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.


Missouri

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 3
Eff. Class of 2010: 4

Notes/Citation: Referred to as "Communication Arts."

Math units (Std.) 2
Eff. Class of 2010: 3
Social studies units (Std.) 2
Eff. Class of 2010: 3

Notes/Citation: One of the 2 units must be American history. Students must also pass exam "on the provisions and principles" of the U.S. and Missouri constitutions "and in American history and American institutions." Test may be given at any grade 7-12.

Science units (Std.) 2
Eff. Class of 2010: 3
P.E./Health units (Std.) 1
Eff. Class of 2010: 1.5

Notes/Citation: Pre-2010: 1 unit p.e. Eff. Class of 2010: 1 unit p.e. and .5 unit health education.

Arts (Std.) 1
Foreign language (Std.) 0
Electives units (Std.) 10
Eff. Class of 2010: 7
Other units (Std.) 1
Eff. Class of 2010: 1.5

Notes/Citation: Pre- and post-2010: Students must complete 1 unit "Practical Arts," which unit must be "designed to provide life skills or to contribute particularly to the student’s career goals." Eff. Class of 2010: 1 unit practical arts and .5 unit "personal finance."

TOTAL # units (Std.) 22
Eff. Class of 2010: 24
Other diploma options State offers honors/college prep curriculum option and proficiency-based credit option. State does not offer technical diploma option.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) MO. ANN. STAT. § 170.011; GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS IN MISSOURI'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Guidelines for Principals, Counselors and Other School Personnel, September 2002; MO. CODE REGS. ANN. tit. 5, § 50-345.300
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. "Local boards may, by policy, permit students who have met all state and local graduation requirements to exit high school earlier than the usual eight semesters. The conditions for early exit should be communicated unambiguously to all students and their parents, and the policy should be followed in the most consistent manner possible."
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. A district, with prior approval of the department of elementary and secondary education, may grant credit to a student who demonstrates mastery of the required competencies of a course.
In addition, "The State Board of Education has authorized the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to waive the standard graduation requirements for school districts that wish to develop and implement performance-based graduation standards as an alternative to the credit-based requirements. Any school district interested in this alternative should contact the Supervision Section for information and guidance in developing such a system."
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 Early graduation: GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS IN MISSOURI'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Guidelines for Principals, Counselors and Other School Personnel, September 2002
Proficiency-based credit: GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS IN MISSOURI'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Guidelines for Principals, Counselors and Other School Personnel, September 2002; MO. CODE REGS. ANN. tit. 5, § 50-345.300
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: Graduation Handbook, MO. CODE REGS. ANN. tit. 5, § 50-345.300; College admissions requirements: Missouri Department of Higher Education Web site

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