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Table 154. State requirements for high school graduation, in Carnegie units: 2004 
State Total required credits,
all courses
Required credits in subject areas High school exit exam required to graduate Specific course requirements
English/
language arts
Social studies Mathe-
matics
Science Health Physical education Arts Foreign language Technology/
life skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Alabama 24   4   4   4   4   1 1  (1)   0.5   0   Yes  
Alaska 21   4   3   2   2   1 1  (1)     0   Yes  
Arizona 20   4   2.5   2   2   0   0   1   0   Yes 2 
Arkansas 21   4   3   4   3   0.5   0.5   0.5   1   No   In math: algebra and geometry. In science: biology and
physical science. In social studies: world history, U.S. history, and government.
California 13   3   3   2   2     2   1 3  (3)   Yes 2  In math: 2 credits of algebra or higher level courses. In science: biology and physical science. In social studies: 0.5 credit of economics.
Colorado 4  4  4  4  4  0   0   4  0   No  
Connecticut 20   4   3   3   2     1   1     No  
Delaware 22   4   3   3   3   0.5   1     0   4 No   In math and science: Students must meet content standards. In technology/life skills: 3 credits of career pathway and 1 credit of computer literacy.
District of Columbia 23.5   4   3.5   3   3   0.75   0.75   1   2   Yes 2  In math: algebra. In social studies: U.S. history, U.S. government, and DC history and government. Community service hours are also required.
Florida 24/18 5  4   3   3   3   0.5   1   1   2   Yes   In math: algebra or the equivalent. In science: 2 to 3 credits of laboratory. In English/language arts: 4 credits of composition and literature.
Georgia 22   4   3   4   3   1   1     2   Yes   In math: 1 credit each of algebra, geometry, algebra II, and another math. In science: 1 credit each of life, physical, and another science. In social studies: 1 credit of world history, 1 credit of U.S. history, 0.5 credit of government, and 0.5 credit of economics. In English/language arts: 1 credit of American literature.
Hawaii 22   4   4   3   3   0.5   1     0   No  
Idaho6  42   9   5   4   4   0.5   4  2   4  Yes 2  In science: 2 credits of laboratory. In English/language arts: 1 credit of speech or debate.
Illinois 10.25   3   2   2   1   0.5     1   0   No   While not a state graduation requirement, daily physical education is required in all 4 years of high school.
Indiana6  24   8   4   4   4   1   1     4  2 Yes   In science: 4 credits in two out of three specified courses (life, physical, or earth/space science). In social studies: 1 credit in U.S. history and 2 credits in U.S. government. In technology/life skills: 2 credits of computer applications/other.
Iowa 1.5   4  1.5   4  4  4  4  4  4  No   In social studies: 1 credit of U.S. history and 0.5 credit of U.S. government. In physical education: 0.125 credit per semester.
Kansas 21   4   3   2   2   0.5   0.5     0   No   In science: 1 credit of laboratory. In social studies: 1 credit of U.S. history and 0.5 credit each of U.S. government and state history.
Kentucky 22   4   3   3   3   0.5   0.5   1   2 7  No   In math: algebra, geometry, and another math. In science: 1 credit each of life, physical, and earth/space science. In English/language arts: 1 credit each of English I through IV. In technology/life skills: as determined by individual learning plan.
Louisiana 23   4   3   3   3   0.5   1.5     0   Yes   In science: 1 credit of biology. In social studies: 1 credit of U.S. history, 0.5 credit of civics, and 0.5 credit of enterprise. In English/language arts: 1 credit each of English I through IV.
Maine 16   4   2   2   2   0.5   1   1   2   No  
Maryland 21   4   3   3   3   0.5   0.5   1   2 8  (8) Yes 2  In math: 1 credit each of algebra/data analysis and of geometry. In science: 1 credit of biology and 2 credits of life, physical, or earth science. In social studies: 1 credit of world history, 1 credit of U.S. history, and 1 credit of government.
Massachusetts 4  4  4  4  4  0   0   4  0   Yes  
Michigan 4  4  0.5   4  4  0   0   4  0   Yes 2 
Minnesota 21.5   4   3.5   3   3   4  4  1   4  Yes   In math: 1 credit each of algebra, geometry, and statistics/probability. In science: 1 credit of biology and 1 credit each of 2 electives. In social studies: 3.5 credits of world/U.S. history, government, economics, and geography.
Mississippi 20   4   3   3   3   0.5   (9)   1   0   1 Yes   In math: 1 credit of algebra. In science: 1 credit of biology. In social studies: 1 credit of world history, 1 credit of U.S. history, and 1 credit of U.S. government. In technology/life skills: MS studies, computer applications, and keyboarding.
Missouri 22   3   2   2   2   0   1   1   0   No   In social studies: 0.5 credit of American government and civics.
Montana 20   4   2   2   2   1   1   1   0   No  
Nebraska 4  4  4  4  4  0   0   4  0   No  
Nevada 22.5   4   2   3   2   0.5   2   1   0   Yes  
New Hampshire 19.75   4   2.5   2   2   0.25   1   0.5   0   1 No   In science: 1 credit each of biology and physical science. In social studies: 0.5 credit of economics. In technology/life skills: 0.5 credit each of basic business and computer education.
New Jersey 22   4   3   3   3   3.75 1  (1)   1   1   Yes 2  In social studies: 1 credit of world history and 2 credits of U.S. history.
New Mexico 23   4   3   3   2   0   1     0   Yes 2  In math: 1 credit of algebra. In science: 1 credit of one course with a lab. In social studies: 1 credit of world history and geography, 1 credit of U.S. history and geography, 0.5 credit of government, and 0.5 credit of economics. In English/language arts: 1 credit of communication skills.
New York 12   4   4   2   2   0   0     0   Yes  
North Carolina 20   4   3   3   3   1 1  (1)   4  2 7  Yes   In math: 1 credit of algebra. In science: 1 credit each of biology, physical, and earth science. In social studies: 1 credit each of world history, U.S. history, and civics and economics.
North Dakota 4  4  4  4  4  0   0   4  0   No  
Ohio 21   4   3   3   3   0.5   0.5   4  4  Yes 2  In science: 1 credit each of biology and physical science. In social studies: 0.5 credit each of American history and American government.
Oklahoma 23   4   3   3   3   0   0   2   0   Yes 2  In math: 3 credits of algebra and higher level courses. In science: 1 credit each of biology and of two higher level electives. In social studies: 0.5 to 1 credit of world history, 1 credit of U.S. history, 0.5 to 1 credit of U.S. government, 0.5 credit of Oklahoma history, and 0.5 to 1 credit of geography.
Oregon 22   3   3   2   2   1   1   1   0   No   In social studies: history, civics, geography, and economics. In English/language arts: 1 credit of written composition.
Pennsylvania 4  4  4  4  4  0   0   4  0   No  
Rhode Island 16   4   2   2   2   (10)   (10)     0   No   In science: lab science (2 credits for college-prep students only).
South Carolina 24   4   3   4   3   1 1  (1)     1 7  Yes 2  In technology/life skills: computer applications.
South Dakota 20   4   3   2   2   0   0   0.5   0   No   In social studies: U.S. history, U.S. government, and geography. In English/language arts: writing, American literature, and speech.
Tennessee 20   4   3   3   3   1 1  (1)     2   Yes 2  In math: algebra. In science: biology. In social studies: 1 credit of U.S. history, 0.5 credit of U.S. government, and 0.5 credit of economics.
Texas 24   4   3.5   3   3   0.5   1.5   1   2   1 Yes 2  In math: 1 credit each of algebra, geometry, and algebra II. In science: biology, chemistry, physics, and integrated physics. In social studies: 1 credit of world history or world geography, 1 credit of U.S. history from reconstruction, and 0.5 credit each of U.S. government and economics. In English/language arts: 0.5 credit of communications applications. In technology/life skills: 1 credit of technology.
Utah 24   3   2.5   2   2   0.5   1.5     0   Yes 2  In math: algebra/applied math I and geometry/applied math II. In science: biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. In social studies: 0.5 credit of world civilization, 1 credit of U.S. history, 0.5 credit of U.S. government, and 0.5 credit of geography. In English/language arts: 1 credit each of language arts 9 through 11.
Vermont 12   4   3   5 11  (11)   0   0   1   0   No  
Virginia 22   4   3   3   3   2 1  (1)   1   0   Yes   In math: 3 credits of algebra or higher level courses. In science: 3 credits in two out of three courses (biology, chemistry, or earth science). In social studies: 1 credit each of world history/geography, U.S. and state history, and U.S. and state government.
Washington 19   3   2.5   2   2   0   2   1   0   Yes 2  In math and science: Students must meet content standards. In social studies: 2 credits of U.S. history/government/current affairs and 0.5 credit of state history.
West Virginia 24   4   4   3   3   1   1     0   4 No   In math: algebra and higher level course. In science: coordinated and thematic science in grades 9 and 10. In social studies: world and U.S. studies to 1900 and 20th/21st centuries. In English/language arts: reading and language arts. In technology/life skills: 4 credits in work-based learning and career courses.
Wisconsin 13   4   3   2   2   0.5   1.5     0   No  
Wyoming 13   4   3   3   3   4  4  4  4  No   In social studies: history, American government, and economic institutions.
—Not available.
† Not applicable.
1 For this state, credits listed under health are for health and physical education combined.
2 Exit exam policy under development or takes effect after 2004.
3 For this state, credits listed under arts are for either visual/performing arts or foreign language.
4 Graduation requirements are determined locally.
5 Florida offers 3 programs: 4-year, 24-credit; 3-year, 18-credit college-prep; and 3-year, 18-credit career-prep.
6 Values are based on semester credits.
7 Credits listed are for college-bound students.
8 For this state, credits listed under foreign language are for either foreign language or advanced technology.
9 Unlimited elective credits.
10 100 minutes/week total of health and physical education.
11 For this state, credits listed under mathematics are for mathematics and science combined.
NOTE: Local school districts frequently have other graduation requirements in addition to state requirements. The Carnegie unit is a standard of measurement that represents 1 credit for the completion of a 1-year course.
SOURCE: Council of Chief State School Officers, Key State Education Policies on PK–12 Education: 2004; and supplemental information from several state education agencies. (This table was prepared June 2006.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education