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.


Florida

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4
3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: 4 (see notes)

Notes/Citation: Std.: Must have major concentration in composition, reading for information and literature. 3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: Must have major concentration in composition and literature

Math units (Std.) 4 (incl. unit of Algebra I or equivalent series of courses)
Eff. Class of 2014: Must include geometry or equivalent series of courses
Eff. Class of 2016: Must include Algebra II or equivalent series of courses

3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: 3
Eff. Class of 2014: Same as std.
Eff. Class of 2016: Same as std.
Social studies units (Std.) 3
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

Science units (Std.) 3, incl. 2 lab science units
Eff. Class of 2015: Must incl. Biology I or equivalent series of courses
Eff. Class of 2017: Must incl. chemistry or physics or
equivalent series of courses, and 1 unit must be an equally rigorous course, as determined by state board
3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: Same as std.
P.E./Health units (Std.) 1
3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: 0

Notes/Citation: 1 unit p.e. to include "integration of health"

Arts (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: 1 unit fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or a practical arts course that incorporates artistic content and techniques of creativity, interpretation and imagination. Eligible practical arts courses identified in the Course Code Directory.

Foreign language (Std.) 0
Electives units (Std.) 8
3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: 3 (2, eff. Class of 2014)
Other units (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: 1 unit fine or performing arts, speech and debate, or a practical arts course that incorporates artistic content and techniques of creativity, interpretation and imagination. Eligible practical arts courses identified in the Course Code Directory.

TOTAL # units (Std.) 24
3-year std. college prep. program and 3-year career prep. program: 18
Other diploma options 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.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) 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
Planning and Counseling Requirement
State requires student to adopt learning plan (not including career pathway requirements) Yes. State has standard 4-year diploma as well as 3-year standard college-preparatory program and 3-year career-preparatory program. Before a student may choose to participate in a 3-year program, designated school staff must meet with the student and student's parent "to give an explanation of the relative requirements, advantages, and disadvantages of each graduation option." The student must also submit a signed parental consent form to the high school principal and guidance counselor, and must have scored at least 3 on the most recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in reading, writing and math. "Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, each district school board shall provide each student in grades 6 through 9 and their parents with information concerning the 3-year and 4-year high school graduation options..., including the respective curriculum requirements for those options, so that the students and their parents may select the postsecondary education or career plan that best fits their needs. The information shall include a time frame for achieving each graduation option." Students must select one of the graduation options before the end of grade 9. Local boards must "establish policies for extending this deadline to the end of a student's first semester of grade 10 for a student who entered a Florida public school after grade 9 upon transfer from a private school or another state or who was prevented from choosing a graduation option due to illness during grade 9." If a student and parent fail to choose a graduation option, the student is considered to have chosen the standard 4-year diploma option.
Eff. Class of 2010: Student not required to have earned at least 3 on reading, math and writing FCAT exams to select 3-year graduation option.
Additional Coursework Options and Requirements
State has policy on early graduation Yes. Students may select 3-year diploma option provided they meet certain academic criteria.
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. Through Class of 2010, "credit for high school graduation may be earned for volunteer activities and nonacademic activities which have been approved for such credit by the state board of education."
In addition, "credit by examination or demonstration of competency" is listed as a public school choice option available to students, and "credit by examination" is listed as one of a number of "articulated acceleration mechanisms" intended to "to shorten the time necessary for a student to complete the requirements associated with the conference of a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree, broaden the scope of curricular options available to students, or increase the depth of study available for a particular subject."
Required coursework aligned with college entrance requirements No
All high school students are required to declare a major/career pathway/career focus Yes, eff. Class of 2011. Students must complete 4 units "in major area of interest, such as sequential courses in a career and technical program, fine and performing arts, or academic content area, selected by the student as part of the” student’s individual learning plan. "Students may revise major areas of interest each year as part of annual course registration processes and should update their education plan to reflect such revisions.” Local boards must annually “approve major areas of interest and submit the list of majors to the commissioner of education for approval. Each major area of interest shall be deemed approved unless specifically rejected by the commissioner within 60 days. Upon approval, each district's major areas of interest shall be available for use by all school districts and shall be posted on the department's Web site.”

State also identifies a "minor area of interest" as 3 units chosen by the student as part of their individual learning plan and approved by the local board. Students may complete a minor area of interest in addition to the 4-unit major area of interest, or may complete 2 major areas of interest to fulfill the 8-unit major/minor/electives requirement.
Sources Learning Plan: FLA. STAT. ANN. § 1003.429
Proficiency-based credit: FLA. STAT. ANN. § 1003.43, 1007.27, 1002.20
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: FLA. STAT. ANN. § 1003.43, § 1003.429; College admissions requirements: Florida Board of Regents Rules, Chapter 6C-6
Major: FLA. STAT. ANN. § 1003.428

© 2018 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education. 700 Broadway #810, Denver, CO 80203-3442

To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at 303.299.3609 or askinner@ecs.org.

Your Education Policy Team  www.ecs.org