for Students (TOPS) University Diploma or the Jump Start TOPS Tech Career Diploma. The Jump Start program allows students to take career courses, certify skill mastery in specific career fields and prepares students for high-wage careers.

Each diploma requires 23 credits for completion. However, all Louisiana’s 9th and 10th grade students will take common foundational coursework, irrespective of the diploma pathway they ultimately receive. Each student will be required to complete 2 units of English, math, science, social studies, and health & physical education in these grades.

Subject TOPS University Diploma Jump Start TOPS Tech (Career Diploma)
English

4 Credits: 

English I

English II

English III

English IV

English I

English II

Two Credits from the following: English III, English IV, AP, IB, Business English, Technical Writing or comparable LA Technical College courses as approved by BESE

Math

4 Credits:

Algebra I

Geometry 

Algebra II

One advanced  math course         

1 Credit from: Algebra I, Algebra I, Part One and Two or an applied or hybrid Algebra course

3 Credits from: Geometry, Math Essentials, Financial Literacy, Business Math, Algebra II, Algebra III*, Advanced Math – Functions and Statistics, Advanced Math – Pre-Calculus, Pre-Calculus, or comparable approved Louisiana Technical College courses

Science

4 Credits:

Biology I

Chemistry I

Two from: one of Chemistry II, Physics I, Electricity and Magnetism, Biology II; or one  of Biology II, Anatomy and Physiology           

2 Credit:

Biology I

Chemistry I

Social Studies

4 Credits:

U. S. History

One from Civics, Government, AP U.S. Government and Politics: Comparative

Two from Western Civilization, or European History; and World Geography, World History, Government, or Economics

2 Credits:

U.S. History

One from Civics, Government, AP U.S. Government and Politics: Comparative

Health/ Physical Education

3 Credits:

Physical Education

Physical Education II, Marching Band, Extracurricular Sports, Cheering or Dance Teams

Health Education or JROTC I and II

3 Credits:

Physical Education

Physical Education II, Marching Band, Extracurricular Sports, Cheering or Dance Teams

Health Education or JROTC I and II

Additional Credits

2 Credits in the same foreign language

2 Credits in an art

2 Elective Credits

9 Jump Start Course Units: Each student must complete a regionally-designed, district-implemented series of Career and Technical Education Jump Start coursework and workplace-based learning experiences leading to a statewide or regional Jump Start credential.

Total Credits 23 23

Students may earn a Community Service Endorsement for completing a minimum of 80 hours of community service hours by graduation.

Assessment Requirements

Students take end-of-course tests in six courses: English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Biology I, and U.S. History. To earn a high school diploma, students must score Fair or above on at least three EOC exams, including one in English, one in math, and one in Biology or U.S. History. Student scores on EOC tests count toward a student’s final course grade. Students in grade 11 must also take the ACT or ACT WorkKeys if on track for a Jump Start Diploma.

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Maryland
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

To earn a regular high school diploma, students must complete at least 21 credit units as well as a one-credit hour service learning experience or a locally designed program in student service that has been approved by the state superintendent. Students complete the same core curriculum requirements but have the choice to pursue an academic, advanced technology, or career-technology concentration through elective courses.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English 

4

English I

English II

English III

English IV

AP, IB, and dual enrollment. Students must also complete an Environmental Literacy Program

Math

3

Algebra I

Geometry

Third math

AP, IB, and dual enrollment. Beginning with ninth grade class of 2014-15, each student must enroll in a math course in each year of high school.

Science

3

Biology

Second science

Third science

AP, IB, and dual enrollment.

Two credits must include a lab experience in any or all of the following areas: earth, life, environmental or physical science.

Social Studies

3

U.S. History

World History

Local, State and/or National Government  

AP, IB, and dual enrollment

Fine Arts

1

Visual Arts, Music, Theater, or Dance

Not specified

Physical Education

1/2

 

Not specified

Health

1/2

 

Not specified

Technology Education

1

 

Includes the application of knowledge, tools, and skills to solve practical problems and extend human capabilities

Other Credits

4

2 Credits: World Language 

2 Credits: Advanced Technology Education

OR 4 Credits of State-approved Career and Technology program

Service Learning

1

 

A student must either complete 75 hours of student service or complete a locally designed program in student service that has been approved by the state Superintendent

Total Credits 21    

Assessment Requirements

Maryland requires students to take end-of-course tests called the Maryland High School Assessments (HSAs) in four subjects: PARCC English II, PARCC Algebra I, HSA Biology, and HSA Government. There are a variety of regulations that address whether a student need only take, but not pass, a particular HSA. The “take-only” requirements are currently instated to account for the years of transition from the Maryland State Curriculum to the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. Students graduating in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years who were first-time English 10 and/or Algebra I test takers in those school years need only take, but not pass, the assessment. For Government HSA test-takers, the required passing score of 394 applies to first-time test takers in school years 2013-2014 and beyond. Currently, students are only required to take the Biology HSA assessment. Passing scores vary depending on the year the tests were taken.

Students may also meet the assessment graduation requirement through a “combined score option.” Students unable to meet the graduation assessment requirements through either of the previous options may do so through the Bridge Plan for academic evaluation. For further information, please see the Maryland High School Graduation Requirement FAQs.

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Mississippi
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Districts must require students to complete at least 21 units before issuing a high school diploma. Students may choose the traditional academic or career diploma paths. The latter requires students to complete four units in one of 16 career clusters. The Early Exit Exam Option is a diploma path available to students who demonstrate readiness for college and careers by completing an abbreviated curriculum and showing mastery on multiple assessments (the ACT, ACT QualityCore end-of-course exams, and Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning-approved tests).

Subject

Career Pathway

Traditional Pathway

Early Exit Exam Option*

English

4 Credits: 

English I, II and two other credits

4 Credits: 

English I, II and two other credits

4 Credits: 

English I, II and two other credits

Math

3 Credits:

Algebra I and two other credits

3 Credits:

Algebra I and two other credits

3 Credits:

Algebra I and two other credits

Science

3 Credits:

Biology and two other credits

4 Credits:

Biology and three other credits

2 Credits:

Biology and one other credit

Social Studies

3 Credits:

U.S. History

1/2 U.S. Government

1/2 Mississippi Studies

One other credit

4 Credits:

U.S. History

World History

1/2 Geography

1/2 Economics

1/2 U.S. Government

1/2 Mississippi Studies

One other credit

2 1/2 Credits:

U.S. History

World History

1/2 U.S. Government

1/2 Mississippi Studies OR approved equivalent courses

Health/ Physical Education

1/2 Credit: 

Comprehensive Health or Physical Education

1/2 Credit:

Comprehensive Health

1 Credit:

1/2 Comprehensive Health

1/2 Physical Education

Technology

1 Credit:

Integrated Technology

1 Credit:

Business and Technology

1 Credit:

Business and Technology

Career and Technical Education Electives

4 Credits from Student’s Program of Study

Not required

Not required

Art

Not required

1 Credit

1 Credit: Fine Art

Electives 2 1/2 Credits 5 Credits 5 Credits: should align with postsecondary admissions standards
Total Credits 21 24 17.5
*The Mississippi Early Exit Diploma is for students who are ready to do college level work without remediation. To qualify students must meet the credit requirements and the college and career qualification scores in all core content areas on a series of End of Course (EOC) exams and/or the required benchmarks.

Each student must have an individualized career and academic plan (iCAP) that is personalized to meet their educational and career goals. Students who choose the Career Pathway Option must complete 4 career and technical education units and the 2.5 elective units that are specified in their iCAP.

Assessment Requirements

Mississippi administers the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) and Subject Area Testing Program, Second Edition (SATP2) to high school students. MAAP comprises Algebra I and English II exams while SATP2 comprises Biology I and U.S. History assessments. Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, SATP2 scores will constitute 25 percent of a student’s final grade. A passing score in each of the four subject-area tests is required. Students may also use a combination score option to meet graduation requirements if they do not pass any one of the EOCs. All students complete the ACT in grade 11.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, Seniors who have failed an end-of-course SATP test may use the test score with their overall course grade to apply for graduation. Students will qualify for this option if their course grade and test score, when evaluated together, demonstrate adequate mastery of course content. State Board Policy 3804 allows students to satisfy assessment requirements through alternative means, such as qualifying ACT sub-scores, earned college credit, or an earned industry certification.

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North Carolina
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 22 units to earn a regular high school diploma, in addition to any local requirements. Students may choose to pursue a core or occupational preparatory diploma.

Subject

Future-Ready Core

Future-Ready Occupational

English

4 Credits:

English I, II, III, IV or a designated combination of 4 courses

4 Credits:

English I*, II*, III, IV

Math

4 Credits:

Math I, II, III and a fourth math course aligned with a student’s post high school plans

3 Credits:

Introduction to math, Math I, and Financial Management

Science

3 Credits:

A physical science course, Biology, and Earth/Environmental Science

2 Credits:

Applied Science and Biology*

Social Studies

4 Credits:

American History: The Founding Principles, Civics and Economics, World History, American History I: American History II OR AP US History**, IB History of the Americas**, additional social studies course**

2 Credits:

American History I and American History II

Health/ Physical Education

1 Credit: Health/ Physical Education

1 Credit: Health/ Physical Education

Electives

6 Credits required:

Two credits of any combination from either:

-Career and Technical Education (CTE)

-Arts Education

-World Languages

Four credits strongly recommended (four course concentration) from one of the following:

-Career and Technical Education (CTE)

-JROTC

-Arts Education (e.g. dance, music, theater arts, visual arts)

Any other subject area (e.g. social studies, science, math, English)

6 Credits:

Occupational Preparation I, II, III, IV****

Elective credits

Additional requirements:

-Completion of IEP Objectives

Career Portfolio

Career Technical Education Not Required

4 Credits:

Career Technical Education electives

Total Credits 22 22
*OCS Pathway courses aligned with North Carolina Standard Course of Study in English I, II, III, IV; Math I and American History I, II., and Biology.
**A student who takes AP U.S. History or IB History of the Americas instead of American History I and American History II must also take an additional social studies elective course to meet the four-credit requirement.
***Examples of electives include Arts Education, JROTC and other courses that are of interest to the student.
****For students entering 9th grade in 2014-15 or later, completion of 150 hours of school-based training, 225 hours of community-based training, and 225 hours of paid employment

Future Ready Core

  • English: Students take English I, II, III and IV, or a designated combination of four courses
  • Math: Students take math I, II, III. A fourth math course should align with the students’ postsecondary plans.
  • Science: Students take three courses: one each in physical, biological and environmental science
  • Social studies: Students take Civics and Economics, American History I, American History II, and World History.
  • Electives: Students take two credits from career and technical education (CTE), arts education or world languages. Additionally, students may take a recommended sequential, four-unit concentration chosen from CTE, JROTC, arts education or any other academic subject area.
  • World Languages: The state does not require completion of foreign language courses to graduate, but the UNC system requires two units to meet minimum admission requirements.

Future Ready Occupational

  • English: Students take English I, II, III and IV.
  • Math: Students take three courses: math I; Financial Management; and, Alternate Math II or Personal Finance.
  • Science: Students take Biology I and Applied Science.
  • Social Studies: Students take American History I and American History II.
  • Electives: Students take a four-unit sequence in Occupational Preparation. The state requires students to complete IEP objectives and a career portfolio.
  • Career Technical Education: Four elective units

Assessment Requirements

North Carolina requires students enrolled in math I, Biology I and English II to take end-of-course (EOC) exams in these subject areas. Students who receive a proficient score on an EOC may use the score as at least 20 percent of their final course grades, but passing them is not a graduation requirement. If students do not receive a proficient EOC grade, they must take the NC READY EOC assessment at the completion of the course.

The ACT Plan is administered to 10th graders as a diagnostic assessment that predicts future performance. Students in grade 11 are required to take the ACT, and those concentrating in Career and Technical Education also take the ACT WorkKeys.

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Oklahoma
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 23 units to earn a regular high school diploma. The College-Preparatory/Work-Ready curriculum is Oklahoma’s default diploma path. Parents or guardians may waive this curriculum if they wish, which places their student onto the Core diploma path. Regardless of the path chosen. All students much complete a personal financial literacy requirement as well as complete a CPR/AED requirement.

Subject

Core Curriculum

College Prep/Work Ready

English

4 Credits: 

Grammar and Composition

Three from: American Literature, English Literature, World Literature, Advanced English courses 

4 Credits:

English I

English II

English III

English IV or other concurrent courses

Math

3 Credits:

Algebra I

Two from courses including Algebra II, geometry, Trigonometry or Precalculus

3 Credits from:

Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, math Analysis, calculus, Stats & Probability, AP Statistics or other approved course

Laboratory Science

3 Credits:

Biology I

Two from: life, physical, or earth science or technology

3 Credits:

Biology I

Chemistry

Physics or another approved lab science course

Social Studies

3 Credits:

U.S. History

1/2 Credit U.S. Government

1/2 Credit Oklahoma History

One from: history, government, economics, civics, or non-western culture

3 Credits:

U.S. History

1/2 Credit U.S. Government

1/2 Credit Oklahoma History

One from: history, government, economics, civics, or non-western culture

The Arts

2 Credits may include visual Arts and General Music

1 Credit may include music, art, drama, and speech

Additional Credits

Not Required

1 Credit from previously listed courses

2 Credits from World or non-English language or computer Technology courses (excludes keyboarding or typing courses)

Electives

8 elective credits

6 elective credits

Total Credits

23

23

*Senate Bill 1422 (2014) allows certain future high school senior students to substitute AP computer science for any math requirement.

Assessment Requirements

The Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTB) administers seven end-of-instruction (EOI) exams in English language arts, math, and science course subjects as well as U.S. History, in compliance with ESSA and aligned with the Oklahoma Academic Standards. Students in grade 11 will be given the Oklahoma College and Career Ready Assessment (CCRA) which is comprised of two parts. Part one is either the ACT or SAT, inclusive of the writing section, and part two is science content.  

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South Carolina
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 24 units to earn a regular high school diploma.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

English I

English II

English III

English IV  

AP, IB, or dual enrollment English courses or Advanced Composition

Math

4

First math or Algebra I

Second math          

Third math

Fourth math          

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

Science

3

Physical Science

Biology

One additional lab science   

AP, IB, or dual enrollment sciences courses

Social Studies

3

U.S. History and Constitution

1/2 Credit Economics

1/2 Credit U.S. Government

Other Social Studies

IB or dual enrollment social studies courses

Computer Science

1

 

Keyboarding

Physical Education

1

Physical Education   

Junior ROTC

Foreign Language or Career Technology

1

 

Not specified

Electives

7

   

Total Credits

24

   

Assessment Requirements

South Carolina administers End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP) assessments in four subjects: English I, Algebra I/ Math for the Technologies II, Biology I, and U.S. history and Constitution. The end-of-course assessments count as 20 percent of final course grades. Students must pass Biology I and U.S. History and Constitution courses to graduate high school.  Students in grade 11 will take both the ACT and ACT WorkKeys.

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Tennessee
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 22 units to earn a regular high school diploma.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

English I

English II

English III

English IV 

AP, IB, or dual enrollment English courses or Advanced Composition

Math

4

Algebra I

Algebra II

Geometry  

Fourth math

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

Science

3

Biology

Chemistry or Physics

One additional lab science

AP, IB, or dual enrollment science courses

Social Studies

3

U.S. History and Geography   

1/2 Credit Economics

1/2 Credit U.S.  Government 

World History and Geography

IB or dual enrollment social studies courses

Personal Finance

1/2

 

 Three years of Junior ROTC

Physical Education

1/2

 

Not specified

Fine Arts

1

 

May be waived by the local school district under certain circumstances, to expand elective focus

Foreign Language

2

 

May be waived by the local school district under certain circumstances, to expand elective focus

Electives

3

 

Math and science, Career and Technical Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, AP or IB courses

Total Credits 22    

Graduation with State Distinction

Students graduate with “state distinction” when they attain a “B” or better grade point average and accomplish one of the following:

  • Earn a nationally recognized industry certification
  • Participate in at least one of the Governor’s Schools or ALL State musical organization
  • Be selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semifinalist
  • Score a 31 or higher on the ACT Composite Score
  • Earn a three or higher on two Advanced Placement (AP) exams
  • Successfully complete the International Baccalaureate Programme
  • Complete at least 12 semester hours of postsecondary credit

Assessment Requirements

Tennessee administers at least nine regular End of Course (EOC) exams as part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP): English I/II/III, Algebra I/II, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History & Geography. Exam results count for 25 percent a student’s final course grade. Passing the EOC exams is not required to graduate from high school. To obtain a degree, all students in grade 11 must take either the ACT or SAT. Beginning in 2017, all high school students will be given a U.S. Civics test. However, a passing grade is not required to receive a regular diploma.

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Texas
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

House Bill 5 (2013) authorized the Texas State Board of Education to adopt rules for the new Foundation High School Diploma program. The Texas commissioner of education developed a transition plan to replace the Recommended, Distinguished, and Minimum Diplomas with the Foundation Program. Students who entered ninth-grade in the 2014-2015 school year were the first group required to graduate under the Foundation High School program.

Subject

Credits

Foundation High School Diploma

English

4

English I

English II

English III

An advanced English course

Math

3

Algebra I

Geometry

An advanced math course

Science

3

Biology

IPC* or an advanced science course

Another advanced science course

Social Studies

3

U.S. History

1/2 Credit U.S. Governement

1/2 Credit Economics

World History or World Geography

Physical Education

1

 

Languages Other than English

2

2 Credits in the same language or two credits from computer science I, II, and III (other substitutions)

Fine Arts

1

 

Speech

 

Demonstrated proficiency in speech skills

Electives

5

 

Total Credits 22  
*IPC is “Integrated Physics and Chemistry,” a one-credit course

Under House Bill 5, students entering ninth-grade after fall 2014 are required to choose an endorsement and complete an additional four credits in one of five areas: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), business & industry, public services, arts & humanities, or multidisciplinary studies. Like current diploma options, students and families may opt out of additional requirements after completion of the sophomore year and after consultation with high school counselors. Students who complete the Foundation Program, with or without an endorsement, are eligible for general admission to a Texas public 4-year institution. However, students who graduate without completing an endorsement and specific coursework may not meet admissions requirements at certain state colleges and universities.

Distinguished Level of Achievement

Graduates can earn the distinguished level of achievement designation by completing 26 credits including four credits in math (including credit in Algebra II), four credits in science, and completion of curriculum requirements for at least one endorsement. Receiving this designation gives students in the top 10% of their graduating class automatic admissions eligibility and priority for the need-based TEXAS grant, if financially qualified. 

Performance Acknowledgments

House Bill 5 requires the development of performance acknowledgments — awards that students may earn by completing certain programs of study or for receiving credit toward future college and career opportunities. Specific acknowledgments include, but are not limited to:

Degrees and Certificates
  • An earned associate degree
  • Business and industry recognized certification or license
Accelerated Learning Options
  • Dual credit (12 hours of credit with a GPA of 3.0 or higher)
  • Passing score on at least one AP or IB exam
  • Bilingualism (minimum GPA of the equivalent of 80 on a scale of a 100 in English language arts and minimum proficiency on Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, AP, or IB exams)
Performance on Standardized Tests
  • SAT scores of at least 410 on the reading section and 520 on the math section
  • ACT composite score of 28 or higher
  • Recognition as a commended scholar or higher by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation

Assessment Requirements

In 2006, Texas became the first state to mandate the use of college and career readiness standards through the Texas Essential Knowledge and Standards (TEKS). The state measures TEKS proficiency through the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course (EOC) assessments. The Texas Education Agency is in the process of developing “measures of student progress,” which will provide an early warning indicator for standards not on track to meet the passing standard on the EOC assessments or who may be unready for postsecondary study.

House Bill 5 requires districts to partner with at least one postsecondary institution to develop and provide college preparatory courses designed for high school seniors whose performance on an EOC assessment, college admissions or placement exam, (e.g., ACT/SAT or Texas Success Initiative Assessment), or coursework does not meet college readiness standards. Students who successfully complete a college preparatory course are eligible to enroll directly, without remediation or further assessment, in college-level coursework in the associated content area at the partnering postsecondary institution.

The STAAR program requires passing scores on five EOC exams to graduate: English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology I, and U.S. history. STAAR English III and Algebra II are now available for districts to administer as optional assessments. House Bill 3 requires scores on the EOCs to count as 15 percent of a student’s final course grade. A student who has failed the EOC assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses may receive a Texas high school diploma if the student has qualified to graduate by means of an individual graduation committee (IGC) determination.

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Virginia
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must earn at least 22 standard units to earn a Standard Diploma. To receive an Advanced Diploma, students must earn four additional standard units. All students must complete at least one virtual course, which may be non-credit-bearing as well as earn a career and technical education credential that has been approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Examples include, but are not limited to, the successful completion of an industry certification or the passing of a state licensure exam, national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia Workplace Readiness Skills test. Students entering ninth-grade in the 2016-2017 school year and beyond must also be trained in Emergency First Aid, CPR and use of an AED.

Subject

Standard Diploma

Advanced Diploma

English

Four Credits

Four Credits

Math

Three Credits:

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra or Functions and Data Analysis; Algebra II or another advanced math course

Four Credits: 

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II or another advanced math course

Laboratory Science

Three Credits:

Earth Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Four Credits:

Earth Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Physics

History and Social Sciences

Three Credits:

U.S. and Virginia History

U.S. and Virginia Government

Either World History or Geography or both

Three Credits:

U.S. and Virginia History

U.S. and Virginia Government

Either World History or Geography or both

Foreign Language

Not Required

Three Credits: three years of a single foreign language or two years of two languages

Health and Physical Education

Two Credits

Two Credits

Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education

Two Credits

One Credit

Economics and Personal Finance

One Credit

One Credit

Electives

Four Credits: must include at least two sequential electives as required by the Standards of Quality

 Three Credits

Total Credits

22

26

Assessment Requirements

The Virginia State Board of Education requires districts to administer end-of-course exams through the state’s Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment program. Students who pass corresponding SOL assessments receive “verified credit” for those courses. Virginia has developed a battery of 12 exams in 11 subject areas: Algebra I and II, Biology I, chemistry, earth science, English (reading and writing), geometry, World History I and II, world geography, and Virginia and U.S. History.

Students pursuing the Standard Diploma must earn at least six verified units of credit by passing corresponding SOL exams. Students pursuing the Advanced Diploma must earn at least nine verified units of credit by passing corresponding SOL exams. In addition to the verified credits for the four core subjects, students may also select an SOL assessment or alternate tests in computer science, career and technical education (CTE), or other areas approved by the state board of education. See table below:

Verified Credits Required for Graduation with a Standard or Advanced Diploma

Subject

Standard Diploma

Required Credits

Standard Diploma

Verified Credits

Advanced Diploma

Required Credits

Advanced Diploma

Verified Credits

English

4

2

4

2

Math

3

1

4

2

Laboratory Science

3

1

4

2

History and Social Sciences

3

1

4

2

Health and Physical Education

1

 

2

 

Foreign Language, Fine Arts, or Career and Technical Education

 1

 

1

 

Economics and Personal Finance

1

 

1

 

Electives

4

 

3

 

Student Selected Test*

 

1

 

1

Total 

22

6

26

9

*NOTE: A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career or technical education, economics or other areas as prescribed by the board in 8VAC20-131-110.

The state department of education, in consultation with higher education faculty, has developed English and math Capstone Courses, for students who have completed required courses, earned at least two “verified” credits, but are not fully college ready. The Virginia General Assembly funds academies for students at risk of not meeting college and career readiness benchmarks through a program called Project Graduation.

The department of education produces school and district report cards, which include the number and percentage of students participating in Advanced Placement and dual credit programs, SOL test results, and the number of students who receive a career and technical education credential.

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West Virginia
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete 24 credits to receive a high school diploma. All students must participate in an experiential learning experience at some time in grades 9-12. It is recommended that all students complete an online learning experience and at least one course in technology applications. All senior students are required to enroll in a full day of high school and/or college credit bearing courses and are encouraged to complete a senior project.

Subject Credits Required Course Substitutions

English

4

English 9

English 10

English 11

English 12

AP English courses; English 12 CR, or Transitions English Language Arts for senior

Math

4

Math 1 or Algebra 1

Math II or Geometry

Math III

Math IV

AP Math Courses

Math IV-Trigonometry/Pre-calculus or Math IV TR or Transition Math for Seniors* or any other fourth course option such as AP Math

Science

3

Physical Science

Biology

Third Lab Science

 

 

Conceptual or AP Biology

AP Science

Social Studies

4

World Studies

United States Studies

Contemporary Studies

Civics for the Next Generation

AP concurrent courses; Grades 9-11 may substitute the following AP® courses:  AP® World History, AP® US History, AP® European Studies, or AP® Human Geography, Civics for the 21st Century or AP® Government and Politics

Physical Education

1

   

Health Education

1

   

The Arts

1

   

Professional Pathway

4

 

Pre-planned, sequential courses designed to develop knowledge and skills in a specific career or academic area.

Electives

2

   

Total Credits

24

   

Personalized Education Plan

Each student’s Personalized Education Plan (PEP) includes a four-credit concentration that, if completed, will lead to placement in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses, attainment of an industry-recognized certificate or license, or enrollment in a workforce training program.

Students may pursue an academic or career and technical education (CTE) concentration. For the academic concentration, the state encourages students to take at least one Advanced Placement (AP) and/or Advanced Career (AC) course with corresponding examination, a fourth science credit, and two credits in one world language.

The CTE concentration results in the acquisition of an industry-recognized, CTE credential. The four credits taken in a CTE concentration must be consistent with those identified for West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) approved CTE programs of study. Each career-technical concentration in a school shall provide students the opportunity to obtain an industry-recognized credential as part of the instructional program, when applicable. Schools offering a concentration outside of the state-approved CTE concentrations must have four related courses approved by their local boards of education.

Assessment Requirements

The West Virginia General Summative Assessment is a customized test used to measure students’ levels of achievement of the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs) for West Virginia. Grades 9-11 are assessed in the areas of English Language Arts and math in alignment with College to Career-Readiness Standards. Tenth graders also take an assessment in science.