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Maryland Graduation Requirements

Graduation Policy

(See Policy 8030 for entire policy.)

A Maryland High School Diploma is awarded to students who fulfill minimum enrollment, credit, and competency requirements, including four years of approved study beyond Grade 8.

3 credits – Mathematics*

  • 1 credit in Algebra I (State Assessed Course)
  • 1 credit in Geometry

4 credits – English

  • 1 credit in English 9
  • 1 credit in English 10 (State Assessed Course)
  • 1 credit in English 11
  • 1 credit in English 12

3 credits – Science

  • one in Biology
  • two additional credits including laboratory experience, in any or all of the following areas: Earth Science, Environmental Science, Life Science, Physical Science

Note: Integrated Science State Assessment occurs in 11th grade

3 credits – Social Studies

  • one in U.S. History
  • one in Local, State and National Government (State Assessed Course)
  • one in World History

Fine Arts – 1 credit

Physical Education – 1/2 credit, including: Lifetime Fitness

Health – 1/2 credit including: health education or current health issues

Technology Education – 1 credit

2-4 credits – Program Choice:

  • Two credits in World Language** OR American Sign Language*** OR two credits in an approved Advanced Technology Program OR four credits in a Career Academy (state-approved Career and Technology Education Completer program).

1-3 credits – Electives to include courses beyond requirements.

Total 21

* In 2009, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved an academic policy that requires incoming freshman undergraduates to have completed four years of high school math. Accordingly, HCPSS students shall enroll in a mathematics course in each year of high school that the student attends in the HCPSS, up to a maximum of 4 years of attendance, unless in the 5th or 6th year a mathematics course is still needed to meet a graduation requirement. Three years of mathematics will consist of one credit of Algebra I, one credit of Geometry, and one or more credits in courses such Algebra II and subsequent mathematics courses that utilize algebra in a substantive way, so that the student does not lose the algebraic and numerical skills achieved in earlier courses.

** For students with language credits earned prior to the 2015-16 school year, they will still need to earn at least two credits of World Language to meet graduation requirements.

*** Students must complete both ASL I and II to meet the requirement. These courses may not meet all college entrance requirements.

Credit for High School Courses Taken in Middle School

High school courses which are offered at the middle school level are eligible for high school credit.

Beginning with courses completed in the 2015–16 school year:

  1. The student’s passed course will count toward the 21 credits for graduation requirement.
  2. The student’s course grade will be recorded on the high school transcript.
  3. The student’s grade will not be calculated into the high school grade point average.
    • If a student re-takes one of the high-school courses taken in middle school for which credit was earned:
      1. The high school grade will be calculated into the GPA, and
      2. Only one credit will be awarded.
  4. For high school world language courses, one credit will be awarded at the completion of a course in grade 8.

Additional Considerations

Four-year enrollment may be waived if a student is admitted to a college or another approved post-secondary program and has received prior approval from the principal.

In addition to the Maryland High School Diploma, a student may earn a Certificate of Merit by completing a specified core of credits. For more information, please consult the current Catalog of Approved High School Courses and Policy 8030. Students must also satisfy: