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.


Georgia

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4

Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: Must include at least .5 unit American literature/composition. Eff. Class of 2012: Must include 1 unit American Literature/Composition and 1 unit Ninth-Grade Literature and Composition.

Math units (Std.) College Prep: 4, incl. Algebra I + II and geometry
Tech/Career Prep: 3, incl. Algebra I
Eff. Class of 2012: 4, incl. Mathematics 1, 2 and 3
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: College Prep: Geometry course must be Euclidian Geometry or Informal Geometry. Fourth course must be Statistics or listed in the College Preparatory Mathematics or Advanced Mathematics categories of the state high school math course catalog in Rule 16-4-2-.03. Tech/Career Prep: Must include Algebra I or an equivalent.
Social studies units (Std.) 3
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
Science units (Std.) 3
Eff. Class of 2012: 4, incl. 1 unit biology, 1 unit either physical science or physics, 1 unit either chemistry, earth systems, environmental science or an AP/IB science course, and 4th unit that may be used to meet both the science and elective requirements.
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: College Prep: Must include "a physical science, a life science, and one additional science course. Students earning the Technology-Career-preparatory (TC) or Technology/Career-preparatory with Distinction (TC+) seal shall meet the requirements for the College Preparatory (CP) or College Preparatory with Distinction (CP+) seal or shall pass any three units of science including one physical science, one life science or two units of applied biology/chemistry." All must be lab-based.
P.E./Health units (Std.) 1

Notes/Citation: 1 unit "Health and Physical Education."

Arts (Std.) See notes
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: 1 unit Computer Technology and/or Fine Arts and/or Technology/Career preparatory and/or Foreign Language. Eff. Class of 2012: 3 units chosen from career, technical and agricultural education; modern language/Latin; or fine arts. "Students are encouraged to select courses in a focused area of interest."
Foreign language (Std.) See notes
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: College Prep: 2 units of the same language; Tech/Career Prep: 0. In addition, all students must complete 1 unit chosen from Computer Technology and/or Fine Arts and/or Technology/Career preparatory and/or Foreign Language. Eff. Class of 2012: 3 units chosen from career, technical and agricultural education; modern language/Latin; or fine arts. "Students are encouraged to select courses in a focused area of interest. ... All students are encouraged to earn two units" in the same foreign language or Latin. American Sign Language may fulfill the modern language requirement.
Electives units (Std.) College Prep: 4
Tech/Career Prep: 3
Eff. Class of 2012: 4

Notes/Citation: May be either locally required or elective units.

Other units (Std.) See notes
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2012: College Prep: 0; Tech/Career Prep: 4 units Technology/Career-preparatory units from core Technology/Career-preparatory courses. Eff. Class of 2012: 3 units chosen from career, technical and agricultural education; modern language/Latin; or fine arts. "Students are encouraged to select courses in a focused area of interest."
TOTAL # units (Std.) 22
Eff. Class of 2012: 23
Other diploma options 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.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) 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
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 No
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. A student who is not a native speaker of English may fulfill two units of foreign language credit "by exercising the credit in lieu of enrollment option if they are proficient in their native language. A formal examination is not necessary if other evidence of proficiency is available. One elective required of all students may be selected from courses in foreign language." This is in force now as well as with the requirements effective with the Class of 2012.

In addition, a local board may apply to the state superintendent for a waiver to award alternative high school students credit "based on demonstrated competency on course examination(s)."
Required coursework aligned with college entrance requirements Only college-prep diploma
All high school students are required to declare a major/career pathway/career focus No
Sources Proficiency-based credit: GA. COMP. R. & REGS. r. 160-4-2.47 and -48, r. 160-4-8.12
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: GA. COMP. R. & REGS. r. 160-4-2-.47; College admissions requirements: Georgia Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 402.0101

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