Graduation Requirements

 

In New York State, there are three types of diplomas: a local diploma, a Regents diploma, and an Advanced Regents diploma. All students can earn a Regents or Advanced Regents diploma; however only students who meet specific criteria are eligible to graduate with a local diploma, which allows students to graduate with lower exam scores. The type of diploma your child earns depends on his or her course credits and scores on specific Regents exams, as shown in the table below. An Advanced Regents diploma lets students demonstrate additional skills in math, science, and languages other than English. If you think your child is not earning the credits she or he needs to graduate, please speak to your school’s guidance counselor immediately. Keep in mind that a student may always exceed these requirements; these represent the minimum.

 Regents Diploma

Advanced Regents Diploma


Examination Requirements

Your child must achieve a score of 65 or higher on these five Regents exams:

  1. English Language Arts (ELA)
  2. Mathematics (any one of these: Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II/Trigonometry)
  3. Global History and Geography
  4. U.S. History and Government
  5. Science (any one of these: Living Environment, Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics)

Your child must meet Regents diploma exam requirements, AND score 65 or higher on the following exams:

  1. Mathematics (all three of these: Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II/Trigonometry)
  2. Science (Living Environment and one of these: Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics)
  3. Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Exam

 
Minimum Credit Requirements

8   

Core English

8
8

Social Studies: Global History (4), U.S. History (2), Participation in Government (1), Economics (1)

8

6

 Mathematics: Including at least two credits of advanced math (e.g., Geometry or Algebra II)

6
6

 Science, including labs: Life Science (2), Physical Science (2), Life Science or Physical Science (2)

6
2

Languages Other than English (LOTE)*

6
4

Physical Education (every year, distributed in specific ways)

4

1

Health

1

2

Visual Art, Music, Dance, and/or Theater

2

7

Electives

3
44

TOTAL CREDITS

44

*A student seeking an Advanced Regents diploma with an arts or CTE endorsement is only required to complete 2 credits of LOTE. Also, a student whose IEP specifies that the disability directly impacts his or her ability to learn a language may substitute other courses for the LOTE requirement and still earn an Advanced Regents diploma. 

Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

In addition to the Regents or Advanced Regents diploma, students with IEPs have other graduation options available:

  • The local diploma, which allows students who meet specific criteria to graduate with lower exam scores; and
  • Two non-diploma credentials that allow students with disabilities to demonstrate career-readiness skills. Note that these credentials are not equivalent to a high school diploma:
    • The Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement (CDOS) credential allows students to demonstrate mastery of the academic and personal behaviors required in the workplace. It can serve in addition to a high school diploma or as a standalone credential.
    • Students who are alternately assessed can earn the Skills and Achievement credential which, although not equivalent to a diploma, supports the attainment of career-readiness skills.

Detailed Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements are determined at the State level and vary according to the year a student first entered 9th grade, as well as by other demographic factors. Please click on the following links for complete, historical information on graduation requirements:

Detailed graduation requirements for general education students
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Detailed graduation requirements for students with disabilities
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Detailed graduation requirements for career and technical education programs 
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Diploma Worksheet

Students and guidance counselors can use this diploma requirements worksheet in planning sessions. If you feel your child is not on track to graduate, please schedule a meeting with your child’s guidance counselor. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), you can discuss alternatives with the student’s guidance counselor and IEP team.

More Information

College Planning Handbook
Planning for Success: Supporting Transitions through High School to College and Career 
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Website
The Office of Postsecondary Readiness