Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Table 177. Average number of Carnegie units earned by public high school graduates in various subject fields, by sex and race/ethnicity: Selected years, 1982 through 2009
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Graduation year, sex, and race/ethnicity Total English History/
social
studies
Mathematics Science Foreign languages Arts Career/
technical (occupational) education1
Labor market, family, and consumer education2 Personal use3
Total Biology Chemistry Physics Other science4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1982 graduates 21.58   (0.090) 3.93   (0.022) 3.16   (0.028) 2.63   (0.022) 2.20   (0.025) 0.94   (0.014) 0.34   (0.010) 0.17   (0.008) 0.73   (0.016) 0.99   (0.029) 1.47   (0.035)   (†)   (†) 2.58   (0.048)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 21.40   (0.108) 3.88   (0.026) 3.16   (0.034) 2.71   (0.030) 2.27   (0.031) 0.91   (0.016) 0.36   (0.014) 0.23   (0.012) 0.76   (0.018) 0.80   (0.030) 1.29   (0.044)   (†)   (†) 2.69   (0.056)
Female 21.75   (0.101) 3.98   (0.026) 3.15   (0.029) 2.57   (0.024) 2.13   (0.029) 0.97   (0.017) 0.33   (0.013) 0.12   (0.008) 0.71   (0.017) 1.17   (0.036) 1.63   (0.044)   (†)   (†) 2.48   (0.049)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 21.69   (0.107) 3.90   (0.025) 3.19   (0.032) 2.68   (0.026) 2.27   (0.029) 0.97   (0.015) 0.38   (0.013) 0.20   (0.010) 0.73   (0.017) 1.06   (0.033) 1.53   (0.042)   (†)   (†) 2.52   (0.052)
Black 21.15   (0.169) 4.08   (0.050) 3.08   (0.054) 2.61   (0.043) 2.06   (0.049) 0.90   (0.033) 0.26   (0.023) 0.09   (0.011) 0.81   (0.033) 0.72   (0.067) 1.26   (0.063)   (†)   (†) 2.60   (0.094)
Hispanic 21.23   (0.122) 3.94   (0.037) 3.00   (0.037) 2.33   (0.040) 1.80   (0.038) 0.81   (0.025) 0.16   (0.012) 0.07   (0.007) 0.75   (0.026) 0.77   (0.042) 1.29   (0.054)   (†)   (†) 2.87   (0.081)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
22.46   (0.216) 4.01   (0.091) 3.16   (0.094) 3.15   (0.095) 2.64   (0.125) 1.11   (0.048) 0.61   (0.046) 0.42   (0.048) 0.51   (0.061) 1.79   (0.105) 1.31   (0.124)   (†)   (†) 3.05   (0.146)
American Indian/
     Alaska Native
21.45   (0.330) 3.98   (0.114) 3.25   (0.207) 2.35   (0.129) 2.04   (0.090) 0.84   (0.124) 0.42   (0.087) 0.12 ! (0.039) 0.67   (0.087) 0.48   (0.117) 1.72   (0.338)   (†)   (†) 2.84   (0.128)
                                                                                     
1987 graduates 23.00   (0.157) 4.12   (0.022) 3.32   (0.037) 3.01   (0.029) 2.55   (0.046) 1.10   (0.020) 0.47   (0.015) 0.21   (0.011) 0.76   (0.033) 1.35   (0.049) 1.44   (0.044)   (†)   (†) 2.67   (0.073)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 22.88   (0.162) 4.08   (0.021) 3.29   (0.037) 3.05   (0.029) 2.59   (0.049) 1.05   (0.021) 0.47   (0.016) 0.26   (0.013) 0.79   (0.032) 1.16   (0.051) 1.24   (0.046)   (†)   (†) 2.83   (0.081)
Female 23.12   (0.156) 4.15   (0.026) 3.35   (0.041) 2.96   (0.030) 2.52   (0.048) 1.14   (0.022) 0.47   (0.017) 0.17   (0.012) 0.74   (0.035) 1.53   (0.051) 1.63   (0.050)   (†)   (†) 2.51   (0.069)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 23.11   (0.189) 4.08   (0.028) 3.29   (0.045) 3.01   (0.034) 2.61   (0.058) 1.12   (0.025) 0.50   (0.020) 0.23   (0.012) 0.75   (0.040) 1.38   (0.055) 1.50   (0.055)   (†)   (†) 2.60   (0.082)
Black 22.40   (0.251) 4.22   (0.038) 3.34   (0.073) 2.99   (0.060) 2.33   (0.060) 1.01   (0.036) 0.31   (0.021) 0.10   (0.012) 0.90   (0.051) 1.08   (0.094) 1.20   (0.064)   (†)   (†) 2.73   (0.120)
Hispanic 22.84   (0.162) 4.30   (0.055) 3.22   (0.061) 2.81   (0.056) 2.24   (0.045) 1.07   (0.028) 0.29   (0.015) 0.10   (0.013) 0.78   (0.028) 1.25   (0.071) 1.34   (0.056)   (†)   (†) 3.19   (0.096)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
24.47   (0.332) 4.37   (0.076) 3.65   (0.163) 3.71   (0.094) 3.14   (0.116) 1.17   (0.027) 0.87   (0.069) 0.50   (0.045) 0.59   (0.048) 2.07   (0.105) 1.18   (0.077)   (†)   (†) 3.23   (0.185)
American Indian/
     Alaska Native
23.23   (0.153) 4.22   (0.033) 3.18   (0.044) 2.98   (0.113) 2.44   (0.104) 1.22   (0.073) 0.32   (0.035) 0.09 ! (0.027) 0.81   (0.041) 0.75   (0.138) 1.68   (0.112)   (†)   (†) 3.06   (0.050)
                                                                                     
1990 graduates 23.53   (0.127) 4.19   (0.034) 3.47   (0.040) 3.15   (0.028) 2.75   (0.028) 1.14   (0.019) 0.53   (0.014) 0.23   (0.010) 0.85   (0.026) 1.54   (0.041) 1.55   (0.045)   (†)   (†) 2.68   (0.073)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 23.35   (0.130) 4.13   (0.035) 3.45   (0.041) 3.16   (0.028) 2.78   (0.033) 1.11   (0.021) 0.52   (0.017) 0.28   (0.012) 0.88   (0.027) 1.33   (0.040) 1.31   (0.047)   (†)   (†) 2.87   (0.077)
Female 23.69   (0.132) 4.25   (0.036) 3.50   (0.041) 3.14   (0.033) 2.73   (0.027) 1.17   (0.019) 0.53   (0.014) 0.19   (0.010) 0.83   (0.027) 1.72   (0.045) 1.76   (0.050)   (†)   (†) 2.51   (0.072)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 23.54   (0.133) 4.12   (0.036) 3.46   (0.045) 3.13   (0.032) 2.80   (0.033) 1.15   (0.020) 0.55   (0.016) 0.25   (0.011) 0.84   (0.022) 1.58   (0.049) 1.61   (0.056)   (†)   (†) 2.61   (0.076)
Black 23.40   (0.255) 4.34   (0.044) 3.49   (0.058) 3.20   (0.064) 2.68   (0.061) 1.11   (0.042) 0.42   (0.024) 0.16   (0.020) 0.98   (0.068) 1.20   (0.075) 1.34   (0.052)   (†)   (†) 2.74   (0.124)
Hispanic 23.83   (0.210) 4.51   (0.139) 3.42   (0.071) 3.13   (0.058) 2.50   (0.046) 1.10   (0.034) 0.42   (0.034) 0.14   (0.016) 0.83   (0.041) 1.57   (0.060) 1.48   (0.072)   (†)   (†) 3.10   (0.103)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
24.07   (0.236) 4.50   (0.117) 3.70   (0.126) 3.52   (0.060) 2.97   (0.114) 1.12   (0.085) 0.74   (0.057) 0.42   (0.047) 0.68   (0.080) 2.06   (0.150) 1.29   (0.084)   (†)   (†) 2.96   (0.221)
American Indian/                                                                                    
Alaska Native 22.64   (0.267) 4.08   (0.092) 3.34   (0.083) 3.04   (0.152) 2.48   (0.175) 1.09   (0.090) 0.42   (0.072) 0.15   (0.039) 0.83   (0.090) 1.15   (0.188) 1.11   (0.126)   (†)   (†) 2.81   (0.148)
                                                                                     
1994 graduates 24.17   (0.144) 4.29   (0.028) 3.55   (0.041) 3.33   (0.021) 3.04   (0.028) 1.26   (0.018) 0.62   (0.013) 0.28   (0.011) 0.88   (0.024) 1.71   (0.033) 1.66   (0.041)   (†)   (†) 2.63   (0.077)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 23.79   (0.146) 4.26   (0.028) 3.51   (0.041) 3.32   (0.022) 3.03   (0.030) 1.20   (0.020) 0.59   (0.015) 0.32   (0.014) 0.91   (0.026) 1.49   (0.034) 1.43   (0.038)   (†)   (†) 2.83   (0.081)
Female 24.11   (0.147) 4.32   (0.030) 3.59   (0.041) 3.34   (0.023) 3.06   (0.028) 1.31   (0.018) 0.64   (0.014) 0.24   (0.010) 0.86   (0.024) 1.93   (0.034) 1.87   (0.051)   (†)   (†) 2.44   (0.078)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 24.08   (0.183) 4.23   (0.035) 3.56   (0.049) 3.36   (0.023) 3.13   (0.032) 1.29   (0.022) 0.65   (0.014) 0.30   (0.014) 0.89   (0.030) 1.76   (0.039) 1.74   (0.049)   (†)   (†) 2.61   (0.096)
Black 23.28   (0.132) 4.36   (0.034) 3.51   (0.039) 3.23   (0.030) 2.80   (0.042) 1.21   (0.036) 0.49   (0.028) 0.17   (0.013) 0.92   (0.051) 1.35   (0.052) 1.36   (0.066)   (†)   (†) 2.69   (0.101)
Hispanic 23.71   (0.131) 4.61   (0.075) 3.45   (0.046) 3.28   (0.041) 2.69   (0.046) 1.19   (0.027) 0.49   (0.047) 0.17   (0.021) 0.83   (0.058) 1.73   (0.062) 1.51   (0.046)   (†)   (†) 2.93   (0.086)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
23.84   (0.256) 4.60   (0.091) 3.66   (0.097) 3.66   (0.082) 3.35   (0.131) 1.22   (0.042) 0.81   (0.062) 0.48   (0.058) 0.80   (0.034) 2.09   (0.085) 1.32   (0.121)   (†)   (†) 2.78   (0.123)
American Indian/                                                                                    
Alaska Native 23.40   (0.541) 4.27   (0.113) 3.57   (0.201) 3.11   (0.038) 2.82   (0.073) 1.28   (0.069) 0.50   (0.065) 0.13   (0.039) 0.91   (0.057) 1.30   (0.150) 2.01   (0.351)   (†)   (†) 3.12   (0.355)
                                                                                     
1998 graduates 25.14   (0.162) 4.25   (0.037) 3.74   (0.038) 3.40   (0.024) 3.12   (0.026) 1.26   (0.021) 0.66   (0.015) 0.31   (0.015) 0.89   (0.024) 1.85   (0.039) 1.90   (0.079)   (†)   (†) 2.89   (0.076)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 24.64   (0.162) 4.19   (0.038) 3.68   (0.040) 3.37   (0.024) 3.09   (0.028) 1.20   (0.021) 0.62   (0.014) 0.33   (0.018) 0.93   (0.026) 1.62   (0.040) 1.61   (0.072)   (†)   (†) 3.12   (0.079)
Female 25.04   (0.166) 4.31   (0.039) 3.80   (0.036) 3.42   (0.025) 3.17   (0.029) 1.32   (0.023) 0.70   (0.018) 0.28   (0.015) 0.87   (0.023) 2.06   (0.041) 2.15   (0.094)   (†)   (†) 2.67   (0.080)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 24.87   (0.178) 4.19   (0.049) 3.77   (0.046) 3.40   (0.028) 3.18   (0.028) 1.28   (0.025) 0.69   (0.017) 0.33   (0.019) 0.87   (0.027) 1.90   (0.049) 2.00   (0.078)   (†)   (†) 2.80   (0.088)
Black 24.37   (0.250) 4.28   (0.045) 3.69   (0.050) 3.42   (0.042) 3.03   (0.064) 1.24   (0.038) 0.58   (0.025) 0.22   (0.022) 0.97   (0.045) 1.58   (0.062) 1.57   (0.152)   (†)   (†) 2.94   (0.080)
Hispanic 24.69   (0.218) 4.51   (0.055) 3.60   (0.051) 3.28   (0.041) 2.81   (0.054) 1.13   (0.026) 0.50   (0.036) 0.20   (0.020) 0.97   (0.042) 1.78   (0.055) 1.78   (0.113)   (†)   (†) 3.36   (0.121)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
24.67   (0.195) 4.37   (0.068) 3.92   (0.086) 3.62   (0.029) 3.43   (0.079) 1.26   (0.027) 0.83   (0.037) 0.51   (0.036) 0.81   (0.041) 2.29   (0.129) 1.52   (0.056)   (†)   (†) 2.95   (0.208)
American Indian/
     Alaska Native
23.81   (0.350) 4.18   (0.082) 3.67   (0.093) 3.10   (0.081) 2.68   (0.081) 1.07   (0.056) 0.49   (0.038) 0.15   (0.024) 0.98   (0.070) 1.45   (0.132) 1.94   (0.146)   (†)   (†) 3.40   (0.212)
                                                                                     
2000 graduates 26.15   (0.204) 4.26   (0.037) 3.89   (0.036) 3.62   (0.029) 3.20   (0.038) 1.28   (0.028) 0.71   (0.020) 0.37   (0.018) 0.84   (0.030) 2.01   (0.045) 2.03   (0.054) 2.86   (0.105) 1.35   (0.044) 3.49   (0.071)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 26.01   (0.210) 4.18   (0.036) 3.83   (0.036) 3.60   (0.032) 3.15   (0.039) 1.20   (0.030) 0.67   (0.020) 0.42   (0.020) 0.87   (0.029) 1.77   (0.045) 1.75   (0.051) 3.24   (0.133) 1.35   (0.049) 3.76   (0.079)
Female 26.26   (0.204) 4.34   (0.040) 3.95   (0.038) 3.64   (0.028) 3.24   (0.041) 1.36   (0.030) 0.74   (0.022) 0.33   (0.018) 0.81   (0.031) 2.25   (0.050) 2.29   (0.065) 2.48   (0.086) 1.34   (0.047) 3.22   (0.068)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 26.31   (0.256) 4.26   (0.037) 3.93   (0.042) 3.63   (0.032) 3.24   (0.038) 1.30   (0.034) 0.72   (0.024) 0.39   (0.021) 0.83   (0.033) 1.98   (0.054) 2.11   (0.068) 2.97   (0.136) 1.37   (0.055) 3.37   (0.080)
Black 25.85   (0.233) 4.36   (0.078) 3.81   (0.068) 3.57   (0.046) 3.12   (0.059) 1.25   (0.041) 0.66   (0.030) 0.30   (0.027) 0.91   (0.043) 1.71   (0.070) 1.94   (0.134) 2.74   (0.143) 1.54   (0.075) 3.60   (0.134)
Hispanic 25.59   (0.358) 4.29   (0.125) 3.84   (0.076) 3.48   (0.069) 2.86   (0.112) 1.18   (0.068) 0.58   (0.055) 0.25   (0.026) 0.84   (0.044) 2.22   (0.063) 1.76   (0.062) 2.64   (0.152) 1.20   (0.082) 3.95   (0.173)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
26.23   (0.332) 4.12   (0.060) 3.80   (0.055) 4.01   (0.108) 3.70   (0.162) 1.35   (0.066) 0.97   (0.050) 0.67   (0.042) 0.71   (0.086) 2.90   (0.089) 1.78   (0.085) 1.99   (0.149) 0.81   (0.050) 3.52   (0.221)
American Indian/
     Alaska Native
25.24   (0.342) 4.08   (0.069) 3.82   (0.102) 3.35   (0.117) 2.88   (0.086) 1.25   (0.080) 0.45   (0.045) 0.19   (0.042) 0.98   (0.038) 1.41   (0.105) 1.99   (0.220) 3.23   (0.380) 1.60   (0.151) 3.60   (0.365)
                                                                                     
2005 graduates 26.88   (0.102) 4.33   (0.022) 4.08   (0.027) 3.80   (0.018) 3.35   (0.019) 1.28   (0.016) 0.75   (0.011) 0.37   (0.012) 0.95   (0.019) 2.07   (0.022) 2.06   (0.035) 2.64   (0.045) 1.38   (0.030) 3.83   (0.047)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 26.70   (0.107) 4.26   (0.024) 4.01   (0.030) 3.78   (0.021) 3.29   (0.023) 1.19   (0.016) 0.71   (0.012) 0.41   (0.014) 0.98   (0.019) 1.87   (0.025) 1.71   (0.035) 3.01   (0.050) 1.36   (0.032) 4.17   (0.055)
Female 27.05   (0.104) 4.39   (0.022) 4.16   (0.028) 3.83   (0.018) 3.41   (0.019) 1.37   (0.017) 0.79   (0.012) 0.33   (0.012) 0.92   (0.020) 2.25   (0.023) 2.38   (0.045) 2.29   (0.049) 1.41   (0.033) 3.52   (0.050)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 27.06   (0.127) 4.30   (0.030) 4.12   (0.030) 3.80   (0.022) 3.44   (0.021) 1.31   (0.018) 0.77   (0.014) 0.39   (0.012) 0.96   (0.021) 2.03   (0.025) 2.17   (0.043) 2.75   (0.059) 1.39   (0.036) 3.64   (0.059)
Black 26.76   (0.151) 4.50   (0.028) 4.10   (0.054) 3.86   (0.036) 3.22   (0.035) 1.27   (0.025) 0.69   (0.017) 0.28   (0.025) 0.99   (0.037) 1.77   (0.041) 1.77   (0.056) 2.58   (0.074) 1.56   (0.065) 4.32   (0.096)
Hispanic 26.18   (0.147) 4.33   (0.026) 3.88   (0.052) 3.64   (0.034) 2.93   (0.036) 1.11   (0.021) 0.64   (0.022) 0.25   (0.017) 0.94   (0.031) 2.39   (0.047) 1.78   (0.055) 2.41   (0.086) 1.30   (0.046) 4.44   (0.100)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
26.58   (0.183) 4.28   (0.043) 4.02   (0.048) 4.08   (0.051) 3.65   (0.057) 1.31   (0.035) 0.98   (0.028) 0.59   (0.036) 0.77   (0.061) 2.70   (0.066) 1.80   (0.076) 1.94   (0.116) 0.98   (0.052) 3.53   (0.122)
American Indian/
     Alaska Native
26.66   (0.454) 4.42   (0.136) 4.15   (0.151) 3.60   (0.175) 3.00   (0.075) 1.27   (0.061) 0.52   (0.053) 0.17   (0.036) 1.04   (0.063) 1.55   (0.125) 2.45   (0.179) 2.45   (0.208) 1.70   (0.184) 4.24   (0.294)
                                                                                     
2009 graduates 27.15   (0.100) 4.37   (0.013) 4.19   (0.027) 3.91   (0.017) 3.47   (0.022) 1.35   (0.014) 0.78   (0.011) 0.42   (0.013) 0.92   (0.017) 2.21   (0.027) 2.12   (0.036) 2.47   (0.059) 1.11   (0.030) 3.86   (0.059)
Sex                                                                                    
Male 26.98   (0.111) 4.30   (0.015) 4.13   (0.028) 3.88   (0.018) 3.46   (0.027) 1.27   (0.014) 0.74   (0.012) 0.48   (0.017) 0.96   (0.017) 2.01   (0.028) 1.76   (0.034) 2.77   (0.068) 1.13   (0.036) 4.18   (0.070)
Female 27.31   (0.095) 4.42   (0.014) 4.25   (0.027) 3.93   (0.018) 3.49   (0.020) 1.43   (0.015) 0.82   (0.011) 0.37   (0.012) 0.88   (0.019) 2.40   (0.028) 2.46   (0.046) 2.19   (0.055) 1.10   (0.028) 3.57   (0.060)
                                                                                     
Race/ethnicity                                                                                    
White 27.30   (0.151) 4.32   (0.016) 4.23   (0.037) 3.91   (0.021) 3.55   (0.026) 1.37   (0.015) 0.80   (0.013) 0.44   (0.016) 0.94   (0.022) 2.19   (0.032) 2.26   (0.042) 2.55   (0.071) 1.16   (0.040) 3.70   (0.075)
Black 27.42   (0.141) 4.56   (0.039) 4.26   (0.036) 4.02   (0.035) 3.31   (0.027) 1.33   (0.025) 0.68   (0.022) 0.30   (0.019) 1.00   (0.028) 1.87   (0.044) 1.87   (0.067) 2.72   (0.127) 1.21   (0.052) 4.29   (0.102)
Hispanic 26.47   (0.194) 4.43   (0.024) 4.04   (0.040) 3.70   (0.029) 3.13   (0.028) 1.24   (0.019) 0.70   (0.015) 0.32   (0.015) 0.87   (0.024) 2.34   (0.034) 1.85   (0.046) 2.31   (0.101) 1.04   (0.040) 4.26   (0.095)
Asian/Pacific
     Islander
26.94   (0.190) 4.19   (0.039) 4.13   (0.083) 4.16   (0.052) 4.06   (0.091) 1.56   (0.077) 1.08   (0.035) 0.75   (0.033) 0.68   (0.063) 2.98   (0.090) 1.99   (0.065) 1.63   (0.074) 0.62   (0.054) 3.47   (0.100)
American Indian/                                                                                    
Alaska Native 26.17   (0.409) 4.39   (0.085) 4.11   (0.083) 3.76   (0.125) 3.20   (0.070) 1.38   (0.062) 0.50   (0.051) 0.24   (0.046) 1.09   (0.066) 1.56   (0.097) 2.19   (0.157) 2.35   (0.188) 1.20   (0.117) 4.54   (0.370)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
1 Includes occupational education in agriculture; business and marketing; communications and design; computer and information sciences; construction and architecture; engineering technologies; health sciences; manufacturing; repair and transportation; and personal, public, and legal services. Does not include general labor market preparation courses and family and consumer sciences education courses.
2 Includes general labor market preparation courses and family and consumer sciences education courses.
3 Includes general skills, personal health and physical education, religion, military sciences, special education, and other courses not included in other academic subject fields. Some personal-use courses are also included in the Career/technical (occupational) education column and the Labor market, family, and consumer education column.
4 Includes all science credits earned outside of biology, chemistry, and physics.
NOTE: The Carnegie unit is a standard of measurement that represents one credit for the completion of a 1-year course. Data differ slightly from figures appearing in other NCES reports because of differences in taxonomies and case exclusion criteria. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Totals include other racial/ethnic groups not separately shown. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study of 1980 Sophomores (HS&B-So:80/82), "High School Transcript Study"; and 1987, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2009 High School Transcript Study (HSTS). (This table was prepared September 2011.)
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education