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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
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

State policy sets differential admissions criteria based on whether the institution is a baccalaureate- or doctoral degree-granting institution. Institutions may set more rigorous standards than the state minimum. Institutions may admit students who do not meet minimum requirements on a conditional basis, so long as the number of students in this classification does not exceed 10 percent of total freshmen enrollment.

Students may satisfy minimum state admissions requirements by submitting their high school grade-point average and/or ACT Composite scores.

Minimum State Requirements for Four-Year Institutions

Institution Type

GPA Only

GPA + ACT

Baccalaureate

3.0

2.0 and 18

Doctoral

3.0

2.0 and 19

In addition to GPA and ACT/SAT score requirements, students must successfully complete the following minimum core courses prior to enrollment.

Minimum High School Curriculum Requirements

Subject

Units

Course Requirements

English

4

 

Math

4

Algebra I

Science

3

All courses must have laboratory component

Social Science

3

American History

World Language

2

Units in same language; American Sign Language is acceptable

Arts

1

 

Total

17

 

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Applicants are eligible for admission if they possess a high school diploma or an equivalency credential, or if they demonstrate an ability to benefit from postsecondary instruction through certain assessments. Institutions may establish more rigorous admissions standards for specific programs.

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Virginia
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

Institutional governing boards set admissions requirements and minimum qualifying scores on college entrance exams. Colleges and universities consider high school curriculum, grade-point average, SAT/ACT scores, and class rank when making admission decisions.

Through system-wide agreements, students who graduate from a transfer-oriented degree program at a Virginia Community College System institution with an associate degree are eligible for guaranteed admission to more than 30 public and private four-year institutions, provided they meet minimum GPA requirements.

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Applicants are eligible for admission if they possess a high school diploma or an equivalency credential, or if they are 18 years of age or older and demonstrate an ability to benefit from postsecondary instruction, as measured by the Virginia Placement Test, COMPASS or Asset. Students who do not achieve the scoring benchmarks will be permitted to enroll in non-credit classes only.

Readiness Assessment Benchmarks

Subject VPT COMPASS ASSET
Writing ENF1 32 35
Reading ENF1 62 35
Math MTE1 25 33

Post

Texas
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

Students who graduated high school in the last two years receive automatic admission to four-year institutions, except for the University of Texas at Austin, if they meet the following criteria:

  • Place in the Top 10% of their graduating class
  • Complete the Foundation Diploma requirements at the Distinguished Level
  • Meet the ACT Benchmarks (i.e., 18 English, 22 Reading, 22 Math, and 23 Science) or score 480 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 530 on the Math SAT sub-tests (no combined scoring allowed)

Students who do not qualify for automatic admission may apply to four-year institutions if they earn the Foundation Diploma or meet the ACT Benchmarks. The University of Texas at Austin admits students through the Top 10% Plan up to 75 percent of enrollment capacity.

Texas Foundation Diploma Requirements

Subject

Units

Course Requirements

English

4

English I, II, III and advanced English course

Math

3

Algebra I, geometry and advanced math course

Science

3

Biology

Integrated Physics and Chemistry or advanced science course

Second advanced science course

Social Studies

3

American history

World history or geography

Half units of economics and government

Foreign Language

2

Districts may waive this requirement to expand number of courses in elective focus

Fine Arts

1

 

Physical Education

1

 

Speech

0

Demonstrated proficiency

Elective

5

 

Total

22

 

To attain the Distinguished level, students must complete 26 units including:

  • four units each in English, math, science, and social studies
  • Algebra II
  • four-unit endorsement in one of five areas — STEM, business and industry, public services, arts & humanities, or multi-disciplinary studies

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Applicants are eligible to apply to two-year institutions if they are 17 years of age or older and possess a high school diploma or equivalency credential. Those without diplomas or the equivalent must demonstrate that they can benefit from instruction.

Post

Tennessee
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Statewide

There are two public postsecondary systems in the state—the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 community colleges, and 27 colleges of applied technology. The UT system includes three universities and a health sciences center.

To receive a regular high school diploma, all students must complete a 22-unit curriculum and complete the ACT or SAT in their junior year of high school.

Chapter 869 created institutional boards at TBR’s six universities in 2016. Since then, the local boards have set admission requirements. The Tennessee Board of Regents sets admission requirements for community colleges and colleges of applied technology. Community colleges have open-enrollment policies, but these institutions may use ACT/SAT scores for advisement and placement purposes. 

The University of Tennessee admission requirements also incorporate the core high school graduation requirements into their curriculum requirement. Students must submit high school transcripts and either the ACT or SAT for consideration of admission to the University of Tennessee.

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South Carolina
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

The governing boards of four-year colleges and universities establish admissions standards. However, state law requires that the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education review minimum undergraduate admissions standards for in-state and out-of-state students. The commission sets a minimum high school curriculum for four-year public college admission.

Minimum Pre-College Curriculum Requirements

Subject

Units

Course Requirements

English

4

 

Math

4

Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II and a fourth unit (e.g., trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics, discrete math or a senior-year capstone course

Lab Science

3

Two units selected from biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science

Social Studies

3

One unit of American history

Half units of economics and government required.

World history or geography strongly recommended

Foreign Language

2

Two units in same language

Fine Arts

1

 

Physical Education or ROTC

1

 

Electives

2

Computer science strongly recommended but not required

Total

20

 

Each institution can make exceptions in admitting students who do not meet these prerequisites, limited to individual cases in which failure to meet one or more prerequisites is due to circumstances beyond the students’ reasonable control.

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Students designated as baccalaureate-ready must meet the same admissions requirements set for students who apply to the system’s flagship. Regional campuses designate applicants who do not meet system standards as provisional admits. Provisional enrollees undergo placement testing in English and math to determine readiness for college-level courses. Failure to reach readiness benchmarks results in students’ placement in co-requisite courses.

While technically allowed by commission rules, the University of South Carolina System’s Board of Trustees prohibits the delivery of standalone remediation at regional campuses.

Technical colleges operate as open-admissions campuses. The State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education requires applicants to be 18 years old. Younger applicants must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.

While board rules do not require adult applicants to hold a high school diploma, some institutions require them for enrollment in a degree or certificate program.

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Oklahoma
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education require applicants to complete a 15-unit pre-college curriculum. Institutions admit applicants through a combination of performance measures, including high school grade-point average, class rank, and ACT/SAT scores. Board rules stipulate minimum standards for admission to research universities, regional universities, and community and technical colleges. Institutions may make exceptions to minimum standards for up to eight percent of first-time freshmen class or 50 students, whichever number is greater.

Required High School Curriculum

Subject

Units

Course Requirements

English

4

Courses should integrate a writing component

Math

3

Units chosen from Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, trigonometry, math analysis, pre-calculus, and statistics

Science

3

Three laboratory sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, physics)

History & Citizenship

3

One unit of American history and two additional units chosen from history, economics, geography and government  

Other

2

Options include courses in additional core subjects (including Advanced Placement), computer science and foreign language

Total

15

 

Note: The Regents recommend additional units in fine arts (two), lab science and math (one each).

Minimum Performance Requirements for First-Time Students

Institution or Type

Option 1: Standardized

Option 2: GPA and Class Rank

Option 3: GPA in Pre-College Core

Oklahoma State University

24 ACT/ 1160 SAT

GPA: 3.0

Class Rank: Top 33%

GPA: 3.0

21 ACT/ 1060 SAT

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

24 ACT/ 1160 SAT

3.0 or Top 50% Rank

GPA: 3.0

Class Rank: Top 25%

GPA: 3.0

22 ACT/ 1100 SAT

Regional Universities

20 ACT/ 1020 SAT

GPA: 2.7

Class Rank: Top 50%

GPA 2.7

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Applicants must possess high school diplomas or GED credentials. Students who plan to enter a degree or certificate program must complete the 15-unit, pre-college curriculum requirements and present scores from ACT or a similar assessment.

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North Carolina
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

The Board of Governors has established minimum course requirements that align with the North Carolina State Board of Education’s (NCSBE) college preparatory curriculum. First-time undergraduates must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and produce minimum qualifying scores on the SAT (800 or higher, or the corresponding score on the redesigned SAT) or ACT Composite (17 or higher).

System institutions may set higher admission standards. Institutions may make exceptions to the minimum SAT/ACT score or GPA requirements for up to one percent of their incoming classes.

UNC – NCSBE College Preparatory Curriculum

Subject Units Course Requirements

English

4

Units must emphasize grammar, composition, and literature.

Math

4

Four allowable combinations:

  • Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and one unit beyond Algebra II
  • Algebra I & II and two units beyond Algebra II
  • Common Core I, II and III
  • Integrated Math I, II and III, and one unit beyond Math III

(the fourth unit of math affects applicants to all institutions except the N.C. School of the Arts)

Science

3

Three course units in science, including:

  • At least one unit in life or biological science (e.g., biology)
  • At least one unit in physical science (e.g., chemistry, physics)

At least one laboratory course

Social Studies

2

Two course units in social studies, including

  • At least one unit in U.S. history

Institutions may admit students without this unit if they complete a three-credit course by end of sophomore year.

Foreign Language

2

Two units in the same language

Total

15

 

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Community colleges have open-door admissions policies for applicants who are at least 18 years old and who possess a high school diploma or an equivalency credential.

Post

Mississippi
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

The Board of Trustees for the Institutions of Higher Learning sets the minimum admissions requirements for public universities. All applicants must complete the Required College-Preparatory Curriculum to receive full admission. The board has also created a more rigorous, recommended preparatory curriculum. Students may substitute Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses for specific subject-area requirements.

The board requires institutions to grant students full admission if they complete the College Preparatory Curriculum and meet one of the following qualifications: 1) 3.2 grade-point average; 2) 2.5 GPA or Top 50% Class Rank and ACT composite of 16 or higher; 3) a minimum 2.0  GPA and an ACT Composite of 18 or higher. Board policy allows students to submit equivalent SAT scores to meet institutional admissions requirements.

Universities may admit students who do not meet full admissions requirements through enrollment in the Summer Development Program. Successful completion of the program entitles students to continue enrollment in the fall semester. Institutions also may enroll students in Yearlong Academic Support Programs. Some credits earned through the yearlong program do not count toward graduation.

Institute of Higher Learning College-Preparatory Curriculum

Subject

 Required Units

Recommended Units

Course Requirements

English

4

4

Must require substantial communication skills

Math

3

4

Algebra I or equivalent

Other units higher than Algebra I

Science

3

4

Biology I or its equivalent

Other units higher than Biology I

Social Studies

3

4

American & World History (1 unit each)

American Government (1/2 unit)

Economics or Geography (1/2 unit)

Recommended units include Introduction to World Geography and Mississippi Studies (or a state/local government course in any other state)

Arts

1

1

Units in visual and performing arts

Advanced Electives

2

2

Option 1: Foreign Language I and Foreign Language II

Option 2: Foreign Language I and Advanced World Geography

Option 3: Any combination of English, Mathematics higher than Algebra I, Science higher than Biology I, Advanced Elective category, any AP course, any IB course

Technology 

.5

.5

A course that emphasizes the use of technology as a productivity tool

Total 16.5 19.5  
*Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses can be substituted for each requirement. A course may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement.

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Academic and technical students must meet one of the following Mississippi Community College Board admissions criteria to enroll at an institution:

  • An earned high school diploma or approved equivalency certificate
  • The completion of at least one unit less than the minimum acceptable high school units as prescribed by law (20 credits)
  • Mississippi Occupational Diploma or state-approved Career Certificate
  • Official transcript from accredited postsecondary institution

Two-year institutions may enroll students in career programs based upon qualifying scores on a federal assessment that demonstrates their ability to benefit from postsecondary instruction.