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.


Maine

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4
Eff. 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in English language arts" and 4 other subject areas. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in all 8 content areas.
Math units (Std.) 2
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: "It is highly recommended that all students have exposure to basic algebraic concepts and skills." Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in" math and 4 other subject areas. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in all 8 content areas.
Social studies units (Std.) 2
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: 1 unit American history and government and 1 unit social studies. Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in" social studies and 4 other subject areas. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in all 8 content areas. Learning results define social studies as including history, economics and civics.
Science units (Std.) 2 (incl. 1 unit lab)
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in ... science and technology" and 4 other subject areas. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in all 8 content areas.
P.E./Health units (Std.) 1.5
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: .5 unit health education and 1 unit p.e. Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in ... health and physical education" and 4 other subject areas. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in all 8 content areas.
Arts (Std.) 1
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in 5 subject areas that do not include the arts. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in 8 content areas, including "visual and performing arts."
Foreign language (Std.) 0
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in 5 subject areas that do not include foreign language. Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in 8 content areas, including foreign language.
Electives units (Std.) 0
Other units (Std.) See notes
Eff. Classes of 2007 and 2010: See notes
Notes/Citation: Students must also demonstrate proficiency with computers, though no units of computer study specified in state policy. Students may satisfy the computer proficiency requirement in grade 7 or 8. Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation "determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in 5 subject areas that do not include "other" subject areas (5 subjects are English language arts, health and physical education, math, science and technology, and social studies). Eff. Class of 2010: Students must achieve "standards of the system of learning results" in 8 content areas, including "career preparation."
TOTAL # units (Std.) 16
Eff. Class of 2007: See notes
Notes/Citation: Pre-Class of 2007: 12.5 state-determined units and 3.5 district-determined units. Eff. Class of 2007: Graduation based on achievement of content standards of the system of Learning Results for English, health and physical education, math, science and technology, and social studies, as determined by the local assessment system. However, the local board may specify credit or course requirements for the Class of 2007 and beyond.
Other diploma options State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) Graduation effective with the class of 2007 is based on local assessment systems, which may include portfolios, performances and demonstrations in addition to other measures of achievement. Commercially produced assessments may be part of a local assessment but may not carry a majority of the weight in determining student performance. Students are required to study content areas until proficiencies are met. Local boards may specify other requirements for graduation (minimum attendance requirements and/or accumulation of credits or courses) but meeting those requirements is not sufficient by itself to meet graduation requirements. A locally-set standard for student performance (as assessed as part of the local assessment system) in applied technology is a requirement for graduation.

In addition to course requirements, students must complete at least one application to a college, university or other postsecondary educational institution.
ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 20-A, § 4722, 4706, 6202-A, 6209, 4730; 05-071 CMR Ch. 127, § 1 and § 7
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 Yes. "Nothing in this chapter may prevent the award of a diploma to a student who has completed all diploma requirements in fewer than 4 years of study."
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. Effective with the Class of 2007, "public high school graduation must be determined by student achievement of the standards of the system of learning results in English language arts, health and physical education, mathematics, science and technology and social studies, based on the school administrative unit's local assessment system...." "Local assessments may include portfolios, performances and demonstrations in addition to other measures of achievement. Commercially produced assessment tools may be part of a local assessment system but may not carry a majority of the weight in determining student performance."
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 Early graduation: ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 20-A, § 4722; 05-071 CMR Ch. 127, § 7
Proficiency-based credit: ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 20-A, § 6202-A; 05-071 CMR Ch. 127, § 7
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 20, § 4722; College admissions requirements: Personal communication, University of Southern Maine, August 2005

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