If you were curious about the high school graduation requirements for the class of 2022, you may be in for a considerable research undertaking. The general graduation requirements for most schools are similar across the U.S., but every state has its own curriculum and coursework designs.
The most simple way to explain it is to say that the high school graduation requirements for each state share many similarities and many differences.
Most states have defined state graduation minimum requirements. These include the number of credits or credit hours completed. Additionally, most states require a certain number of credit hours to be completed in specific subjects. While this varies from state to state, math, English language arts, science, social studies, health, and physical education are the most commonly required subjects with defined credit hour requirements. While the most common number of credit hours is 20-24, Some states only require as few as 13 credits or course units on the low end, while others require as many as 40 to satisfy graduation requirements.
Although the majority of high schools in the country offer standard diplomas, several states also offer alternative diploma options. Six of those states also offer more than one type of standard diploma pursuit. States also may offer learning pathways that give recommendations for students’ high school coursework based on their post-graduation goals. A career pathway, a college pathway, and a technical pathway are common examples.
Exit exams are a newer tool being used by high schools across the country today, in fact, many schools require minimum exit exam scores as a condition of grade promotion and or graduating. By the same token, many states have dropped the exit exams entirely.
The graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 had much of their final years of high school disrupted and upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many states allowed students to graduate without meeting all of the graduation requirements. This was especially true in states like New York, which normally require passing certain exams to graduate. Because of illness, quarantine, and the inability to administer these exams in person, they were not required for graduation during the height of the pandemic.
School isn't what it once was and with today's remote learning options, technological advances, and new types of curriculums and graduation requirements, high school even looks and sounds different today. What we can be certain of though, is that our graduates today are still going into adulthood prepared to lead, succeed, and take us into the future.
There are no standard high school graduation requirements by state guides or cheat sheets. So it is important to check with your school and review each student's path to graduation. The paths to graduation are different for many of us, but the joy and accomplishment of graduation are always the same.
|District of Columbia||24|
|Louisiana||23||23 (tech)/24 (uni)|
|New York||22||alternate diploma|
|New Hampshire||20||alternate diploma|