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


Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4
Math units (Std.) 3, incl. Algebra I and 1 higher course
Eff. Class of 2009: 4, incl. Algebra I and 1 higher course
Eff. Class of 2012: 4, incl. Algebra I and 2 higher courses
Social studies units (Std.) 3

Notes/Citation: Both pre-2009 and eff. Class of 2009: 3 units must include 1 unit each of World History and U.S. History and .5 unit each of U.S. Government and Mississippi Studies or Mississippi State and Local Government.

Science units (Std.) 3, incl. Biology I
Eff. Class of 2012: 4, incl. 1 lab, Biology I

Notes/Citation: Eff. Class of 2012: Lab unit may be satisfied by course selected from physical sciences (physical sciences, chemistry, physics).

P.E./Health units (Std.) .5

Notes/Citation: Both pre-2009 and eff. Class of 2009: .5 unit must be completed in "Comprehensive Health or Family and Individual Health."

Arts (Std.) 1

Notes/Citation: May be fulfilled by 2-course sequence for Computer Graphics Technology I and II

Foreign language (Std.) 0
Electives units (Std.) 4.5
Other units (Std.) 1

Notes/Citation: Both pre-2009 and eff. Class of 2009: 1 unit "business and technology" comprised of .5 unit each of keyboarding and "Computer Applications."

TOTAL # units (Std.) 20
Eff. Class of 2009: 21
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 2012: All students must complete college preparatory curriculum unless parent requests child's opt-out, in which case the student must complete the graduation requirements effective with the Class of 2009.
Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards 2004, Appendix A; MISS. CODE ANN. § 37-16-7; Code Miss. R. 36 000 069
Planning and Counseling Requirement
State requires student to adopt learning plan (not including career pathway requirements) Yes. Each student upon completion of grade 8 must have "developed a career plan which includes career goals, objectives, and a plan for achieving them; and selection of appropriate secondary and post-secondary curriculum. The parent/guardian is required to sign off on a student planned program of study."
Additional Coursework Options and Requirements
State has policy on early graduation No
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. Evidence of proficiency in keyboarding and computer applications is accepted in lieu of the .5 unit each of keyboarding and "Computer Applications" if the student earns one unit in any of the courses listed in the Business and Technology Framework (academic and vocational)."
Required coursework aligned with college entrance requirements No
All high school students are required to declare a major/career pathway/career focus No
Sources Learning plan: CMSR 36-000-064
Proficiency-based credit: Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards, 2004, Revised September 2005
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards, Revised September 2005, Appendix A-1, A-2, A-3; College admissions requirements: Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning, State of Mississippi Policies and Bylaws§ 601.02, amended through February 15, 2006

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