|Social studies units (Std.)||Other diploma options||Technical notes and citations (Std.)|
|Alabama||4||State additionally offers the Alabama High School Diploma with Credit-Based Endorsement, for students who by end of grade 12 have not passed one or more of the five subtests of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (students must have passed the reading, math, and one of the three other sections of the exam). Credit requirements for this option are identical to those for Alabama High School Diploma, with exception that, starting with 12th graders in 2012-13 school year, 1 of 5.5 elective credits must be a CTE credit.
State also offers two technical diplomas and honors/college prep diploma. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.
|Eff. Class of 2013 (for all diploma options), students must complete an online/technology enhanced course or experience. Exceptions through Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) will be allowed.
Effective with the Class of 2013, the Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Academic Endorsement becomes the first-choice diploma for high school students.
ALA. CODE § 16-6B-2; ALA. ADMIN. CODE R. 290-3-1-.02
Notes/Citation: As of January 1, 2009, must include "one-half unit of credit in Alaska history or demonstration that the student meets the Alaska history performance standards."
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State does not have policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||ALASKA ADMIN. CODE tit. 4, § 04.020, 06.075|
Eff. Class of 2012: 3
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: Must include 1.5 units "in the essentials, sources and history" of the U.S. and Arizona constitutions "and instruction in American institutions and ideals and" Arizona history and 1 unit world history/geography. Eff. 2012: Must include 1 unit U.S. history, including Arizona history; 1 unit world history/geography; .5 unit U.S. government, including Arizona government; and .5 unit economics.
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||The aforementioned graduation requirements do not apply to students who earn a "Grand Canyon Diploma", which districts and charter schools may choose to offer beginning in the 2012-13 school year, and which students may earn at the end of grade 10 or during or at the end of grade 11 or 12. Statute defines a Grand Canyon Diploma as a diploma offered to any student demonstrating college-readiness in English and math "according to standards prescribed by an interstate compact on board examination systems, who has passing grades on an additional set of required approved board examinations in core academic courses as determined by the state board of education, including the arts, history and science, and who successfully completes a course in economics."
A student earning a Grand Canyon Diploma may either (1) Enroll in a community college the following fall; (2) Stay in high school and enroll in additional advanced preparation board exam programs designed to prepare those students for admission to high quality baccalaureate-awarding institutions; (3) Enroll in a full-time career and technical education program offered on a community college campus, a high school campus or a joint technical education district campus, or any combination of these campuses; or (4) Return to a traditional academic program without completing the next level of board examination systems curriculum.
ARIZ. ADMIN. CODE R7-2-302.4, R7-2-302.01 (Grand Canyon Diploma: ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 15-792)
Eff. Class of 2014: 3 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2014: Smart Core: Must include 1 unit each civics or civics/American government, world history and American history. Pre-Class of 2014 Core: Must include 1 unit each world history, U.S. history, .5 unit civics or government. Eff. Class of 2014 (both Smart Core and Core): 3 units, incl. 1 unit each of world history and U.S. history, .5 unit civics. .5 unit economics may count either toward 3 units social studies or toward 6 career focus elective credits.
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State does not have policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||All students must complete the "Smart Core" requirements unless parent/guardian waives student's participation, in which case the student will complete the "Core" requirements.
Ark. Admin. Code 005.15.2-14.0
Notes/Citation: Must include U.S. "history and geography; world history, culture and geography;" .5 unit in U.S. government and civics; .5 unit economics.
|State offers honors/college prep curriculum options and proficiency-based credit option. State does not offer technical diploma option but does provide a certificate of completion for students who finish a technical program.||CAL. EDUC. CODE § 51225.3, 51224.5, 51222, 51241, 51242, 51243, 51244, 51245, 51246|
|Colorado||.5 unit U.S. and state government (see notes). All other social studies requirements set at the district level.
Notes/Citation: Students must complete .5 unit "on the civil government of the United States and the state of Colorado", which must include "the history, culture, and contributions of minorities, including, but not limited to, the American Indians, the Hispanic Americans, and the African Americans[.]"
|State has policy permitting districts to grant a "postsecondary and workforce readiness endorsement". State does not have policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||All graduation requirements in Colorado, with the exception of the .5 unit of U.S. and state government and history, are determined by local boards. However, legislation directs the state board of education, by December 15, 2011, to adopt a comprehensive set of guidelines for districts to use in developing local graduation requirements. Local graduation requirements must meet or exceed any minimum standards or basic core competencies or skills identified in the guidelines. The guidelines must be aligned with the description of postsecondary and workforce readiness adopted by the state board and the Colorado commission on higher education.
CO Const. Art. IX, § 15; COLO. REV. STAT. ANN. § 22-1-104, 22-2-106
|Connecticut||3 (see notes)
Eff. Class of 2018: 3 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2018: Must incl. at least .5 unit on civics and American government. Eff. Class of 2018: Must incl. 1 unit American history and .5 unit civics and American government. In addition, students must complete 1 unit in a "humanities elective", which may be a social studies course.
|State does not offer honors/college prep or technical diploma option, but does provide a certificate of completion for students who finish a Connecticut career certificate program. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.
||Eff. Class of 2018, students must also complete a 1-credit senior demonstration project or its equivalent, as approved by the state board of education.
CONN. GEN. STAT. § 10-221a
|Delaware||3||State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State offers proficiency-based credit option.||DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 14, § 152 and 8902A; Code Del Regs. 14 100 6.0, 14 503.5.3.1 and 505|
|District of Columbia||3.5
Eff. Class of 2011: 4
Notes/Citation: Pre-2011: Must include .5 unit D.C. History-Government, 1 unit U.S. History, .5 unit U.S. Government, 1 unit World History, .5 unit World Geography. Eff. Class of 2011: Must include World History 1 and 2; U.S. History; U.S. Government and DC History
|D.C. does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. D.C. does not have policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Eff. Class of 2011, "Students must complete at least one credit-bearing course during the third or subsequent [high school] years that requires a culminating composition or project that is formally presented." In addition, all 11th graders "must write a coherent thesis that conveys a clear and distinctive position." All 12th graders "must write and present a cogent thesis."
D.C. MUN. REGS., tit. 5, § 2202, 2203, 2203.1
3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: Same as std.
Notes/Citation: Must incl. 1 unit each United States history and world history, and .5 unit each economics and United States government
|State does not offer honors/college prep or technical diploma option, but does provide career education certification for students who finish a comprehensive career education program of study and meet specified other requirements. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Credits may be earned through applied, integrated and combined courses approved by the department of education. As an alternative to the 24 credits specified in state policy, students may complete the International Baccalaureate curriculum or Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum.
FLA. STAT. ANN. § 1003.428
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: 1 unit U.S. history, 1 unit world studies (i.e., world history or world geography--College Prep students must complete 1 unit world history), .5 or .33 unit citizenship education (government), and .5 or .33 unit Principles of Economics/Business/Free Enterprise. Eff. Class of 2012: 1 unit U.S. history, 1 unit world history, .5 unit American government/civics, .5 unit economics
|State offers College Preparatory and Technology/Career Preparatory programs of study as "standard" diploma options as well as College Preparatory with Distinction and Technology/Career Preparatory with Distinction options. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit. Effective with the Class of 2012, the College Preparatory, Technology/Career Pathway, College Preparatory with Distinction and Technology/Career Preparatory with Distinction options will be eliminated, in favor of one set of graduation requirements for all students.||Pre-Class of 2012: These requirements refer to the College Preparatory and Technology/Career-Preparatory diploma option. Georgia does not have a "standard" diploma but four options: College Preparatory, College Preparatory with Distinction, Technology/Career-Preparatory, and Technology/Career Preparatory with Distinction. A student may earn a College Prep and Technology/Career-prep seal on the diploma by completing the requirements for each seal. "Only elective course credit or no course credit may be awarded for courses in which instruction is based on the QCC [Quality Core Curriculum, state standards] for grades K-8." A local board may request a waiver from the state superintendent to award students in an alternative high school units "based on demonstrated competency on course examination(s)."
Eff. Class of 2012: Four diploma options are replaced with one uniform set of requirements.
GA. CODE ANN. § 20-2-142, 20-2-151.1; GA. COMP. R. & REGS. r. 160-4-2-.47 and -48, 160-4-8-.12
Eff. Class of 2010: 4 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: Class of 2010: Must include .5 unit Modern History of Hawaii and .5 unit Participation in a Democracy.
|State offers honors/college prep curriculum option, effective with the Class of 2010. State does not offer technical diploma option or proficiency-based credit option.||Hawaii State BOE Policy 4540|
Notes/Citation: Must include 1 unit government, 1 unit U.S. history and .5 unit economics.
|State does does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State does not have policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Eff. Class of 2012: Students must complete a senior project that includes a research paper and oral presentation.
IDAPA 08.02.03.104, 08.02.03.105, 08.02.03.107
Notes/Citation: Must include 1 unit American history or 1 unit combination of American history and government.
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Eff. Class of 2009 and subsequent years: More rigorous coursework requirements do not apply to students entering grade 9 in or prior to the 2004-2005 school year or to students with an individualized education program.
105 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 5/10-22.43, 5/27-6, 5.27-12.1, 5/27-22, 5/27-22.05, 5/27-22.2, 5/27-22.3; ILL. ADMIN. CODE tit. 23, § 1.440, 1.445
Core 40: 3
Eff. Class of 2010: 2
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 3
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: General diploma: Must include 1 unit U.S. history, .5 unit U.S. government and .5 unit in another social studies course. Core 40: Three units must include 1 unit U.S. history and .5 unit each of U.S. government, world history and civilization or world geography, economics, and an additional course from the social studies area. Eff. Class of 2010: Same as existing requirements except that third unit may be completed "in another social studies course, global economics, or consumer economics." Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 3 units must include 1 unit U.S. history, .5 unit each of economics and U.S. government and 1 unit either world history and civilization or geography and history of the world.
|State offers honors/college prep curriculum option, and will offer technical diploma option effective with the Class of 2010. State also offers proficiency-based credit option.||High-ability students allowed to complete course requirements through performance assessment.
Core 40: End-of-course exams in Core 40 courses required. If a student fails 3 or more Core 40 courses, student, parent and counselor must decide if the student should continue in the Core 40 curriculum or complete the general curriculum.
The current Core 40 Diploma requirements were developed through an agreement among the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the state's public university and were not a part of statute or regulation. IND. CODE ANN. § 20-10.1-16-13, 20-30-14-1; IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7-1 through 6-7-9, 6-7.1-9, 6-9.1-1 through –3; state science standards
Eff. Class of 2010: IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7.1-1, 6-7.1-4
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: "Only courses that officially have been designated as Core 40 courses may be counted." Students are encouraged to complete a career-academic sequence.
IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7.1-5
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 requirements, but a student who does not complete the Core 40 course and credit requirements and does not pass the graduation exam may be eligible to graduate if the student: (1) Retakes the graduation examination in each subject area not passed. "(2) Completes remediation opportunities .... (3) Maintains a school attendance rate of at least ninety-five percent (95%) with excused absences not counting against the student's attendance. (4) Maintains at least a "C" average or the equivalent in the courses comprising the credits specifically required for graduation by rule of the board. 5) Otherwise satisfies all state and local graduation requirements. [and] (6) Either: (A) completes: (i) the course and credit requirements for a general diploma, including the career academic sequence; (ii) a workforce readiness assessment; and (iii) at least one (1) career exploration internship, cooperative education, or workforce credential recommended by the student's school; or (B) obtains a written recommendation from a teacher of the student in each subject area in which the student has not achieved a passing score on the graduation examination. The written recommendation must be concurred in by the principal of the student's school and be supported by documentation that the student has attained the academic standard in the subject area based upon: (i) tests other than the graduation examination; or (ii) classroom work."
In addition, upon request by a student's parent, "the student may be exempted from the Core 40 curriculum requirement ... and required to complete the general curriculum" to graduate.
IND. CODE ANN. § 20-10.1-16-13
|Iowa||Pre-2011: See notes
Eff. Class of 2011: 3
Notes/Citation: Students must complete .5 unit of U.S. government and 1 unit of U.S. history "and receive instruction in the government of Iowa."
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State does not have policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Pre-Class of 2011: Except for p.e., requirement, .5 unit of U.S. government, 1 unit of U.S. history and instruction in Iowa government, all high school graduation requirements set by local board.
IOWA ADMIN. CODE 12.5(5); IOWA CODE ANN. § 256.7, 256.18A
Eff. Class of 2009: 3 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: Pre-2009: Must include 1 unit U.S. history, .5 unit U.S. government, including the U.S. constitution, and course in Kansas history and government. Eff. Class of 2009: Must include world history, U.S. history, U.S. government, including the U.S. Constitution, "concepts of economics and geography" and 9-week course in Kansas history and government, held sometime in grades 7-12.
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Through Class of 2008, local boards have authority to maintain local graduation requirements not in compliance with statewide requirements as long as at least 21 units are required for graduation and include 1 unit U.S. history, .5 unit U.S. government, including the U.S. Constitution, and a course in Kansas history and government.
Eff. Class of 2009: Local boards may no longer set graduation requirements lower than state requirements.
KAN. STAT. ANN. § 72-1103, 72-1117; KAN. ADMIN. REGS. 91-31-21, 91-31-32, 91-31-35
Notes/Citation: Must "incorporate U.S. History, Economics, Government, World Geography, and World Civilization"
|State offers honors/college prep curriculum option and two technical pathway options. State has proficiency-based credit option.||KY. REV. STAT. ANN. § 156.160; 704 KY. ADMIN. REGS. 4:010, 3:305|
Eff. Class of 2012:
LA Core 4: 4
LA Core: 3 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: Pre-2012: Must include American History, .5 unit of Civics, .5 unit of Free Enterprise; and one of the following: World History, World Geography, or Western Civilization. Eff. Class of 2012: LA Core 4: Must include .5 unit of Civics; .5 unit of Free Enterprise; 1 unit U.S. History; 1 unit chosen from world history, world geography, western civilization, or AP European History; 1 unit selected from state-approved list. LA Core: Same as pre-2012 although AP alternatives to standard courses specified.
|State offers honors/college prep and technical curriculum options and proficiency-based credit option.||Eff. Class of 2012: All students must complete the Louisiana Core 4 Curriculum, unless the student, student's parent and school counselor (or other staff member who assists in course selection) agree after the student completes two years of high school that the student should complete the Louisiana Core Curriculum instead.
LA. ADMIN CODE tit. 28, pt. CXV, § 2319, 2321, 2325
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: 1 unit American history and government and 1 unit social studies. Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in" social studies and 4 other subject areas. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in all 8 content areas. Learning results define social studies as including history, economics and civics.
|Graduation effective with the class of 2007 is based on local assessment systems, which may include portfolios, performances and demonstrations in addition to other measures of achievement. Commercially produced assessments may be part of a local assessment but may not carry a majority of the weight in determining student performance. Students are required to study content areas until proficiencies are met. Local boards may specify other requirements for graduation (minimum attendance requirements and/or accumulation of credits or courses) but meeting those requirements is not sufficient by itself to meet graduation requirements. A locally-set standard for student performance (as assessed as part of the local assessment system) in applied technology is a requirement for graduation.
In addition to course requirements, students must complete at least one application to a college, university or other postsecondary educational institution.
ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 20-A, § 4722, 4706, 6202-A, 6209, 4730; 05-071 CMR Ch. 127, § 1 and § 7
Notes/Citation: 1 unit each in U.S. history; world history; and local, state and national government aligned with the Maryland High School Assessment for government.
|MD. REGS. CODE tit. 13A, § 13A.03.02.01 through 13A.03.02.12; MD. CODE ANN., EDUC. § 7-205|
Notes/Citation: Students must study American history and civics. However, state law does not specify the number of units students must complete in these subjects.
|State offers honors diploma option and will offer technical diploma option, tentatively effective with the Class of 2010. State does not have policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Graduation requirements are established by local boards.
MASS. GEN. LAWS ANN. ch. 69, § 1D
|Michigan||.5 (see notes)
Eff. Class of 2011: 3
Notes/Citation: Pre-2011: Students must complete .5 unit civics instruction, which must include "the form and functions of the federal, state, and local governments and shall stress the rights and responsibilities of citizens." Eff. Class of 2011: 1 U.S. history and geography, 1 world history and geography, .5 economics, and civics course. "Personal curriculum" may include modified social studies requirements only if student has completed 2 units social studies, including civics course and modification requires student to complete additional unit English, math, science or foreign language.
|Pre-2011: High school graduation requirements set by local boards. Eff. Class of 2011: The new graduation requirements are referred to as the Michigan merit standard. A parent may request that their child complete modified graduation requirements, although the English and science requirements may not be modified, and math requirements may be modified only according to specific parameters. All students must complete an online course or learning experience. The superintendent of public instruction may designate up to 15 high schools as "specialty high schools." Specialty high schools must meet specified criteria, including that a significant reading and writing component is incorporated throughout the curriculum and the school "uses a specialized, innovative, and rigorous curriculum in such areas as performing arts, foreign language, extensive use of internships, or other learning innovations that conform to pioneering innovations among other leading national or international high schools." If a speciality high school, subsequent to identification as such, fails to meet specified standards, the high school will lose special designation. A district unable to meet a curricular requirement for students entering grade 9 in 2007 may apply to the department for permission to phase in 1 or more requirements.
MICH. COMP. LAWS ANN. § 380.1157b, 380.1166, 380.1278, 380.1278a, 380.1278b, 380.1279, 380.1279b, 380.1279e, 380.1502, 388.1704a, 388.1907
Notes/Citation: 3.5 units must include U.S. history, "geography, government and citizenship, world history, and economics...."
|MINN. STAT. ANN. § 120B.021, 120B.023, 120B.024; MINN. R. 3501.0010, .0020, .0040, .0200, 0210, 0230; July 28, 2003 memo from Superintendent Cheri Pierson Yecke to Superintendents and Education Organizations|
Notes/Citation: Both pre-2009 and eff. Class of 2009: 3 units must include 1 unit each of World History and U.S. History and .5 unit each of U.S. Government and Mississippi Studies or Mississippi State and Local Government.
|Eff. Class of 2012: All students must complete college preparatory curriculum unless parent requests child's opt-out, in which case the student must complete the graduation requirements effective with the Class of 2009.
Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards 2004, Appendix A; MISS. CODE ANN. § 37-16-7; Code Miss. R. 36 000 069
Eff. Class of 2010: 3
Notes/Citation: One of the 2 units must be American history. Students must also pass exam "on the provisions and principles" of the U.S. and Missouri constitutions "and in American history and American institutions." Test may be given at any grade 7-12.
|State offers honors/college prep curriculum option and proficiency-based credit option. State does not offer technical diploma option.||MO. ANN. STAT. § 170.011; GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS IN MISSOURI'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Guidelines for Principals, Counselors and Other School Personnel, September 2002; MO. CODE REGS. ANN. tit. 5, § 50-345.300|
|Montana||2||MONT. ADMIN. R. 10.55.905|
|Nebraska||--||All graduation requirements set at local level. However, at least 80% of the 200 hours must be core curriculum courses as defined by the state board. "One instructional unit equals 15 clock hours. Therefore, a course that meets for 50 minutes for 180 days generates 10 instructional units. (Instructional units may be generated through any configuration of days and minutes.)"
NEB. REV. STAT. § 79-729; NEB. ADMIN. CODE Tit. 92, Ch. 10, § 003.05 and § 004.04C, Tit. 92, Ch. 14, § 004.01D; "Providing Equitable Opportunities for an Essential Education for All Students in Nebraska Public School Districts: A Policy Document of the State Board of Education, December 10, 2004, Original draft approved December 5, 2003."
Notes/Citation: 1 unit each of American government and American history.
|State offers honors/college prep curriculum option and proficiency-based credit option. Career and technical education endorsement option created by 2005 legislation to be offered at an undetermined date (as of September 2005).||NEV. REV. STAT. ANN. 386.520, 386.550, /86.584, 389.165; NEV. ADMIN. CODE ch. 389, § 664, 666, 670, 672, 674, 686, 710, 730|
Notes/Citation: 1 unit U.S. and NH history and government, 1 unit "social studies elective" and .5 unit "basic business and economic education."
|N.H. CODE ADMIN. R. ANN. ED 306.23, 306.27|
|New Jersey||15 credits (3 Carnegie units)
Notes/Citation: Must include 2-year course in U.S. and New Jersey state history. Must include instruction in American government and principles.
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has multiple policies on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Requirements are listed in administrative code as "credits" rather than Carnegie units. Five credits appear to equal one Carnegie unit. District boards must adopt requirements for a state-endorsed diploma, which must include either (1) completion of the 110 credit requirement through course completion or (2) completion of 110 credits in part or in whole through a proficiency-based mechanism. Local requirements must, in addition to course/competency requirements, include "local student attendance requirements."
N.J. ADMIN. CODE tit. 6A, § 8-5.1 and 5.2; N.J. STAT. ANN. § 18A:35-1, -2, 4.13, 4.18, -5, -7 and -8
Eff. Class of 2009: 3.5
Notes/Citation: Must include U.S. "history and geography, world history and geography and government and economics" Eff. Class of 2009: Existing requirements, plus .5 unit New Mexico history.
|Eff. Class of 2013, at least one of the units required for graduation must be completed through a distance learning course, Advanced Placement or honors course, or dual-credit course offered in cooperation with an institution of higher education. The default diploma eff. Class of 2013 is the New Mexico diploma of excellence.
N.M. STAT. ANN. § 22-13-1.1; N.M. ADMIN. CODE tit. 6, § 30.2
Notes/Citation: 1 unit American history, .5 unit each in "participation in government" and "economics or their equivalent."
|State offers honors/college prep and technical curriculum options and proficiency-based credit option.||N.Y. COMP. CODES R. & REGS. tit. 8, § 100.2, 100.5|
Notes/Citation: 1 unit each in Civics and Economics, U.S. history, and World History
|The state offers 1 honors/college prep. diploma and two technical diplomas: the career preparation and college technical preparation diploma. All three diploma options described in the "standard" diploma section. State has proficiency-based credit option.||The state offers 1 honors/college prep. course of study and two technical courses of study: career preparation and college technical preparation.
Eff. Class of 2010: Students following the career preparation, college technical preparation or college/university preparation courses of study must complete a senior project "developed, monitored and scored" by the district "using state-adopted rubrics..."
Eff. Class of 2013, the career preparation, college technical preparation and college/university preparation courses of study are eliminated in favor of a common course of study for all students, the Future Ready Core. The senior project requirement will remain in force under the new core.
N.C. ADMIN. CODE tit. 16, r. 6D.0503; N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-81
|North Dakota||--||State does not have statewide high school graduation requirements.
N.D. CENT. CODE § 15.1-21-02.1
Notes/Citation: All students must complete "one unit of American history and government, including a study of the" U.S. and Ohio constitutions.
|State offers college prep and technical diploma options. State will begin phasing in proficiency-based credit option during the 2009-2010 school year.||Students entering grade nine after July 2010 but before July 2014 may opt out of the Ohio core curriculum if all of the following criteria are met: (1) After the student attends high school for two years, the student and parent sign a parental consent form that acknowledges the student will be ineligible to enroll in most state universities without further coursework; (2) The student and parent fulfill any procedural requirements the school stipulates to ensure the student's and parent's informed consent; (3) The student and parent, and a representative of the high school develop an individual career plan that specifies the student entering a two-year postsecondary program, earning an business and industry credential, or entering an apprenticeship; (4) The student's high school provides counseling and support related to the individual career plan during the student's last two years of high school; and (5) The student completes the graduation requirements in effect prior to the Class of 2014.
OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 3313.60, 3313.603; OHIO ADMIN. CODE § 3301-35-04
|Oklahoma||3 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: 1 unit U.S. history, .5 unit Oklahoma history, .5 unit U.S. govt., 1 unit chosen from history, govt., economics, civics, or non-Western culture and approved for college admission requirements.
|State allows local boards to offer honors/college prep curriculum option (districts not mandated to offer) and proficiency-based credit option.||Eff. Class of 2010, students may complete pre-2010 requirements with a parent's written permission. Districts may require a parent to met with a designee of the school prior to selection of the pre-2010 curriculum.
OKLA. STAT. ANN. tit. 70, § 11-103.6, 11-103.6f; OKLA. ADMIN. CODE § 210:35-9-31
Notes/Citation: Must include history, civics, geography and economics (including personal finance).
|State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit. A January 2007 memo from the department of education states, "A key feature of the future [2012 and 2014] diploma will be wider use of proficiency, ensuring that all students will have the opportunity to choose to earn credit by demonstrating proficiency based on state content standards."||In addition to course requirements, each student must (1) "develop an education plan and build an education profile"; (2) "build a collection of evidence, or include evidence in existing collections, to demonstrate extended application"; (3) "demonstrate career-related knowledge and skills in the following areas: personal management, problem solving, communication, teamwork, employment foundations, and career development"; and (4) "participate in career-related learning experiences outlined in the education plan...."
Eff. Class of 2010: Student who does not complete 3 years of math or 4 years of English may still be awarded a diploma if the student "has met or exceeded the the academic content standards for mathematics or English established by the [local] board" or "displays proficiency in mathematics or English at a level established by the board."
OR. ADMIN. R. 581-022-1130, -1120, -1131; 2005 H.B. 3129; Oregon Department of Education Memo #011-2006-07, Changes and Implementation to High School Diploma
|Pennsylvania||--||State offers honors certificate option. State does not offer technical diploma option or proficiency-based credit option.||Carnegie unit requirements for high school graduation set by each local district. Requirements must "include course completion and grades, completion of a culminating project and results of local assessments aligned with the academic standards...."
22 PA. CODE § 4.24
Notes/Citation: Must include instruction on Rhode Island and U.S. Constitutions and government.
|In addition to completing Carnegie unit requirements, students must demonstrate proficiency to graduate from high school. Proficiency may be demonstrated through exhibitions such as senior projects, capstone projects, or certificates of initial mastery; portfolios; proficiency-based departmental end-of-course exams; common tasks; and industry skill certifications.
L-6-3.1 as updated September 2008; R.I. GEN. LAWS § 16-22-2, 16-22-4, 16-22-21; "Regulations of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education Regarding Public High Schools and Ensuring Literacy for Students Entering High School," January 9, 2003, The Rhode Island High School Diploma System
Notes/Citation: 1 unit U.S. History and Constitution; .5 unit each of economics and U.S. government; 1 unit "other social studies."
|Students "must demonstate computer literacy before graduation."
S.C. CODE ANN. § 59-39-100, 59-30-10, 59-29-160, 59-26-70; 43 S.C. CODE ANN. REGS. § 259, 262
Eff. Class of 2010: Advanced program: 3; Standard: same as Advanced program
Notes/Citation: Pre-2010: Must include 1 unit U.S. history; .5 unit U.S. government; .5 unit geography. Eff. Class of 2010: For both diplomas: Requirements same as existing plus .5 unit world history.
|State will offer honors/college prep curriculum option effective with the Class of 2010. State does not offer technical diploma option or proficiency-based credit option.||Eff. Class of 2010: All students must complete the Advanced graduation requirements unless excused by a process set forth in statute. The "Advanced" diploma is referred to as "recommended" in statute; the "Standard" diploma is referred to as "basic" in statute. Student transcripts reflect if a student completed the Advanced high school program. "Both programs shall include a rigorous high school curriculum..."
S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:01:01, 24:43:11:01 through 24:43:11:06; S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-33-19, § 13-1-12.1, 13-33-4
Notes/Citation: Must include U.S. history, world history/world geography, economics and government.
|State requires all students to complete 6 units in university prep or technical prep curriculum (requirements set forth under "standard" diploma provisions). State allows students completing either curriculum option to graduate with honors based on local requirements, including achieving an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Students must complete 14 units of a core curriculum and choose to complete an additional 6 units in either the "University Preparation Curriculum" or the "Technical Preparation Curriculum."
TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-6-1010; TENN. COMP. R. & REGS. 0520-1-3-.05, 0520-1-3-.06
|Texas||Recommended program: 4
Minimum program: 3
Notes/Citation: Recommended: Must include 1 unit World History Studies, 1 unit World Geography Studies, 1 unit U.S. History Studies Since Reconstruction, and .5 unit each of economics and U.S. Government. Minimum: Same as recommended but students choose between 1 unit World History Studies or World Geography Studies
|State offers honors/college prep curriculum option and proficiency-based credit option. State does not offer technical diploma pathway.||All students must complete the recommended or distinguished program unless the student, student's parent and school counselor or administrator agree the student should complete the minimum program. Recommended program: "All students who wish to complete the Recommended High School Program are encouraged to study each of the four foundation curriculum areas (English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies) every year in high school."
19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 74.26, 74.41 through 74.43, 74.51 through 74.53, 74.61 through 74.63
Notes/Citation: 1 unit U.S. history and .5 unit each of Geography for Life, World Civilizations and U.S. Government and Citizenship.
|Library media skills must be integrated into the subject areas. Effective with the Class of 2008, the state board "establishes minimum course description standards and objectives for each course in the required general core, which is commonly referred to as the Core Curriculum." Districts and the department of education will collaborate to develop course descriptions for required and elective courses, which must include "mastery criteria for the courses, and shall stress mastery of the course material and Core objectives and standards rather than completion of predetermined time allotments for courses."
UTAH ADMIN. CODE R277-700, R277-700-6
|Vermont||3||Student must "[demonstrate] that he or she has attained or exceeded the standards contained in the Framework or comparable standards as measured by results on performance based assessments, plus any additional requirements established by the school board" OR complete 20 state-required units (and any local requirements that show students have met or exceeded "the Framework or comparable standards") OR any combination of units and performance based assessments and/or other local board requirements demonstrating attainment or beyond of standards in the Framework.
VT. CODE R. 222.214.171.124; VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 16, § 1545
Notes/Citation: Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and one world history/geography course.
|State offers honors/college prep and technical curriculum options. State offers proficiency-based credit option.||This section of the database deals only with Carnegie unit requirements and does not include the "verified units of credit" (end-of-course test) requirements.
8 VA. ADMIN. CODE § 20-131-50; VA. CODE ANN. § 22.1-253.13:4
Notes/Citation: Must include 1 unit U.S. history and government, .5 unit Washington State History and Government and 1 unit "contemporary world history, geography and problems."
|State offers honors designation option and proficiency-based credit option. State does not offer technical diploma option.||Community colleges are authorized to award high school diplomas, provided they adhere to state board requirements for high schools. ·
Eff. Class of 2008: In addition to Carnegie unit requirements, all students must complete a "culminating project" and a "high school and beyond plan." "The [culminating] project consists of the student demonstrating both their learning competencies and preparations related to learning goals three and four. Each district shall define the process to implement this graduation requirement, including assessment criteria, in written district policy." The High School and Beyond Plan is to be "an education plan for their high school experience, including what they expect to do the year following graduation."
WASH. ADMIN. CODE § 180-51, 180-18-055, 180-50-120, 180-50-300, -315, -320, 392-121-182; WASH. REV. CODE ANN. § 28A.230.170, 28A.230.090, 28A.305.170, 28B.50.535
Eff. Class of 2008: 4
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2008: Must include United States to 1900, World Studies to 1900 and Twentieth/Twenty-First Centuries. Eff. Class of 2008: Fourth unit must be civics/government. Eff. Class of 2012: Fourth unit must be Civics for the 21st Century. The four courses "should be taken in consecutive order."
|State does not have honors/college prep or technical diploma pathways, but does require the state board of education to award certificates of achievement to "students whose educational programs in grades 9-12 merit special recognition...." State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.||Students must also complete work-based learning, which is to be determined at the local level.
Eff. Class of 2008: Prior to the Class of 2008, students were required to complete 4 units in a career major. Eff. with the Class of 2008, students must complete these 4 units in one of three "pathways": the professional pathway, for those going on to a bachelor's degree; the skilled pathway, for those going on to an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate; or the entry pathway, for those going directly into the workforce after high school. Four units to be completed in career major choices vary by pathway.
Eff. Class of 2012: All high school students must "be fully enrolled in a full day of high school and/or college credit bearing courses. It is recommended that students complete a senior project to add rigor and relevance to the senior year."
W. VA. CODE. ANN. § 18-2-6, 18-2E-8a, -8c, 8d; W. VA. CODE ST. R. § 126-30-1 through -4 (primarily historical regulations), 126-31-1 through -5, 126-42-5 and -6; Mike Kees, state science coordinator, West Virginia Department of Education
Notes/Citation: Must include instruction in state and local government.
|Every local board must establish high school graduation criteria in addition to the state-level requirements; such criteria must include students' academic performance and teachers' recommendations.
WIS. ADMIN. CODE § 18.03, WIS. STAT. § 118.33
|Wyoming||3 + See notes
Notes/Citation: Must include "history, American government and economic systems and institutions, provided business instructors" may teach economic systems and institutions courses. Students must also pass an exam on the principles of the U.S. and Wyoming constitutions. Diplomas must also indicate a level of endorsement. Comprehensive endorsement: Standard reqts. + proficient performance on common core of knowledge and skills in social studies. General endorsement: Proficient performance in a majority of 9 subject areas which include social studies.
|State offers honors endorsement option and proficiency-based credit option. State does not offer technical diploma option.||WY Rules and Regulations EDU GEN Ch. 31 ss 9-11; WYO. STAT. ANN. § 21-2-304, 21-9-102|
|American Samoa||Unable to locate any course requirements.|
|Puerto Rico||Unable to locate course requirements. Statute requires department to give diploma to any student who passes "the examinations pertaining to the secondary school courses" or their equivalents. Students who take tests must be 18 and upon passage, receive diploma equivalent to a a high school diploma.
18 P.R. LAWS ANN. §44, 47
|Virgin Islands||Unable to locate|
© 2015 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail
Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy