Maryland Readiness Policies


College and Career Readiness Standards and Definition

The Maryland State Board of Education has adopted the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards. To earn a diploma, all high school students must complete a minimum of 21 credits including English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, receive a passing grade in Biology and U.S. Government and, depending on the course, pass the Maryland High School Assessment and/or the PARCC. A student who does not meet benchmarks is required to complete an individualized Bridge Plan project.



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.



Required Courses




English I

English II

English III

English IV

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



Algebra I


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.




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


U.S. History

World History

Local, State and/or National Government  

AP, IB, and dual enrollment

Fine Arts


Visual Arts, Music, Theater, or Dance

Not specified

Physical Education



Not specified




Not specified

Technology Education



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

Other Credits


2 Credits: World Language 

2 Credits: Advanced Technology Education

OR 4 Credits of State-approved Career and Technology program

Service Learning



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.