Standard High School Graduation Requirements

Standard High School Graduation Requirements


The information below describes state high school graduation requirements as defined by state statutes and regulations. These requirements should be understood to show minimum course requirements, in that local boards may adopt graduation requirements above and beyond those mandated by the state. Policies reflect courses to be completed and do not include exit exam requirements. This database indicates where state policy specifies courses that may or must be completed to earn subject area credit.

With the exception of Nebraska and New Jersey, required coursework is expressed in Carnegie units, with one unit reflecting one year of coursework. Units defined in Idaho and Indiana policy have been translated from half-year to full-year units to maintain consistency. Exceptions and other circumstances related to completing high school graduation course requirements are included in the "Technical Notes and Citations" field at the end of each state's report. Subject area fields with a --- indicate that the state does not set course requirements for that subject. Where the number of state-mandated units in specific subjects falls below the total number of state-mandated units, this difference is indicated in the "total units" field rather than the "electives" field to reflect local districts' option to increase unit requirements in subject areas.

This information was gathered in January to August 2005 and is updated as new policies are enacted.

Last update: March 23, 2007

This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay Zinth, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.


Arizona

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4

Notes/Citation: 4 units "of English or English as a Second Language."

Math units (Std.) 2
Eff. Class of 2012: 3 units math. Course content for at least two math credits must "include Number Sense and Operations; Data Analysis, Probability and Discrete Mathematics; Patterns, Algebra and Functions; Geometry and Measurement; and Structure and Logic ... and [must] be taken consecutively beginning" in 9th grade unless the student fulfills these requirements before grade 9. The 3rd unit must "include significant mathematics content as determined by the local" school board or charter school.
Eff. Class of 2013: 4 units math. Three units must meet same requirements in place for Class of 2012; 4th unit must be Algebra II or its equivalent. Courses meeting the Algebra II requirement may include "career and technical and vocational education, economics, science and arts courses as determined by the local school district governing board or charter school." Eff. Class of 2013, a student may complete a "personal curriculum" if the student's development team (student, parent, and a counselor or principal or their designee) determines student need. A student with a "personal curriculum" must complete, in lieu of Algebra II and the 4th unit "that includes significant mathematics content," at least 1 math unit that includes "significant mathematics content as determined by the local school district governing board or charter school[.]" A student using a personal curriculum must complete a math course during his/her senior year of high school.
Social studies units (Std.) 2.5
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.
Science units (Std.) 2
Eff. Class of 2012: 2 units "in preparation for proficiency at the high school level on the AIMS test."
Eff. Class of 2013: 3 units "in preparation for proficiency at the high school level on the AIMS test."
P.E./Health units (Std.) 0
Arts (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: 1 unit of "fine arts or vocational education". Eff. Class of 2012: 1 unit of "fine arts or career and technical education and vocational education."

Foreign language (Std.) 0
Electives units (Std.) 8.5
Eff. Class of 2012: 7
Other units (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: 1 unit of "fine arts or vocational education". Eff. Class of 2012: 1 unit of "fine arts or career and technical education and vocational education."

TOTAL # units (Std.) 20
Eff. Class of 2013: 22

Notes/Citation: 8.5 "additional courses prescribed by the local governing board" subject to state board approval. Eff. Class of 2012 and 2013: 7 "additional courses prescribed by the local school district governing board"

Other diploma options State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) 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)
Planning and Counseling Requirement
State requires student to adopt learning plan (not including career pathway requirements) No
Additional Coursework Options and Requirements
State has policy on early graduation Yes. Each district providing instruction in grades 9-12 must promote to students an early graduation scholarship program. Students must graduate at least one year early to participate.

In addition, the state provides for 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 who earns 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.
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. Upon student request, a local board must provide the opportunity for the student to demonstrate competency in lieu of classroom time. Awarding of credit must be based on the successful completion of state board-adopted academic standards. If there are no adopted academic standards for an elective subject, the local board or charter school must be responsible for developing and adopting competency requirements for the elective subject. The determination and verification of student performance is the responsibility of the subject-area teacher.
Required coursework aligned with college entrance requirements No
All high school students are required to declare a major/career pathway/career focus No
Sources Early graduation: ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 15-105, 15-792
Proficiency-based credit: ARIZ. ADMIN. CODE R7-2-302.01 (Class of 2012), .02 (Class of 2013 and thereafter), .04 (pre-Class of 2012)
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: ARIZ. ADMIN. CODE R7-2-302.01, 02, 04 (for pre-Class of 2012); College admissions requirements: Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual, Policy 2-102

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