Graduation Requirements

Students who receive a high school diploma must meet prescribed criteria based on proficiency and mastery of content standards. These graduation requirements vary widely by state, with some states providing multiple pathways to graduation and some local flexibility for developing specific criteria.   

As per Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-02(8) and (8)(a), 4 credits of English are required to graduate.

Additionally, Alabama requires the following to graduate: Electives, Career And Technical Education, Foreign Language, Arts, Career Preparedness, Health, and Physical Education.

As per Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-02(8) and (8)(a), Alabama requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

As per Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-02(8) and (8)(a), 4 credits of science courses are required to graduate in Alabama.

As per Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-02(8) and (8)(a), 4 credits of social studies are required to graduate in Alabama.

As per 4 AAC 06.075, 4 credits of English are required to graduate.

As per 4 AAC 06.0759, 9 credits of "other" courses are required.

As per 4 AAC 06.075, Alaska currently requires 2 credits of math to graduate.

As per 4 AAC 06.075, 2 credits of science courses are required to graduate in Alaska.

As per 4 AAC 06.075, 3 social studies credits are required to graduate.

As per Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-302, 4 credits of English or English as a second language are required to graduate.

As per Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-302, Arizona additionally requires 1 credit in fine arts or career and technical education and vocational education, alongside additional courses.

As per Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-302, 4 credits of math are required for graduation.

As per Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-302, 3 credits of science courses are required to graduate in Arizona.

As per Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-302, 3 credits of social studies are required for graduation.

4 credits of English are required to graduate.

Arkansas requires additional credits for graduation in oral communications, physical education, health and safety, fine art, and career focus.

Arkansas requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

Arkansas requires 3 credits of science courses for graduation.

Arkansas requires 3 credits of social studies for graduation.

As per California Education Code Section 51225.3, students must complete 3 years of English prior to graduation.

As per California Education Code Section 51225.3, California has additional requirements for graduation.

As per California Education Code Section 51225.3, students are required to take 2 years of math to graduate.

As per California Education Code Section 51225.3, California requires 2 years of science courses to graduate.

As per California Education Code Section 51225.3, California requires 3 years of social studies to graduate.

Must score a 4 or higher on the PARCC assessment in order to graduate.

Must score a 4 or higher on the PARCC assessment in order to graduate.

Connecticut requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Connecticut requires 10 credits worth of "other" graduation requirements.

Connecticut requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

Connecticut requires 3 credits of science to graduate.

Connecticut requires 4 credits of Social Studies.

4 credits of English are required to graduate in Delaware.

There are 8 credits worth of "other" graduation requirements in Delaware.

4 credits of math are required to graduate in Delaware.

Scientific investigations related to the State Science Standards shall be included in all three science course requirements. The student shall complete a Biology course as one of the Science credits.

The student shall complete a U. S. History course as one of the Social Studies credits.

4 credits of English are required to graduate in DC.

DC has additional requirements for graduation, including credit in: World Language, art, music, health, and physical education, and other electives.

All students must also complete 100 hours of community service to receive a high school diploma.

4 credits of math are required to graduate in DC.

4 credits of science are required (including 3 lab sciences).

4 credits of social studies are required to graduate in DC.

Florida requires 4 credits of English Language Arts to graduate.

Florida requires 10 credits of "other" specifications for graduation.

Florida requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

Florida requires 3 credits of science to graduate.

3 credits of social studies are required to graduate in Florida.

Georgia requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Georgia has 8 "other" credits required for graduation.

Georgia requires 4 credits of math for graduation.

Georgia requires 4 credits of science to graduate.

Georgia requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.

Guam requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Guam requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

Guam requires 3 credits of science for graduation.

Guam requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.

Hawaii requires 4 credits of English Language Arts to graduate.

Hawaii has additional requirements for graduation.

Hawaii requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Hawaii requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate.

Hawaii requires 4 credits of Social Studies for graduation.

Idaho requires 9 credits of English to graduate, including 1 credit of speech.

Idaho requires 3 additional credits to graduate.

Idaho requires 6 credits of math to graduate.

Idaho requires 6 credits of science courses to graduate.

Idaho requires 5 credits of social studies to graduate.

Illinois requires 4 years of English Language Arts for students graduating in 2016 or after and 2 years of Writing.

This may include art, music, foreign language, or vocational education.

Illinois requires 3 years of mathematics for graduation.

Illinois requires 2 years of Science to graduate.

Illinois requires 2 credits of social studies to graduate.

Indiana requires 8 credits of English Language Arts to graduate.

Indiana requires 20 "other" credits for graduation.

Indiana requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

Indiana requires 4 credits of science courses to graduate.

Indiana requires 4 credits of social studies to graduate.

Iowa requires 4 credits of English Language Arts to graduate, but the curriculum encompasses 6 credits.

Iowa requires 21 additional credits for graduation in Health, Physical Education, Fine Arts, Vocational Education and Foreign Language.

Iowa requires 3 units of math to graduate through 6 units of math are a part of the high school curriculum.

Iowa requires 3 units of science for graduation, though the high school curriculum includes 5 units.

Iowa requires 3 units of social studies to graduate though the high school curriculum includes 5 units of social studies.

Kansas requires 4 units of English Language Arts for graduation.

Kansas requires 8 additional units for graduation.

Kansas requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Kansas requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate.

Kansas requires 3 credits of social studies for graduation.

Kentucky requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Kentucky requires 9 credits of "other" courses for graduation.

Kentucky requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Kentucky requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate.

Kentucky requires 3 credits of social studies for graduation.

Louisiana requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

In Louisiana, requirements vary by diploma type, but there are additional requirements of between 8-10 credits for graduation.

Louisiana requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

Louisiana requires either 3 or 4 credits of science courses to graduate depending on the type of diploma a student pursues.

Louisiana requires either 3 or 4 credits of social studies courses to graduate depending on the type of diploma a student pursues.

Maine requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Additionally, Maine requires 1 year of fine arts.

Maine requires 2 credits of math to graduate.

Maine requires 2 credits of science courses to graduate.

Maine requires 2 credits of social studies to graduate.

Maryland requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Maryland requires additional course for graduation in: fine arts, health, physical education, technology and education, foreign language, and other unspecified electives.

Maryland requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Maryland requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate.

Maine requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.

Massachusetts requires four years of English for graduation.

Massachusetts requires 8 additional credits for graduation in foreign languages, arts, and additional core classes. Students are also required to pass a competency determination.

Massachusetts requires 4 years of Math for graduation.

Massachusetts requires three units of a laboratory Science for graduation.

Massachusetts requires 3 years of history for graduation.

Michigan requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Michigan requires 4 additional credits for graduation in physical education and health, arts, and foreign language.

Michigan requires 4 credits of math for graduation.

Michigan requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate.

Michigan requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.

Minnesota requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

This includes 1 credit in the arts and 7 elective credits.

Minnesota requires 3 credits of math for graduation.

Minnesota requires 3 credits of science for graduation.

Minnesota requires 3.5 credits of social studies to graduate.

Mississippi requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Mississippi requires between 6.5 and 8 additional credits for graduation depending on diploma path.

Mississippi requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Mississippi requires 3 credits of science for graduation.

Mississippi requires between 3-4 credits in social studies depending on diploma path.

Missouri requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Missouri requires 11 additional credits for graduation.

Missouri requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Missouri requires 3 credits of science to graduate.

Missouri requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.

Montana requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

Montana requires 2 credits of math for graduation.

Montana requires 2 credits of science courses for graduation.

Montana requires 2 credits of social studies for graduation.

Nebraska requires 40 hours of English Language Arts for graduation.

Additionally, Nebraska requires 70 hours of other elective courses for graduation. These completes the 200 necessary hours for graduation.

Nebraska requires 30 hours of math for graduation.

Nebraska requires 30 hours of science courses for graduation.

Nebraska requires 30 hours of social studies to graduate.

4 credits of English are required to graduate.

4 total. 1 course Arts and humanities, .5 credits in computers, .5 credits in health, and 2 credits in physical education.

3 credits of math are required to graduate.

The number of credits required varies based on the type of diploma being pursued: 2 for standard diploma, or 3 credits for advanced diploma. All students must meet or surpass 300 on the science proficiency test

2 credits are required. 1 each in American Government and American History.

4 credits of English are required to graduate.

New Hampshire requires 8.5 additional credits for graduation.

This is to include an algebra credit that can be earned through a sequential, integrated, or applied program.

These two credits include 1 credit of Physical sciences and 1 credit of Biological sciences.

New Hampshire requires 2.5 credits of social studies to graduate.

These credits must be aligned to grade 9 through 12 standards.

New Jersey requires 16.25 additional credits to graduate.

New Jersey requires 15 credits of math to graduate.

New Jersey requires 15+5 credits of science courses to graduate.

New Jersey requires 15 credits of social studies for graduation.

New Mexico requires 4 units of English to graduate.

New Mexico requires 9.5 additional credits for graduation.

New Mexico requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

New Mexico requires 3 units of science courses to graduate.

New Mexico requires 3.5 units of social studies to graduate.

New York requires 4 units of English credit to graduate.

New York requires 8 credits of "other" courses for graduation.

New York requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

New York requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate.

New York requires 4 credits of social studies to graduate.

North Carolina requires 7 additional credits of "other" courses for graduation.

This includes:
-Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II OR Integrated Math I, II, III; and,
-a 4th Math Course to be aligned with the student’s post high school plans.

A student, in rare instances, may be able to take an alternative math course sequence as outlined under State Board of Education policy. Please see your school counselor for more details.

North Carolina requires 3 credits of science courses for graduation.

North Carolina requires 4 credits of social studies to graduate.

This includes a sequence of literature, composition, and speech.

These credits include:
-1 unit of physical education, or 1/2 unit of physical education and 1/2 unit of health;
-3 units of language, fine arts, or CTE; and,
-5 additional unspecified credits.

This includes:
-1 credit in Physics;
-1 credit in Biology; and,
-1 unit or 2 half units in any other Science.

These include:
-1 credit of US history;
-1/2 credit of US Government;
-1/2 unit economics or 1 unit of problems and democracy; and,
-1 unit of any other social studies course.

These include:
-5 credit of electives;
-1/2 credit of Physical Education; and,
-1/2 credit of Health.

This must include 1 unit of algebra II or the equivalent of algebra II.

This includes:
-1 unit of physical sciences;
-1 unit of life sciences; and,
-1 unit advanced study in one or more of the following sciences: chemistry, physics, or other physical science; advanced biology or other life science; astronomy, physical geology, or other earth or space science.

These credits must include 1/2 unit of American history and 1/2 unit of American Government

This includes:
-2 units of foreign language or computer technology;
-1 unit of fine arts or speech;
-1 additional unit of set of competencies;
-7 unspecified electives.

Beginning with students entering 9th grade in the 2008-09 school year, every student shall demonstrate mastery of the state academic content standards in the following subject areas in order to graduate from a public high school with a standard diploma:
_____ English II, and
_____ Algebra I, and two of the following:
_____ English III
_____ Algebra II
_____ Geometry
_____ Biology I
_____ U.S. History

All students must take 3 units of Mathematics in Grades 9-12 in addition to any of the following courses taken prior to Grade 9.
_____ Algebra I
_____ Algebra II
_____ Geometry
_____ Trigonometry
_____ Math Analysis
_____ Calculus
_____ AP® Statistics
_____ Other mathematics course approved for college admission requirements.

These include 3 credits of laboratory science: Biology I, Physics, Chemistry or other college admission courses.

This should include:
-1 unit of US History;
-1/2 unit of US Government;
-1/2 unit of Oklahoma history; and,
-1 unspecified unit.

This includes:
-1 credit of physical education;
-1 credit of health;
-3 credits of foreign languages, arts, or CTE; and,
-6 unspecified credits.

These credits must be at the level of Algebra 1 and above.

These courses must include Science Inquiry and Lab Experiences.

Additionally, Pennsylvania requires the following for graduation:
-2 credits in the Arts and Humanities;
-1 credit in health and physical education; and,
-5 unspecified credits.

History and Government of the United States and Pennsylvania are required.

To include:
-1 credit in physical education or ROTC;
-1 credit in computer science;
-1 credit in a foreign language or CTE; and,
-7 additional unspecified credits.

This includes:
-1 credit of US History and Constitution;
-1/2 credit of economics;
-1/2 credit of US Government; and
-1 additional credit.

This includes:
-1.5 units of writing;
-1.5 units of Literature (including .5 units of American Literature);
-0.5 units of speech or debate; and,
-0.5 elective units.

This includes:
-1 unit of the following-any combination: Approved Career & Technical Education, Capstone Experience or Service Learning, or World Language;
-1 unit of Fine Arts;
-1/2 unit of Personal Finance or Economics;
-1/2 unit of Physical Education; and,
-1/2 unit of Health or Health Integration.

This includes:
-1 unit of Algebra I;
-1 unit of Algebra II; and,
-1 unit of Geometry.

With school and parent/guardian approval, a student may be excused from this course in favor of a more appropriate course. A student may be excused from Algebra II or Geometry, but not both. A student is still required to take three units of Math.

This includes:
-1 unit of Biology;
-1 unit of Physical Science; and,
-1 unit of Chemistry or Physics.

If a student is excused from Chemistry or Physics, the student must still take three units of Lab Science.

This includes:
-1 unit of US history;
-0.5 units of US Government;
-0.5 units of World History; and,
-0.5 units of Geography.

This includes:
-1.5 credits of of physical education and wellness;
-0.5 credits of personal finance;
-2 credits of foreign language (May be waived for students not going to a University to expand and enhance the elective focus);
-1 credit of fine arts (May be waived for students not going to a University to expand and enhance the elective focus); and,
-3 credits consisting of Math and Science, Career and Technical Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB)

This includes Algebra I and II, Geometry or the equivalent, and another mathematics course beyond Algebra I. Students must be enrolled in a mathematics course each school year.

This includes Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and a third lab course.

This includes U.S. History and Geography, World History and Geography, U.S. Government and Civics, and Economics.

Texas requires 4 credits of English for graduation.

Texas requires 10 additional course for graduation.

Two of the credits must consist of Algebra 1 and geometry. The remaining credit may be selected from a variety of mathematics courses.

The credits must consist of Biology and Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC). A student may substitute a chemistry credit (Chemistry, AP Chemistry, or IB Chemistry), or a physics credit (Physics, Principles of Technology, AP Physics, or IB Physics) and then must use the second of these two courses as the academic elective credit.

Texas requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.

One year of English is required in each year of high school.

Utah requires 11 additional credits for graduation.

This includes successful completion of a combination of the foundation or foundation honors courses, Secondary Mathematics I, Secondary Mathematics II, and Secondary Mathematics III.

3 credits of science courses are required to graduate in Utah.

3 units of credit are required. .5 of Geography for Life, .5 of World Civilizations, 1 of US History, .5 of US Government and Citizenship.

Virginia requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

4 credits of English are required to graduate.

Washington requires 8 credits of "other" courses to graduate.

Washington requires 3 credits of math to graduate.

Washington requires 2 credits of science courses for graduation through the class of 2018. For classes following this, the requirement will be 3 classes of science courses.

West Virginia requires 4 credits of English to graduate.

West Virginia requires 9 additional credits for graduation.

West Virginia requires 4 credits of math to graduate.

West Virginia requires 3 credits of science courses to graduate.

West Virginia requires 4 credits of social studies to graduate.

Under the changes to 2013 Act 63, Wisconsin requires 2 credits of mathematics to graduate for the class of 2016, and 3 credits for every graduating class thereafter.

These credits incorporate biological sciences and physical sciences.

Under the changes to 2013 Act 63, Wisconsin requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.

Wyoming requires 4 credits of social studies to graduate.

Electives are not required for graduation. However, demonstrating proficiency in certain elective areas will earn an endorsement on the high school diploma.

Wyoming requires 3 years of math for graduation.

Wyoming requires 3 years of science courses for graduation.

Wyoming requires 3 credits of social studies to graduate.