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Table 177. Credit requirements and exit exam requirements for a standard high school diploma and the use of other high school completion credentials, by state: 2008 and 2011
State Course credits (in Carnegie units), 2008 High school exit exams, 2011 Other completion credentials, 2011
Total required credits for standard diploma, all courses Required credits in selected subject areas Exit exam required for standard diploma Characteristics of required exams Advanced recogni-
tion for exceeding standard require-
ments
Alternative credential for not meeting all standard require-
ments
English/
language arts
Social studies Science Mathematics Other credits Subjects tested1 Exam based on standards for 10th grade or higher Appeals or alternative route to standard diploma if exam failed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Alabama 24.0   4.0   4.0   4.0   4.0   8.0   Yes   EMSH   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alaska 21.0   4.0   3.0   2.0   2.0   10.0   Yes   EM   Yes Yes No Yes
Arizona 20.0   4.0   3.0   2.0   3.0   8.0   Yes   EM   Yes Yes Yes No
Arkansas 22.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   4.0   8.0   Yes   M   No Yes No No
California 13.0   3.0   3.0   2.0   2.0   3.0   Yes   EM   Yes Yes Yes Yes
                                         
Colorado 2  2  2  2  2  2  No     No No
Connecticut 20.0   4.0   3.0   2.0   3.0   8.0   No 3    No No
Delaware 22.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   9.0   No     No Yes
District of                                        
Columbia 24.0   4.0   4.0   4.0   4.0   8.0   No     No Yes
Florida 24.0 or 18.0 4  4.0   3.0   3.0   4.0 or 3.0 4  10.0 or 5.0 4  Yes   EM   Yes Yes No Yes
                                         
Georgia 23.0   4.0   3.0   4.0   4.0   8.0   Yes   EMSH   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hawaii 22.0   4.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   8.0   No     Yes Yes
Idaho 42.0 5  9.0 5  5.0   4.0   4.0   20.0 5  Yes   EM   Yes Yes No No
Illinois 18.0   3.0   2.0   1.0   3.0   9.0   No     No No
Indiana 40.0 5  8.0 5  6.0 5  6.0 5  6.0 5  14.0 5  Yes   EM   No Yes Yes No
                                         
Iowa 2  2  1.5   2  2  2  No     Yes No
Kansas 21.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   8.0   No     No No
Kentucky 22.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   9.0   No     Yes Yes
Louisiana 23.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   10.0   Yes   EMSH 6  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maine 16.0   4.0   2.0   2.0   2.0   6.0   No     No Yes
                                         
Maryland 21.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   8.0   Yes   EMSH   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Massachusetts 2  2  2  2  2  2  Yes   EMS   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Michigan 2  4.0   3.0   3.0   4.0   2  No     No Yes
Minnesota 21.5   4.0   3.5   3.0   3.0   8.0   Yes   EM 7  Yes Yes No No
Mississippi 20.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   7.0   Yes   EMSH   Yes Yes No Yes
                                         
Missouri. 22.0 8  4.0 8  2.0 8  2.0 8  2.0 8  12.0 8  No     Yes No
Montana 20.0   4.0   2.0   2.0   2.0   10.0   No     No No
Nebraska 200.0 9  2  2  2  2  2  No     No No
Nevada 22.5   4.0   2.0   2.0   3.0   11.5   Yes   EMS   Yes Yes Yes Yes
New Hampshire 20.0   4.0   2.5   2.0   3.0   8.5   No     Yes Yes
                                         
New Jersey 22.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   9.0   Yes   EM   Yes Yes No No
New Mexico 24.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   4.0   10.0   Yes   EMSH   No Yes No Yes
New York 22.0   4.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   8.0   Yes   EMSH   Yes Yes Yes Yes
North Carolina 20.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   4.0   6.0   No     Yes Yes
North Dakota 21.0   2  2  2  2  2  No     No No
                                         
Ohio 20.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   7.0   Yes   EMSH   Yes Yes Yes No
Oklahoma 23.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   10.0   No 10    Yes No
Oregon 22.0   3.0   3.0   2.0   2.0   12.0   No     No Yes
Pennsylvania 2,8  2,8  2,8  2,8  2,8  2,8  No     Yes No
Rhode Island 20.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   4.0   6.0   No 11    No Yes
                                         
South Carolina 24.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   4.0   10.0   Yes   EM   Yes No Yes Yes
South Dakota 22.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   9.0   No     Yes No
Tennessee 20.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   7.0   Yes   EMS   Yes No Yes Yes
Texas 24.0   4.0   5.0   3.0   3.0   9.0   Yes   EMSH   Yes No Yes Yes
Utah 24.0   3.0   2.5   2.0   2.0   14.5   No     No Yes
                                         
Vermont 20.0 8  4.0 8  3.0 8  3.0 8  3.0 8  7.0 8  No     No No
Virginia 22.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   9.0   Yes   EMSH 12  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Washington 20.0   3.0   2.5   2.0   3.0   9.5   Yes   E 13  Yes Yes No No
West Virginia 24.0   4.0   4.0   3.0   4.0   9.0   No     Yes Yes
Wisconsin 21.5 14  4.0   3.0   2.0   2.0   10.5   No     No Yes
Wyoming 22.0   4.0   3.0   3.0   3.0   9.0   No     Yes No
†Not applicable.
1 Exit exam subjects tested: E = English (including writing), M = Mathematics, S = Science, and H = History/social studies.
2 Graduation requirements are determined locally.
3 Requirement takes effect for class of 2018.
4 Florida offers three graduation programs: one 4-year, 24-credit program, and two 3-year, 18-credit programsThe 4-year program requires 4 credits of mathematics, and both 3-year programs require 3 credits of mathematics.
5 Expressed in semester credits instead of Carnegie units.
6 Students must pass either the science or social studies components of the Graduation Exit Examination (GEE) to receive a standard diploma.  
7 For the graduating classes of 2010 through 2014, students can graduate by passing statewide reading and writing assessments and either passing mathematics assessments or meeting other requirements.
8 State did not participate in the 2008 online survey; data are from 2006.
9 Expressed in credit hours instead of Carnegie units.                    
10 Requirement takes effect for class of 2012.                    
11 Requirement takes effect for class of 2014.
12 To receive the standard diploma, students must earn at least six verified credits by passing end-of-course assessmentsOne of those credits may be earned by passing a student-selected test in computer science, technology, career and technical education, or other areas.
13 For the graduating class of 2011, students must pass an exit exam in reading and writingStudents in the class of 2013 will be required to pass reading, writing, math, and science assessments.
14 Determined locally, but state encourages school boards to adopt this requirement.
NOTE: Local school districts frequently have other graduation requirements in addition to state requirements. The Carnegie unit is a standard of measurement that represents one credit for the completion of a 1-year course.
SOURCE: Council of Chief State School Officers, Key State Education Policies on PK-12 Education, 2008, table 7, retrieved October 6, 2010, from http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/2008/Key_State_Education_Policies_2008.pdf; Education Week and Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, Diplomas Count 2008, Graduation Briefs, retrieved October 6, 2010, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2008/06/05/index.html; and Diplomas Count 2011, "Graduation Policies" table, retrieved July 19, 2011, from http://www.edweek.org/media/dc11-graduationpolicies.pdf. (This table was prepared July 2011.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education