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.


Illinois

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 3 (see notes)
Eff. Class of 2010: 3 + writing intensive courses (see notes)
Eff. Class of 2012: 4 + writing intensive courses
Notes/Citation: .5 unit may be in "oral communication." Eff. Class of 2010: In addition to 3 units language arts, students must complete 2 units "of writing intensive courses, one of which must be English and the other of which may be English or any other subject. When applicable, writing-intensive courses may be counted towards the fulfillment of other graduation requirements."
Math units (Std.) 2
Eff. Class of 2009: 3
Eff. Class of 2010: 3, incl. Algebra I and geometry content

Notes/Citation: One of 2 units "may be related to computer technology." Eff. Class of 2010: One year must be Algebra I and one "must include geometry content."

Social studies units (Std.) 2

Notes/Citation: Must include 1 unit American history or 1 unit combination of American history and government.

Science units (Std.) 1
Eff. Class of 2011: 2
P.E./Health units (Std.) .5 and daily p.e. (see notes)
Notes/Citation: Students must complete .5 unit of health education and daily p.e. each year of high school, unless student is exempted. However, how p.e. is calculated in students' Carnegie units is determined by the local school district, according to a spokesperson at the department of education.
Arts (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: Students must complete 1 unit chosen from art, music, foreign language (including American Sign Language) or vocational education.

Foreign language (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: Students must complete 1 unit chosen from art, music, foreign language (including American Sign Language) or vocational education.

Electives units (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: Students must complete 1 unit chosen from art, music, foreign language (including American Sign Language) or vocational education.

Other units (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: Students must complete a .25 unit course (9 weeks for 50 minutes a day), in consumer education. In addition, students must complete 1 unit chosen from art, music, foreign language (including American Sign Language) or vocational education.

TOTAL # units (Std.) 16 (see notes)
Notes/Citation: 16 units in grades 9-12 if a 4-year high school and 12 units in grades 10-12 if a 3-year high school. Of these 16, 9.75 are state-determined requirements and 6.25 are locally-determined requirements. Eff. Class of 2009, 10.75 state-determined units and 5.25 locally-determined units. Eff. Class of 2010, 12.75 state-determined units and 3.25 locally-determined units. Eff. Class of 2011, 13.75 state-determined units and 2.25 locally-determined units. Eff. Class of 2012, 14.75 state-determined units and 1.25 locally-determined units.
Other diploma options State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) 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
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. District may establish program allowing high school students to earn credit towards graduation by performing community service. "The amount of credit given for program participation shall not exceed that given for completion of one semester of language arts, math, science or social studies." Any student who attains a minimum score on the Annual Consumer Education Proficiency Test is not required to take the consumer education course (9 weeks for 50 minutes a day). A student who can demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, including American Sign Language, may receive 1 year of high school foreign language credit.
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 No
Sources Proficiency-based credit: 105 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 5/10-22.43, 5/27-22.3, 5/27-12.1
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: 105 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 5/27-22, ILL. ADMIN. CODE tit. 23, § 1.440; College admissions requirements: State Universities in Illinois – At a Glance, by the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling

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