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


Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4
Math units (Std.) 4, incl. Algebra I, Algebra II and geometry

Notes/Citation: During the senior year, students must be enrolled in one of the four required math credits

Social studies units (Std.) 3
Science units (Std.) 3 lab
P.E./Health units (Std.) 1.5

Notes/Citation: 1 unit p.e. and .5 unit health. In addition to the 1 credit of p.e. required for graduation, only one additional elective credit in p.e. may be used to fulfill the graduation requirements.

Arts (Std.) 0
Foreign language (Std.) 0
Eff. Class of 2015: 2 units in the same language

Notes/Citation: Students may complete the 2-unit requirement by demonstrating novice-high or higher proficiency level on a nationally recognized assessment of language proficiency in the skill areas of speaking, reading and writing, using the levels of proficiency identified by the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL), or as approved for use by the state department of education.
Electives units (Std.) 6.5 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: 3.5 units electives and 3 units in a career pathway. "Career Pathway" means 3 credits of sequential courses designed to develop knowledge and skills in a particular career or academic area. The Career Pathway must be included in the Student Success Plan (individual graduation plan).
Other units (Std.) 0

Notes/Citation: A student in grades 9-12 who performs at least 45 hours of voluntary community service per semester for 2 semesters must receive "1 Delaware Volunteer credit", which may be used as an elective toward high school graduation if approved by and conducted under the supervision of the school principal. Pre-Class of 2011: 1 unit "computer literacy." " 'Credit for Computer Literacy' means credit granted toward graduation at any point when the student can demonstrate competency in the required skill areas either through an integrated approach, a specific course, or a demonstration of accumulated knowledge over the student's educational career." Eff. Class of 2011: 0. The computer literacy requirement is transferred from the high school to the middle school curriculum.
TOTAL # units (Std.) 22
Eff. Class of 2015: 24
Other diploma options State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State offers proficiency-based credit option.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 14, ยง 152 and 8902A; Code Del Regs. 14 100 6.0, 14 503.5.3.1 and 505
Planning and Counseling Requirement
State requires student to adopt learning plan (not including career pathway requirements) Yes. A Student Success Plan (SSP) is a plan of at least five years (including one year beyond high school) developed and updated at least annually by the student, the student's advisor, at least one other staff member and the student's parent. The plan includes courses needed in preparation for entry into the workforce or postsecondary education, and as well as any support services needed for the student to graduate from high school. An additional year of high school may be an option for inclusion in the SSP. Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, every 8th and 9th grader must have an SSP. Each school year thereafter, a grade must be added on, such that, by the 2011-12 school year, every student in grades 8-12 has an SSP.

Every district must establish a process for developing SSPs that includes:
(1) Actively monitoring student progress on an ongoing basis (at a minimum, by the end of each marking period for courses required for graduation)
(2) Providing support services if a student is failing or at risk of failing courses required for graduation
(3) Annually updating the SSP by the student, the student's advisor, at least one other staff member and the student's parent
(4) Following the guidelines for career and technical education (CTE) programs of study outlined in the CTE State Plan
(5) Reviewing each student's transcript at the end of the 1st and 2nd years of high school to determine if the student has earned at least 5 credits (incl. 3 core credits) by the end of the 1st year and at least 10 credits (incl. 6 core credits) by the end of the 2nd year.
Additional Coursework Options and Requirements
State has policy on early graduation No
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. Students may earn the 2 units of foreign language required eff. Class of 2015 by demonstrating proficiency on a nationally recognized assessment of language proficiency in the skill areas of speaking, reading and writing.
Required coursework aligned with college entrance requirements
  • No
  • State does not have statewide college entrance requirements
All high school students are required to declare a major/career pathway/career focus Yes. All students must complete a "career pathway", defined as 3 credits in pre-planned and sequential courses designed to develop knowledge and skills in a particular career or academic area. The career pathway must be included in each Student Success Plan (individual graduation plan).
Sources Learning plan: Code Del Regs. 14 505
Proficiency-based credit: Code Del Regs. 14 505
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: Code Del Regs. 14 505; College admissions requirements: ECS Postsecondary Governance Structures Database
Major: Code Del Regs. 14 505

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