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Texas
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2014 and Beyond

Students must complete 22 credit hours to earn a Foundation High School Diploma. Under House Bill 5, students are required to choose an endorsement and complete four credits in one of five areas: STEM, business & industry, public services, arts & humanities, and multidisciplinary studies. 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.

Subject

Credits

Courses

Notes and Substitutions

English

4

English I

English II

English III

An advanced English course

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

Math

3

Algebra I

Geometry

An advanced math course

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

Science

3

Biology

IPC or an advanced science course

Another advanced science course

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

Social Studies

3

U.S. History

1/2 credit U.S. Governement

1/2 credit Economics

World History or World Geography

IB or dual enrollment social studies courses

Foreign Language

2

2 credits in the same language

computer science and other courses

Physical Education

1

 

Fine Arts

1

 

Speech

 

Demonstrated proficiency in speech skills

Electives

5

 

Total Credits 22  

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. The state measures TEKS proficiency through the STAAR EOC assessments. The Texas Education Agency is in the process of developing “measures of student progress,” which will provide an early warning indicator for students 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 on 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 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness program requires passing scores on five end-of-course 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% 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 determination.

Beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, all graduating high school students will be required to complete the FAFSA

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Georgia
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2008 and Beyond

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

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

Ninth-Grade Literature and Composition

American Literature and Composition

Two additional English courses

AP, IB, or other concurrent courses

The Writing, Conventions, and Listening, Speaking and Viewing strands of the Georgia Performance Standards shall be taught in sequence in grades 9-12. 

Math

4

Math I or GPS Algebra

Math II or GPS Geometry

Math III or GPS Advanced Algebra

One additional math course

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

Fourth science credit may be used to meet both the science and elective requirements.
AP/IB equivalent

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 are encouraged to focus on one of the following areas of interest: career and technical education, foreign language, or fine arts.

CTAE credits must be taken in a coherent sequence on a pathway leading to a career readiness certificate endorsed by related industries.

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

American Sign Language may be taken to fulfill the modern language requirement.

Electives

4

 

Fourth science may substitute as an elective credit.

Total Credits

23

   
AP means Advanced Placement courses; IB means International Baccalaureate courses; CTE means Career and Technical course.
Unit credit is only awarded only for courses that include concepts and skills based on the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) or Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) for grades 9-12 or those approved by the State Board of Education

Assessment Requirements

Schools administer Georgia Milestones End-of-Course tests in eight associated courses across four subjects, including:

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

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

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West Virginia
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2016 and Beyond

Students must complete 22 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 seniors*

Math

4

Math 1 or Algebra 1

Math II or Geometry

Math III STEM or Math III LA or Math III TR or Algebra II

Math IV

AP Math Courses

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

Science

3

Earth and Space Science

Biology

One additional lab science

AP science courses or ceratin CTE courses

Social Studies

4

World Studies

United States Studies

Contemporary Studies

Civics for the Next Generation

AP social studies courses including AP U.S. History and AP United States Government and Politics, as well as United State Studies-Comprehensive

Physical Education

1

Physical Education 9-12 (WV Education Information System [hereinafter WVEIS] course 6609).  At least 50 percent of class time for physical education should be spent in moderate to vigorous  physical activity.

Health Education

1

Health 9-12 (WVEIS course 6909)

The Arts

1

AP Arts courses and certain CTE courses

Professional Pathway

4

4 credits within a career cluster that lead directly to placement in credit-bearing academic college courses, an industry-recognized certificate or license, or workforce training programs

Electives

2

 

Total Credits

24

 

Personalized Education Plan

Students are required to complete a five-year academic/career plan referred to as his or her Personalized Education Plan. Each student’s PEP identifies a career cluster and four-credit concentration that leads 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 concentration or a locally approved concentration that prepares students for their post-secondary goals.

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 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 SAT School Day is the state’s general summative assessment. It is administered on paper to all students in 11th grade, except those who have taken the West Virginia Summative Assessment, a customized test used to measure students’ levels of achievement of the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives West Virginia.

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Virginia
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2018 and Beyond

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 must also be trained in Emergency First Aid, CPR and use of an AED. Finally, all students must demonstrate foundational skills in “the five Cs” in accordance with the Profile of a Virginia Graduate approved by the board: critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship.

Subject

Standard Diploma*

Advanced Diploma

English

4 credits

4 credits

Math

3 credits:

At least two courses from: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra Functions, Data Analysis, Algebra II or other approved courses (a computer science course may be substituted)

4 credits:

At least three courses from: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra Functions, Data Analysis, Algebra II or other approved courses (a computer science course may be substituted)

Laboratory Science

3 credits:

Course selections from at least two different science disciplines: Earth sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the IB Diploma

4 credits:

Course selections from at least two different science disciplines: Earth sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the IB Diploma

History and Social Sciences

3 credits:

U.S. and Virginia History

U.S. and Virginia Government

Either World History or Geography or both

4 credits:

U.S. and Virginia History

U.S. and Virginia Government

World History 

Geography

Foreign Language

Not Required

3 credits: three years of a single foreign language or two years of two languages

Health and Physical Education

2 credits

2 credits

Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education**

2 credits: one credit in fine or performing arts or CTE (for the Standard diploma, this category includes World Language)

1 credit

Economics and Personal Finance

1 credit

1 credit

Electives

4 credits: must include at least two sequential electives as required by the Standards of Quality

3 credits: must include at least two sequential electives as required by the Standards of Quality

Total Credits

22

26

*Students may substitute a CTE credit for a credit in history, science or social studies if the student completes a CTE program sequence and passes an examination or occupational competency assessment in a CTE field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the Board of Education as an additional test to verify student achievement.
**A computer science course credit earned by students may be considered a career and technical course credit.

Virginia requires all students graduating with either the standard or advanced diplomas to earn five verified credits: two in English, one in math, one in science, and one in history and social sciences. Verified credits are “awarded for a course in which a student earns a standard unit of credit and achieves a passing score on a corresponding end-of-course SOL test or a substitute assessment approved by the Board or Education.”

Assessment Requirements

The Virginia State Board of Education requires districts to administer end-of-course exams through the state’s Standards of Learning 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, 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

 

3

 

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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Tennessee
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2009 and Beyond

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

Subject

Credits

Courses

Notes and 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  

One additional math course

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 JROTC may be substituted if the JROTC instructor attends the Personal Finance training.

Physical Education

1/2

may substitute JROTC, marching band, cheerleeding, etc. 

Fine Arts

1

 

Foreign Language

2

must be two years of the same foreign language

Electives

3

may consist of math and science, career and technical education, fine arts, humanities, AP or IB courses

Total Credits 22  

A public high school student may complete an early high school graduation program and be eligible for unconditional entry into a public two-year institution of higher education or conditional entry into a public four-year institution of higher education if the student meets the requirements of T.C.A. § 49-6-8303, also known as the Move on When Ready Act.

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 Program
  • Complete at least 12 semester hours of postsecondary credit

Assessment Requirements

Tennessee administers at least ten regular end-of-course exams as part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program: English I/II, Algebra I/II, Integrated Math I, II, and III, Geometry, Biology I, U.S. History. Exam results count for 25 % a student’s final course grade. Passing the EOC exams is not required to graduate from high school. To obtain a regular diploma, all students in grade 11 must take either the ACT or SAT. Students are required to take a project-based U.S. Civics test in high school. Students must also pass a United States citizenship and immigration test with a score of 70 % or higher.

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South Carolina
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2018 and Beyond

Students must complete at least 24 units to earn a standard high school diploma. Students must take a CPR course, including instruction on the use of AED machines.

Subject

Credits

Courses

Notes and Substitutions

English

4

English I

Three additional English courses 

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

Math

4

First math or Algebra I

Three additional math courses       

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

Science

3

Biology

Two additional  science courses 

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

One additional social studies course

AP, IB or dual enrollment social studies courses

Computer Science

1

Keyboarding may substitute for half of the computer science credit.

Physical Education

1

  

Junior ROTC 
Course must include personal fitness, wellness, and lifetime fitness components. 

Foreign Language or Career Technology

1

An American Sign Language course may substitute for the foreign language credit.

Electives

7

 

Total Credits

24

 
*AP means Advanced Placement courses; IB means International Baccalaureate courses; CTE means Career and Technical course.

Diploma Endorsements

High school students can earn diploma endorsements, although doing so is not required. Students may earn one or more endorsements in pathways approved by the State Board of Education, and school districts may apply to have additional endorsements approved. To do so, students must meet all the requirements for earning a South Carolina high school diploma and must take English I, II, III, and IV or their approved equivalents or higher-level courses to be eligible. Students must also pass an assessment on the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist papers, and American institutions and ideals. Students must pass a high school credit course in science in which an end-of-course exam is given, and they must be enrolled for a minimum of one semester immediately preceding graduation.

Assessment Requirements

South Carolina administers End-of-Course Examination Program assessments in four gateway subjects: English I-Reading, Algebra I/ Math for the Technologies, Biology I/Applied Biology 2, and U.S. History and Constitution as well as English 2-Reading. End-of-course assessments count as 20 % of final course grades in the four gateway subjects. Students must pass Biology I and U.S. History and Constitution courses to graduate high school. Students must also take the civics test to fulfill the United States government requirement. Students in grade 11 will take both the ACT and ACT WorkKeys.

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Oklahoma
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2018 and Beyond

Students must complete at least 23 units to earn a standard 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 must complete a personal financial literacy requirement as well as a CPR/AED requirement.

Subject

Core Curriculum

College Prep/Work Ready

English

4 credits: 

Grammar and Composition

3 credits 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

2 credits from: Two credits from courses including, but not limited to Algebra II, geometry, Trigonometry, Precalculus, Calculus or Computer Science*

3 credits from:

Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Math Analysis, Calculus, Stats & Probability, AP Statistics, or another approved math course 

Laboratory Science

3 credits:

Biology I

2 credits from: life, physical, or earth science or technology

3 credits:

Biology I

1 credit: Chemistry, Physics, or Physical Science

Physics or another approved lab science course

Social Studies

3 credits:

1 credit: U.S. History

1/2 credit U.S. Government

1/2 credit Oklahoma History

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

3 credits:

1 credit: U.S. History

1/2 credit U.S. Government

1/2 credit Oklahoma History

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

The Arts

1 credit: may include Visual Arts and General Music

1 credit: may include music, art, drama, and speech

Diploma Specific Requirements

1 credit: course options include computer programming or 1 unit of a non English language

2 sequential World or Non-English Language OR Computer Technology courses (excludes keyboarding or typing courses)

1 additional unit from career and technology education, concurrently enrolled, AP, IB or other approved courses.

Electives

8 elective credits

6 elective credits

Total Credits

23

23

*A one-year, full-time, three-hour career and technology program that leads to an industry credential or college credit may substitute for one math credit requirement

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 administers seven end-of-instruction 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 Readiness Assessment which is composed of Science content and U.S. History content, both aligned with the Oklahoma Academic Standards. Grade 11 students also take either the ACT or SAT.

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North Carolina
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2012 and Beyond

Students must complete at least 22 units to earn a standard 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:

2 credits from: Career and Technical Education, Arts Education, or World Languages

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

Career and Technical Education, JROTC, Arts Education (dance, music, teater arts, visual arts), any other subject area (e.g., social studies, science, mathematics, English)

6 credits:

Occupational Preparation I, II, III, IV: completion of 150 hours of school-based training, 225 hours of community-based training, and 225 hours of paid employment

Elective credits such as arts and JROTC
Additional requirements: complete IEP Objectives and a carrer portfolio

Career Technical Education Not Required

4 credits:

Career Technical Education electives

Total Credits 22 (plus any local requirements) 22 (plus any local requirements)
*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.

While they are not a requirement for graduation from high school in North Carolina, two credits of a World Language are required for admission to the University of North Carolina system.

Assessment Requirements

North Carolina requires students enrolled in NC Math I, Biology I, English II, and NC Math III to take end-of-course exams in these subject areas. Students who receive a proficient score on an EOC before completing the course may use the score as at least 20 % 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 upon course completion. With the exception of students following the Occupational Course of Study, all students must use EOC scores as 20 % of their final course grades.

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.