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Maryland
High School Graduation Requirements

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

To earn a standard high school diploma, students must complete at least 21 credit units as well as a 75-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
four credits of organized instruction in comprehension of literary and informational text, writing, speaking and listening, language, and literacy. 

Math

3

Algebra I

Geometry

One additional math course

AP, IB, and dual enrollment

Science

3

Three science courses which include a laboratory component

Credits must include the application of science and engineering practices and the croscutting concepts including: earth/space, life, environmental or physical (chemistry and physics) science, engineering, technology, and applications of science.

Social Studies

3

U.S. History

World History

Local, State and 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

Students must complete an Environmental Literacy program.

Students must also complete a locally designed Environmental Literacy Program approved by the state superintendent per COMAR 13A.04.17.

Assessment Requirements

Maryland requires students to take and pass end-of-course tests called the Maryland High School Assessments in four subjects: PARCC English I0, PARCC Algebra I, Maryland Integrated Science, and MHSA Government. Students entering the ninth grade in the 2019-20 school year must earn passing scores of 725 on both the English 10 and Algebra I assessments. In the 2018-19 school year, students were required to participate in the no-fault operational test for the HS MISA, or Maryland Integrated Science Assessment, if they had met their determination of readiness for the HS MISA or if they had not met their science assessment required by participation in the 2017-18 administration of HS MISA. Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, students are required to pass the HS MISA. Students who earned a score of 400 on the 2015-16 administration of the Biology HSA or participated in the Biology HSA in the 2016-17 school year have met their biology graduation requirement.

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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Louisiana
High School Graduation Requirements

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

Louisiana students may choose from two high school diploma pathway options: the Taylor Opportunity for Students University diploma pathway or the Jump Start TOPS Tech Career diploma pathway. The Taylor University Pathway, requiring 24 credits, rewards students for completing more rigorous options such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual enrollment courses. The Jump Start program, requiring 23 credits, allows students to take more career courses, certifies skill mastery in specific career fields and prepares students for high-wage careers.

All Louisiana’s ninth and 10th grade students will take common foundational coursework, irrespective of the diploma pathway they ultimately receive. Each student will be required to complete two units each of English, math, science and social studies, one half credit of health, and one and one half credits of physical education in these grades.

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

Four Credits:

English I

English II

English III*

English IV*

Four Credits:

English I

English II

2 credits from*: English III, English IV, AP, IB, Business English, Technical Writing or comparable LA Technical College courses as approved by BESE

Math

Four Credits:

Algebra I

Geometry 

Algebra II*

1 credit from: 

Algebra III; Advanced Math- Functions and Statistics      

Four Credits:

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

Four Credits:

Biology I*

Chemistry I*

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

Two Credits:

Biology I*

1 credit from*
Chemistry I, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physical Science, Agriscience I and II (one credit combined), Physics, or AP or IB science courses

Social Studies

4 Credits:

U. S. History*

1 credit from*: Civics, Government, AP U.S. Government and Politics: Comparative

2 credits from: Western Civilization, or European History; and World Geography, World History, Government, Economics, or Psychology

2 Credits:

U.S. History*

1 credit from*: Civics, Government, AP U.S. Government and Politics: Comparative

Health/ Physical Education

2 credits:

Physical Education

1 half credit from: Physical Education II, Marching Band, Extracurricular Sports, Cheering or Dance Teams

1 half credit from: Health Education or JROTC I and II

Diploma Specific Requirements

6 credits:

2 credits in the same foreign language

2 art credits 

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 24 23
*These courses may be substituted for other AP, IB, or other approved Louisiana Technical college courses
Health and Physical Education courses may be substituted by JROTC for the TOPS University (college diploma).

Students must demonstate performance-based competency in technology. 

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

Assessment Requirements

Students take the LEAP 2025 end-of-course tests in seven courses: English I, 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. Students on track for a Jump Start Diploma also take the ACT WorkKeys.

All graduating high school students must complete the FAFSA.

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Kentucky
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2019 and Beyond

Students must complete at least 22 units to earn a standard high school diploma. Students must complete one or more of the following requirements:

  1. Complete the precollege curriculum as established by the Council on Postsecondary Education.
  2. Earn a benchmark score on one section of a college admissions or placement exam.
  3. Complete three postsecondary credit hours or more of a KDE-approved dual credit course with a grade of C or higher.
  4. Complete one course that meets the following criteria:
    1. Advance placement with a score of three or higher;
    2. Cambridge Advanced International with a score of E or higher; or
    3. International baccalaureate with a score of five or higher.
  5. Obtain a Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board approved industry certification.
  6. Complete four credits from valid courses within a KDE-approved career pathway.
  7. Receive verification for completing 500 hours of exceptional work experience or alternative requirements as prescribed in a student’s IEP.
  8. Complete two years in an approved pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

English I

English II

Two additional English courses

Options for additional English courses include English III, English IV, and other dual credit and AP options. 

Math

4

Algebra I

Geometry  

Two additional math courses

Options four additonal math courses include Algebra II, Precalculus, College Algebra, Calculus, dual credit CTE math, and other dual credit and AP options aligned with the student’s ILP.

Science

3

Lab-based science experiences

Options include Chemistry, Physics, Bilology, CSI Forensics, and other dual credit and AP options. One course must be aligned with the student’s ILP.

Social Studies

3

three social studies courses

Options include Government, U.S. History, World Civilizations/History, and other dual credit and AP options. One course must be aligned with the student’s ILP.

Health

1/2

Credit to include the content strands of individual well-being, consumer decision, personal wellness, mental wellness, and community services

Physical Education 

1/2

Credit to include the content strands of personal wellness, psychomotor, and lifetime activity

History and Appreciation of Visual and Performing Arts

1

Credit to include the content strands of arts, dance, music, theatre, and visual arts or a standards-based specialized arts course based on the student’s Individual Learning Plan.

Credits aligned with a student’s Individualized Learning Plan

6

 

Credit to include the content strands of individual well-being, consumer decision, personal wellness, mental wellness, and community services

Total Credits

22

   

To be eligible for graduation, students must also receive instruction in financial literacy, demonstrate essential workplace skills and competency in technology, and maintain and update an Individualized Learning Plan each year of high school.

Assessment Requirements

High school students take ACT Quality Core end-of-course tests in English 0I, Algebra II, Biology I, and U.S. History. Students must also pass a Civics test. Grade 10 students may be administered the ACT depending on available state funding. Students in grade 11 take both the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress exam and the ACT. Twelfth grade students who do not meet ACT benchmarks must take the KYOTE, or Kentucky Online Testing in designated subjects. Students enrolled in CTE courses may take the KOSSA or Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards Assessment 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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Delaware
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2015 and Beyond

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

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

Four credits in English language arts

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

Math

4

All students must earn credits equivalent to Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

Students must complete an Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics III course.

 Science

3

Biology 

two additional science courses

AP, IB, or dual enrollment science courses

Social Studies

3

U.S. History

two additional social studies courses

AP, IB or dual enrollment social studies courses

World Language

2

Two courses in the same language

Students may either earn a minimum of two World language credits in the same language or demonstrate Novice-high or higher proficiency on a nationally recognized assessment of language proficiency other than English.

Physical Education

1

   

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

All 8th through 12th grade students shall have a Student Success Plan.

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

Assessment Requirements

Delaware System of Student Assessments requires students following a traditional graduation school to participate in the following assessments:

Grades

DeSSA Assessment

10

DeSSA Science (or upon completion of a high school biology course), PSAT 10

11 

DeSSA Social Studies (or upon completion of U.S. History), SAT School Day

12 

ACT WorkKeys

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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Arkansas
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2017 and Beyond

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

Subject Credits Courses Notes and Substitutions

English

4

English 9, 10, 11, and 12

AP, IB, postsecondary, or other ADE-approved courses

Math

4

Algebra I or A&B

Geometry I or A&B

Algebra II

One additional math course beyond Algebra II

All students must take a math course in grade 11 or grade 12 and complete Algebra II.

Comparable concurrent credit college courses may be substituted where applicable. Computer Science may count as one math credit.

Science

3

Biology

Physical Science

one additional science course

Sciences course choices include Physical Science, Biology or Applied Biology/Chemistry, Chemistry, Physics or Principles of Technology I & II or PIC Physics.

Social Studies

3

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

 

 

Fine Arts

1/2

 

 

Health and Safety

1/2

 

 

Physical Education

1/2

 

 

Career Focus

6

All units in the career focus requirement shall be established through guidance and counseling at the local school district based on the contemplated work aspirations. Career focus courses shall conform local district policy and reflect state frameworks through course sequencing and career course concentrations where appropriate.

Total Credits

22

 

 

AP means Advanced Placement courses; IB means International Baccalaureate courses; CTE means Career and Technical course.
Students may substitute one computer science credit for one unit of math, but must take at least one math unit in either Grade 11 or 12. 
Algebra II and/or fourth math may be replaced by another approved course if Smart Core is waived.

The state requires high school students to take a half-unit digital course. Students must also earn a credit in a course that includes personal and family finance and must complete hands-on CPR training.

Students may substitute a flex unit of an approved computer science course (any course starting with 465 or 565) for either the 4th math or 3rd science requirement. Two distinct, approved computer science courses may replace both the 4th math and 3rd science requirements. In this case, any additional computer science credit will be counted as a career focus credit.

Assessment Requirements

The state requires ACT Aspire for Grades 9 and 10 in five different subject areas: English, reading, math, science and writing. All grade 11 students will have the opportunity to take the ACT English, reading, math and science subject tests, although participation remains optional. Students must also pass the Arkansas Civics’ Exam.

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Alabama
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2013 and Beyond

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 a required course of study. However, students can pursue an Alabama High School Diploma through multiple pathways 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. Each student is required to have a four-year graduation plan.

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 a half credits of electives complete the 24-credit requirement. Finally, to be eligible to graduate, students must complete one online/technology enhanced course or experience unless exceptions have been approved through Individualized Education Plans.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Notes and Substitutions

English

4

English 9-12

AP, IB, postsecondary, or other SDE-approved courses

Math

4

Algebra I

Geometry  

Algebra II with Trigonometry or Algebra II

Fourth math

Substitutions may include: AP, IB, postsecondary, or other SDE-approved courses

Fourth math-credit eligible courses from CTE, AP, IB, postsecondary or other SDE-approved courses

Science

4

Biology

A physical science

Two other rigorous science courses

AP, IB, postsecondary, or other SDE-approved courses

Chemistry, Physics or Physical Science

Science-credit eligible courses from CTE, AP, IB, postsecondary or other SDE-approved courses

Social Studies

4

World History 

U.S. History I and II

1/2 Credit U.S. Government  

1/2 Credit Economics

AP, IB, postsecondary, or other SDE-approved courses

History courses must be taken in this order. U.S. Government and Economics courses are to be taken after the history courses, but not necessarily in any given sequence.

social studies-credit eligible courses from CTE, AP, IB, postsecondary or other SDE-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

All students are required to complete one online/technology enhanced course.
AP means Advanced Placement courses; IB means International Baccalaureate courses; CTE means Career and Technical course.
SDE means State Department of Education

Assessment Requirements

High school students take ACT assessments or an Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program alternative. Tenth-grade students are required to take the Pre-ACT in four different subject areas: reading, math, English, and science. Eleventh-grade students are required to take the ACT with Writing in the same four different subject areas. Grade twelve students must take the ACT WorkKeys in three subject areas: graphic literacy, workplace documents and applied math. The ACT WorkKeys taken by grade 12 students may be substituted with an “evidence collected or locally created” assessment. Students are also required to pass the Civics Test in the United States Government class.

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Florida
High School Graduation Requirements

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

Students may choose from five options to earn a high school diploma. The standard diploma requires students to complete at least 24 credits. Additional options include an 18-credit, Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning option, a Career and Technical Education Pathway, and an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum. Students must earn a 2.0 grade-point average for all cohort years.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Notes and 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

two additional math courses  

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

An industry certification that leads to college credit may substitute for up to two math credits.

Science

3

Biology

Two additional rigorous science courses  

Two of the science courses must have a lab component.

Substitutions include AP, IB, or dual enrollment science courses.

An industry certification, or a related computer science course, that leads to college credit may substitute for up to one science credits other than Biology.

Social Studies

3

World History

U.S. History

1/2 Credit U.S. Government  

1/2 Credit Economics with Financial Literacy 

AP, IB or dual enrollment social studies courses

Physical Education  

1

To include the integration of health

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

They include AP, IB, and Credit Recovery.

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.

AP means Advanced Placement courses; IB means International Baccalaureate courses; CTE means Career and Technical course.
A computer science course with a related industry certification may substitue for up to one math credit (except for Algebra 1 or high-level math).

Districts may use computer science courses to satisfy certain graduation requirements for math and science if students also earn the related industry certification. A computer science course with a related industry certification may substitute for up to one math credit (except for Algebra 1 or high-level math) or one science credit (except for Biology 1).

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.

Students may also complete a state-approved apprenticeship program as a substitution for high school credit in one or two areas: “one credit in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or practical arts,” and/or eight elective credits.

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 Algebra II
  • 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
  • Attain 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 10th graders must take Florida Standards Assessments 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 % of final course grades. Students who attain the minimum score necessary to earn college credit on the AP, IB, or AICE assessment do not need to take the EOC for the corresponding course.

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.

Post

Senior-Year Redesign
Accelerating Postsecondary Attainment

SREB encourages high schools and technology centers that adopt Making Schools Work to redesign the senior year of high school to give college-ready students a head start on a credential or degree and help struggling students enter postsecondary programs without the need for remediation.

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Florida
Postsecondary Placement Policies

Statewide

A student who entered ninth grade in a Florida public school in the 2003-2004 school year or after and earned a Florida standard high school diploma, or who is serving as an active duty member of any branch of the United States Armed Services, is exempt from placement testing and cannot be required to enroll in developmental education instruction in a Florida College System institution.

However, a student who is exempt may opt to be assessed and enroll in developmental education. If so, the college shall administer assessments and courses upon the student’s request.

Non-exempt students who have not earned credit for college-level coursework for reading, writing, and mathematics shall be tested for proficiency prior to the completion of initial registration. A student admitted to a Florida College System institution whose score on a common placement test indicates a need for developmental education must be advised of all the developmental education options offered at the institution and, after advisement, shall be allowed to enroll in the developmental education option of his or her choice.

Florida College System – Minimum Placement Assessment Scores*

Test

Math

Reading/Verbal

English/Writing

ACT

19

19

17

SAT (prior to 3/1/16)

440

440

N/A

New SAT

24

24

25

ACCUPLACER

72

83

83

PERT

114

106

103

* A Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test 2.0 (FCAT 2.0) minimum composite score of 262 was accepted through March 2017.