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High School Graduation Requirements by State 2024

High School Graduation Requirements by State 2024

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.

High School Graduation Requirements by State

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.

Effects of COVID-19

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.

High School Today

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.

High School Graduation Requirements by State 2024

  • LD = Graduation course requirements are locally determined. Thus, the various unit requirements are not standardized by the state and are not comparable to other states' requirements.
  • Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, and New Jersey define units of credit differently than most states. For the purposes of comparison, the number of units required by subject and the total number of units has been adjusted to align better with how the majority of states define units of credit (i.e., Carnegie units, in which one unit equates to a year of instruction).
  • Graduation requirements may change from time to time. Potential graduates are advised to confirm specific requirements with local school administrators.

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Required Total Credits
Req. English Credits
Req. Math Credits
Req. Science Credits
Req. Arts Credits
Req. Social Studies Credits
Diploma Options
  • Multiple
  • - The state requires districts to establish diploma requirements aligned to graduation guidelines. Students may satisfy diploma requirements through the following pathways.
  • - Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment
  • - Early College
  • - Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools
  • - Teacher Recruitment Education and Preparation Program
  • One (standard diploma)
  • Multiple
  • -Keystone
  • -CTE Concentrator
  • Multiple
  • - Alabama High School Diploma - International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
  • Multiple
  • - Students must complete 3 credits in a career pathway to earn a standard diploma. A pathway is defined as a pre-planned and sequential courses required for graduation designed to develop knowledge and skills in a particular career or academic area.
District of Columbia2444414
  • One (standard diploma)
  • - However, a local education agency may establish specialized or career-focused programs or courses of study, which lead to the high school diploma.
  • Multiple
  • - Students must satisfy course requirements or meet the requirements of one of the following pathways to earn a standard diploma:
  • - Career and Technical Education Pathway
  • - International Baccalaureate
  • - Advanced International Certificate of Education
  • - Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning (ACCEL)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • Multiple
  • - Standard Diploma
  • - Alternative, Performance-Based Graduation
New Jersey2443314.5
  • One (standard diploma)
New Mexico2444303.5
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
South Carolina2444303
  • One (standard diploma)
  • - However, students are required to declare an area of academic focus, also known as a career major, within a cluster of study before the end of the second semester of their tenth - grade year.
  • One (standard diploma)
West Virginia2444314
  • Multiple
  • - All students must identify and participate in coursework related to a career cluster in their personal education plan to satisfy the requirements for a standard diploma:
  • - Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
  • - Architecture and Construction
  • - Arts, A/V Technology, and Communication
  • - Business Management and Administration
  • - Education and Training
  • - Finance
  • - Government and Public Administration
  • - Health Sciences
  • - Hospitality and Tourism
  • - Human Services
  • - Information Technology
  • - Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security
  • - Manufacturing
  • - Marketing
  • - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • - Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
  • Multiple
  • - Standard Diploma
  • - Technical Education Diploma
  • Multiple
  • - Students may satisfy course requirements or meet the requirements of the following pathway to earn a standard diploma.
  • - Career, Technical and Agricultural Education Pathways
  • Multiple
  • - Students may satisfy the requirements for a standard diploma through course requirements or one of the following options:
  • - Flexible Schedule
  • - Extended Learning Opportunities
  • - Students may also satisfy the requirements for one of the following diploma types:
  • - Workforce Readiness and Career and Technical Education Diploma
  • - STEM Diploma
  • Multiple
  • - TOPS University Diploma
  • - Jump Start TOPS Tech Career Diploma
  • Multiple
  • - Core Curriculum Diploma
  • - College Preparatory/Work Ready Curriculum Diploma
  • Multiple
  • - Standard Diploma
  • - Advanced Diploma
  • - College and Career Ready Diploma
  • Multiple
  • - Standard Diploma - Grand Canyon Diploma The legislature directed the state board of education to develop competency - based college ready pathways to graduation by December 31, 2022.
  • One (standard diploma)
  • - However, parents may waive a student's participation in the Smart Core curriculum.
  • One (standard diploma)
New York2243314
  • Multiple
  • - Regents Diploma
  • - Advanced Regents Diploma
  • - Local diploma
North Carolina2244304
  • Multiple
  • - Students must select one of the three courses of study to earn a standard diploma:
  • - Career preparation course of study
  • - College technical preparation course of study
  • - College/university preparation course of study
North Dakota2243303
  • One (standard diploma)
South Dakota2243313.5
  • One (standard diploma)
  • - However, all students in grades 9 through 12 must have a personal learning plan and earn a high school diploma in which coursework aligns with the student's personal learning plan.
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • - However, students must complete the curriculum requirements for at least one endorsement.
  • Multiple
  • - Standard Diploma
  • - Advanced Studies Diploma
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • Multiple
  • - Core 40 Diploma
  • - Core 40 with Academic Honors
  • - Core 40 with Technical Honors
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
New Hampshire204320.52.5
  • One (standard diploma)
  • Multiple
  • - Ohio Diploma
  • - Academic Honors Diploma
  • - International Baccalaureate Honors Diploma
  • - Career Tech Honors Diploma
  • - STEM Honors Diploma
  • - Arts Honors Diploma
  • - Social Science and Civic Engagement Honors Diploma
Rhode Island2044303
  • One (standard diploma)
  • - However, students in an approved CTE program are granted additional flexibility in satisfying course requirements.
  • - Effective with the class of 2028, students may earn a Diploma Plus Credentials, which is earned by satisfying standard diploma requirements and completing learning experiences that are validated through credentials recognized in school accountability and include, but are not limited to, dual and concurrent enrollment credit, industry recognized credentials as established by CTE program standards, and a qualifying score of three or higher on an Advanced Placement exam.
  • Multiple
  • - The state offers one diploma option. Students may meet graduation requirements through the following pathways:
  • - Dual enrollment
  • - Early college
  • - Virtual/blended learning
  • - Work - based learning
  • - Career and technical education
  • - Personalized learning
  • Multiple
  • - Students must meet the requirements of at least one of the eight graduation pathway options to earn a standard diploma:
  • - Statewide High School Assessments
  • - Dual Credit Courses
  • - Transition Courses
  • - Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Cambridge International
  • - SAT or ACT
  • - Combination of one of the above options for both math and English language arts
  • - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • - CTE Course Sequence
  • - Performance-Based Learning Experience
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
  • One (standard diploma)
showing: 51 rows