Digest of Education Statistics
2006 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


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.)

2006 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest