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.


Utah

Standard Diploma
English units (Std.) 4

Notes/Citation: 1 unit each 9th grade, 10th grade and 11th grade language arts, plus unit "applied or advanced language arts"

Math units (Std.) 3, including 1 unit each of Elementary Algebra and geometry
Social studies units (Std.) 2.5

Notes/Citation: 1 unit U.S. history and .5 unit each of Geography for Life, World Civilizations and U.S. Government and Citizenship.

Science units (Std.) 3

Notes/Citation: Two units must be chosen from the four science areas: earth systems science, biological science, chemistry and physics.

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

Notes/Citation: .5 unit each of the following: health, Participation Skills, Fitness for Life and either Individualized Lifetime Activities or team sport/athletic participation (maximum of .5 unit credit with school approval).

Arts (Std.) 1.5
Foreign language (Std.) 0
Electives units (Std.) 0
Other units (Std.) 2
Notes/Citation: Must include 1 unit Career and Technical Education chosen from: (a) Agriculture; (b) Business; (c) Family and Consumer Sciences; (d) Health Science and Technology; (e) Information Technology; (f) Marketing; (g) Technology and Engineering Education; (h) Trade and Technical Education and (2) .5 unit of "Computer Technology" or "successful completion of state-approved competency examination (credit may be awarded at the discretion of the school or school district)" and (3) .5 unit of "General Financial Literacy."
TOTAL # units (Std.) 24

Notes/Citation: 18 state-determined units and 6 district-determined units.

Other diploma options State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.
Technical notes and citations (Std.) Library media skills must be integrated into the subject areas. Effective with the Class of 2008, the state board "establishes minimum course description standards and objectives for each course in the required general core, which is commonly referred to as the Core Curriculum." Districts and the department of education will collaborate to develop course descriptions for required and elective courses, which must include "mastery criteria for the courses, and shall stress mastery of the course material and Core objectives and standards rather than completion of predetermined time allotments for courses."
UTAH ADMIN. CODE R277-700, R277-700-6
Planning and Counseling Requirement
State requires student to adopt learning plan (not including career pathway requirements) Yes. A personalized student education plan (SEP) or student education/occupation plan (SEOP) must be developed for each student. An SEOP is defined as a developmentally organized intervention process that includes (1) a written plan, updated annually for a grade 9-12 student's education and occupational preparation; (2) all state and local graduation requirements; (3) evidence of annual parental, student and school representative involvement; (4) attainment of approved workplace skill competencies, including job placement when appropriate; and (5) identification of postsecondary goals and approved sequence of courses. SEOP plans must be completed before a student begins grade 9. A student's career/technical education program is driven by his/her SEOP.
Additional Coursework Options and Requirements
State has policy on early graduation Yes. A student who has completed or proven proficiency in required skills "may, with the approval of the student, the student's parent or guardian, and an authorized local school official, graduate at any time." Students are to notify the principal of their intent to graduate early "at the beginning of the ninth grade year or as soon thereafter as the intent is known." Utah encourages students to complete high school early through the Centennial Scholarship for Early Graduation, which gives a scholarship to students who complete high school before the end of grade 12.
State has policy allowing students to meet coursework requirements through proficiency Yes. "Students may demonstrate competency to satisfy course requirements...." According to statute, "Any secondary public school student who has completed all required courses or demonstrated mastery of required skills and competencies may, with the approval of the student, the student's parent or guardian, and an authorized local school official, graduate at any time." Regulations define "Demonstrated competence" as "subject mastery as determined by school district standards and review. School district review may include such methods and documentation as: tests, interviews, peer evaluations, writing samples, reports or portfolios." Students may complete units of credit by demonstrated competence and/or assessment, "as determined by the school district or school" and/or "review of student work or projects consistent with school district or school procedures and criteria.... School districts or schools shall designate by written policy at least three methods by which students of the district may earn credit." The state board provides additional information about options for demonstrating proficiency via assessment in UTAH ADMIN. CODE R277-703-3 Effective with the Class of 2008, districts and the department of education will collaborate to develop course descriptions for required and elective courses, "with opportunity for public and parental participation in the development process." These descriptions must include "mastery criteria for the courses, and shall stress mastery of the course material and Core objectives and standards rather than completion of predetermined time allotments for courses."
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 Learning plan: UTAH CODE ANN. § 53A-1a-106(2)(b); UTAH ADMIN. CODE R277-462-1(I), -4, R277-518-1(A), R277-700-1(Q)
Early graduation: UTAH. ADMIN. CODE R277-703; UTAH CODE ANN. § 53A-15-101 and -102
Proficiency-based credit: UTAH ADMIN. CODE R277-700-7, 277-705-1 and -3, 703-3; UTAH CODE ANN. § 53A-15-102
Alignment: High school graduation requirements: UTAH ADMIN. CODE R277-700-6; College admissions requirements: Utah State Board of Regents R 461-3.2

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