High School Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements


Course Requirements

To obtain a diploma of graduation from a SCUSD high school, students need to complete the following course credits in grades 9 through 12. 

Download Graduation Requiements

Four Years of History/Social Science (40 credits)

  • One semester of Ethnic Studies*
  • One semester of Geography 
  • One year of World History 
  • One year of US History 
  • One semester of Government 
  • One semester of Economics

*Up to and including until the graduating class of 2022, students can graduate with either Contemporary Global Issues or Ethnic Studies. From the graduating class of 2023 on, Ethnic Studies will replace Contemporary Global Issues as a graduation requirement.

Four Years of English (40 credits)

Two Years of Mathematics (20 credits)

  • One year of Integrated Math 1
  • One year of Integrated Math 2

Completion, prior to grade 9, of high school math coursework that meets or exceeds academic content standards shall not exempt a student from the requirement to complete two mathematics courses in grades 9 – 12. 

Two Years of Science (20 credits)

  • One year of Biological/Life Science
  • One year of Physical Sciences

One Year of Language other Than English (10 credits)

One Year of Visual or Performing Arts (10 credits)

Electives (65 credits)

Two Years of Physical Education (20 credits)

Unless the student has been exempted pursuant to Education Code 51241.

Demonstrate proficiency in technology literacy

Complete a service learning project or a senior project

Exemptions and Waivers

Because the prescribed course of study may not accommodate the needs of some students, the SCUSD Board of Education shall provide alternative means for the completion of prescribed courses in accordance with law.

A foster youth, homeless student, former juvenile court school student, migratory children and newly arrived immigrant pupils or child of a military family who transfers into the district any time after completing his/her second year of high school shall be required to complete all graduation requirements specified in Education Code 51225.2 and 51225.3 but shall be exempt from any additional district-adopted graduation requirements, unless the Superintendent or designee makes a finding that the student is reasonably able to complete the requirements in time to graduate by the end of his/her fourth year of high school. Within 30 days of the transfer, any such student shall be notified of the availability of the exemption and whether he/she qualifies for it. (Education Code 51225.1)

Retroactive Diplomas

The district may retroactively grant a high school diploma to a former student who was interned by order of the federal government during World War II or who is an honorably discharged veteran of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, provided that he/she was enrolled in a district school immediately preceding the internment or military service and he/she did not receive a diploma because his/her education was interrupted due to the internment or military service.  (Education Code 51430)

In addition, the Board may retroactively grant a diploma to a deceased former student who satisfies the above conditions.  The diploma shall be received by the deceased student’s next of kin.  (Education Code 51430)

In addition, the board may retroactively grant a diploma to a former student who successfully completed all of the graduation requirements except for the California High School Exit Exam.  (Education Code 51413)

In addition, the board may retroactively grant a diploma to a person who has departed California against his or her will, as defined, and, at the time of his or her departure, was enrolled in grade 12 of a high school operated by the school district, who did not receive a high school diploma because his or her education was interrupted due to his or her departure, and who was in good academic standing at the time of his or her departure, as specified. (Education Code 51430, Immigration Enforcement Policies BP 5145.13)