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.


Indiana

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4
Core 40: 4
Eff. Class of 2010: 4
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 4
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Math units (Std.) 2, including 1 unit Algebra I or Integrated Mathematics I
Eff. Class of 2010: 2
Core 40: 3-4
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 3
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: General diploma: Must include 1 unit Algebra I or Integrated Mathematics I unless student completed one of these courses before entering high school. General diploma eff. Class of 2010: 2 math units must be completed after the student enters high school. Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: Students must complete one of two course sequences: (1) Algebra I, geometry and Algebra II or (2) Integrated Mathematics I, II, III. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a unit of math during their final year of high school. Core 40: One unit each Algebra I, Algebra II and geometry, or Integrated Math I, II and III for 3 units. Additional units may be completed in pre-calculus/trigonometry, AP Calculus, discrete mathematics, probability and statistics or AP Statistics.
Social studies units (Std.) 2
Core 40: 3
Eff. Class of 2010: 2
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 3
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: General diploma: Must include 1 unit U.S. history, .5 unit U.S. government and .5 unit in another social studies course. Core 40: Three units must include 1 unit U.S. history and .5 unit each of U.S. government, world history and civilization or world geography, economics, and an additional course from the social studies area. Eff. Class of 2010: Same as existing requirements except that third unit may be completed "in another social studies course, global economics, or consumer economics." Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 3 units must include 1 unit U.S. history, .5 unit each of economics and U.S. government and 1 unit either world history and civilization or geography and history of the world.
Science units (Std.) 2 lab science
Core 40: 3 lab science
Eff. Class of 2010: 2, incl. Biology I
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 3
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: "All approved high school science courses are laboratory courses and must be taught as laboratory courses." Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: Must include 1 unit biology, 1 unit chemistry, physics or integrated chemistry-physics and 1 unit additional credits in Core 40 science courses.
P.E./Health units (Std.) 1
Core 40: 1
Eff. Class of 2010: 1.5
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 1.5
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: General and Core 40 pre-Class of 2010: .5 unit each of "Health and education" and "basic physical education." Eff. Class of 2010: .5 unit "health and wellness" and 1 unit "Physical education I." Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: Must include .5 unit "health and wellness" and 1 unit "Physical education I."
Arts (Std.) 0
Core 40: 0
Eff. Class of 2010: See notes
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: See notes
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: Core 40: Students encouraged but not required to take arts coursework as part of required 4 directed elective units. Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 2.5 units directed electives must be chosen from any combination of units in foreign language, fine arts and career-technical.
Foreign language (Std.) 0
Core 40: 0
Eff. Class of 2010: See notes
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: See notes
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: Core 40: Students encouraged but not required to complete foreign language units as part of required 4 directed elective units. Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 2.5 units directed electives must be chosen from any combination of units in foreign language, fine arts and career-technical.
Electives units (Std.) 9 (See notes)
Core 40: 5-6
Eff. Class of 2010: 5.5
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 5.5
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts.
Notes/Citation: General diploma: 1 unit directed elective in language arts, social studies, math, science or "in technology competency" plus 8 general electives units chosen from language arts, science, social studies, math, health, physical education, or other specified courses. Core 40: 5-6 units electives includes 1-2 units general electives plus 4 units directed electives chosen from English, math, science, social studies, foreign language, arts, computers or a career area. Students are encouraged to complete the directed electives units in the areas of foreign languages, arts, computers and career area. Eff. Class of 2010: 3 units electives (chosen from subjects listed above) Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 5.5 units includes 3 units general electives plus 2.5 units directed electives. Directed electives must include any combination of units chosen from foreign languages, fine arts and career-technical.
Other units (Std.) See notes
Core 40: 0
Eff. Class of 2010: 5.5 units (see notes)
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: See notes
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 reqts
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2010: 1 elective unit must be either language arts, social studies, math, science or "technology competency." Eff. Class of 2010: Students must complete 3 units in "career-academic" sequence and 2.5 "flex credits." Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 2.5 units directed electives must be chosen from any combination of units in foreign language, fine arts and career-technical. Pre-and eff. Class of 2010: Districts may offer students the opportunity to earn credit for community service.
TOTAL # units (Std.) 20
Core 40: 20
Eff. Class of 2010: 20
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: 20
Eff. Class of 2011: 20
Other diploma options State offers honors/college prep curriculum option, and will offer technical diploma option effective with the Class of 2010. State also offers proficiency-based credit option.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) High-ability students allowed to complete course requirements through performance assessment.
Core 40: End-of-course exams in Core 40 courses required. If a student fails 3 or more Core 40 courses, student, parent and counselor must decide if the student should continue in the Core 40 curriculum or complete the general curriculum.
The current Core 40 Diploma requirements were developed through an agreement among the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the state's public university and were not a part of statute or regulation. IND. CODE ANN. § 20-10.1-16-13, 20-30-14-1; IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7-1 through 6-7-9, 6-7.1-9, 6-9.1-1 through –3; state science standards
Eff. Class of 2010: IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7.1-1, 6-7.1-4
Core 40 Eff. Class of 2010: "Only courses that officially have been designated as Core 40 courses may be counted." Students are encouraged to complete a career-academic sequence.
IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7.1-5
Eff. Class of 2011: All students must meet Core 40 requirements, but a student who does not complete the Core 40 course and credit requirements and does not pass the graduation exam may be eligible to graduate if the student: (1) Retakes the graduation examination in each subject area not passed. "(2) Completes remediation opportunities .... (3) Maintains a school attendance rate of at least ninety-five percent (95%) with excused absences not counting against the student's attendance. (4) Maintains at least a "C" average or the equivalent in the courses comprising the credits specifically required for graduation by rule of the board. 5) Otherwise satisfies all state and local graduation requirements. [and] (6) Either: (A) completes: (i) the course and credit requirements for a general diploma, including the career academic sequence; (ii) a workforce readiness assessment; and (iii) at least one (1) career exploration internship, cooperative education, or workforce credential recommended by the student's school; or (B) obtains a written recommendation from a teacher of the student in each subject area in which the student has not achieved a passing score on the graduation examination. The written recommendation must be concurred in by the principal of the student's school and be supported by documentation that the student has attained the academic standard in the subject area based upon: (i) tests other than the graduation examination; or (ii) classroom work."
In addition, upon request by a student's parent, "the student may be exempted from the Core 40 curriculum requirement ... and required to complete the general curriculum" to graduate.
IND. CODE ANN. § 20-10.1-16-13
Planning and Counseling Requirement
State requires student to adopt learning plan (not including career pathway requirements) Yes, eff. Class of 2011. All students must complete the Core 40 unless an individual exception is granted. "Upon the request of a student's parent, the student may be exempted from the Core 40 curriculum requirement set forth in subsection (b) and required to complete the general curriculum to be eligible to graduate. Except as provided in subsection (j), the student's parent and the student's counselor (or another staff member who assists students in course selection) shall meet to discuss the student's progress. Following the meeting, the student's parent shall determine whether the student will achieve greater educational benefits by: (1) continuing the general curriculum; or (2) completing the Core 40 curriculum."
Additional Coursework Options and Requirements
State has policy on early graduation Yes. A student must complete at least 7 semesters in grades 9-12, but a local board may grant a waiver to the 7 semester requirement if (1) not granting the waiver would prevent the student from graduating or (2) a student would have qualified for a gifted and talented program waiver had it been available; AND (a) the waiver is to enroll in a postsecondary institution at which the student has been accepted, or (b) the waiver is for the student to further his/her education through military enlistment and the student's enlistment contract contains an educational component.

In addition, a student demonstrating proficiency in lieu of completing Carnegie units "may not be required to complete a minimum number of semesters to graduate or to receive an academic honors diploma."
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. A student demonstrating proficiency in a course or subject area required for graduation or the academic honors diploma must receive credits for such regardless of whether the student has completed course work in the subject area. Proficiency may be demonstrated through one or more of the following methods:
(1) Receiving a score that demonstrates proficiency on a standardized assessment accepted by accredited postsecondary institutions.
(2) Receiving a high proficiency level score on an end of course assessment for a course without taking the course.
(3) Completing a similar course at an eligible institution under the postsecondary enrollment program.
(4) Scoring 3, 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement exam.
(5) Other methods approved by the state board.

In addition, "school corporations may, but are not required to, use scores from tests in determining a student's eligibility for a high school diploma." Subject to district application to the department, students identified as “high ability” may earn credit through performance assessments without completing the mandated classroom time for high school graduation.
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, eff. Class of 2010
Notes/Citation: Prior to 2010: "To help ascertain that graduates of its high school(s) have adequate breadth and depth in their education, school corporations may, but are not required to, prescribe that a given number of majors or minors be accumulated by a student prior to receiving a high school diploma." Regulations define a major and minor as 6 and 4 or more credits earned in the same area of study, respectively. However, regulation regarding major and minor areas of study was repealed in 1987. Eff. Class of 2010, all students must complete 3 units in a "career-academic sequence."
Sources Learning Plan: IND. CODE ANN. § 20-32-4-7
Early graduation: IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7-4, 6-7.1-3; IND. CODE ANN. § 20-36-5
Proficiency-based credit: IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7-2 and 6-9.1-1 through –3; IND. CODE ANN. § 20-36-5
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7-6.1, r. 6-7-6.5, r. 6-7.1-4 through 6-7.1-7, IND. CODE ANN. § 20-12-17.5, § 20-10.1-16-13, § 20-32-4-1, Core 40 document; College admissions requirements: ECS Postsecondary Governance Structures Database, IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7.1-5, IND. CODE ANN. § 20-12-17.5
Major: IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7.1-4

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