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
Social studies units (Std.) 2

Notes/Citation: 1 unit each of American government and American history.

Science units (Std.) 2
P.E./Health units (Std.) 2.5

Notes/Citation: .5 unit health education and 2 units p.e.

Arts (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: Students must complete 1 unit of either "arts and humanities" or "occupational education."

Foreign language (Std.) 0
Electives units (Std.) 7.5
Other units (Std.) See notes

Notes/Citation: Students must complete 1 unit of either "arts and humanities" or "occupational education" and .5 unit "use of computers."

TOTAL # units (Std.) 22.5
Other diploma options State offers honors/college prep curriculum option and proficiency-based credit option. Career and technical education endorsement option created by 2005 legislation to be offered at an undetermined date (as of September 2005).
Technical notes and citations (Std.) NEV. REV. STAT. ANN. 386.520, 386.550, /86.584, 389.165; NEV. ADMIN. CODE ch. 389, § 664, 666, 670, 672, 674, 686, 710, 730
Planning and Counseling Requirement
State requires student to adopt learning plan (not including career pathway requirements) Yes. 2007 A.B. 212 mandates the development of district policies regarding the development of a 4-year academic plan for each 9th grader. The academic plan must be developed by the student, student's parent and a school counselor, and must "set forth the specific educational goals [the student] intends to achieve" before high school graduation. The academic plan may include "the designation of a career pathway and enrollment in dual credit courses, career and technical education courses, advanced placement courses and honors courses."

The plan must be reviewed at least once each school year in consultation with a school counselor, and may be revised if necessary.
Additional Coursework Options and Requirements
State has policy on early graduation No
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. Local board may grant credit towards high school graduation "for a pupil's experiences outside the high school campus if those experiences are equivalent in kind and amount to the educational experiences being offered in the high school." Student may receive credit for a high school course by demonstrating "competence to meet the objectives of the course through ... performance on examinations."
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: 2007 A.B. 212
Proficiency-based credit: NEV. ADMIN. CODE ch. 389, § 670, 674
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: NEV. ADMIN. CODE ch. 389, § 663 and 664; College admissions requirements: Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, chapter 16

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