Graduation Requirements

In New York State, students can earn three types of diplomas:

  1. A Regents diploma
  2. An advanced Regents diploma
  3. A local diploma

All of these diplomas are valid high school diplomas. All students can earn a Regents or advanced Regents diploma. An Advanced Regents diploma lets students show additional skills in math, science, and languages other than English. Only some students who meet specific criteria can graduate with a local diploma, with lower exam scores.

To earn a diploma, students must earn specific course credits and pass specific Regents exams. If you believe your student is not on track to graduate, please speak to your school’s guidance counselor immediately.

Regents Diploma

Examination Requirements

Students must achieve a score of 65 or higher on these five exams to earn a Regents diploma.

  • English Language Arts (ELA)
  • Any math exam (Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II/Trigonometry)
  • Any social studies exam (Global History and Geography or U.S. History and Government)
  • Any science exam (Living Environment, Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics)
  • Any additional Regents exam, or another option approved by the State

Credit Requirements

Students need 44 credits in these subject areas to earn a Regents diploma.

  • 8 credits in core English
  • 8 credits in social studies, including:
    • 4 credits in Global History
    • 2 credits in U.S. History
    • 1 credit in Participation in Government
    • 1 credit in Economics
  • 6 credits in math, including:
    • At least 2 credits in advanced math (for example, Geometry or Algebra II)
  • 6 credits in science, including:
    • 2 credits in any life science
    • 2 credits in any physical science
    • 2 credits in any life science or physical science
  • 2 credits in Languages Other Than English (LOTE)
  • 4 credits in physical education, every year in specific ways
  • 1 credit in health education
  • 2 credits in arts education, including visual arts, music, dance, and theater
  • 7 credits in electives

Advanced Regents Diploma

Examination Requirements

Students must score 65 or higher on the following nine exams to earn an advanced Regents diploma.

  • English Language Arts (ELA)
  • Three math exams (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II/Trigonometry)
  • One social studies exam (Global History and Geography or U.S. History and Government)
  • Two science exams (Living Environment and one of these: Chemistry, Earth Science, or Physics)
  • Any additional Regents exam, or another option approved by the State
  • Any NYC Languages Other Than English (LOTE) exam

Credit Requirements

Students need 44 credits in these subject areas to earn an Advanced Regents diploma. This is the same total number of credits as a Regents diploma, but with more courses in a language other than English (LOTE) and fewer elective courses.

  • 8 credits in core English
  • 8 credits in social studies, including:
    • 4 credits in Global History
    • 2 credits in U.S. History
    • 1 credit in Participation in Government
    • 1 credit in Economics
  • 6 credits in math, including:
    • At least 2 credits in advanced math (for example, Geometry or Algebra II)
  • 6 credits in science, including:
    • 2 credits in any life science
    • credits in any physical science
    • 2 credits in any life science or physical science
  • 6 credits in Languages Other Than English (LOTE)
  • 4 credits in physical education, every year in specific ways
  • 1 credit in health education
  • 2 credits in arts education, including visual arts, music, dance, and theater
  • 3 credits in electives

Students only need two Language Other Than English (LOTE) credits if they are earning an arts or CTE endorsement. Some students who have a disability that makes it challenging to learn a language can earn credits in other subjects instead of LOTE.

Additional Options for Students with Disabilities

All students can earn a Regents or advanced Regents diploma. Some students also have the option to earn a third type of diploma called the local diploma. This option allows certain students to graduate with lower exam scores. Some students with severe disabilities can earn the Skills and Achievement credential instead of a diploma. This credential recognizes students’ achievements in academics, career development, and other foundational skills. It is not proof of graduation.

Resources for Graduation Requirements

New York State sets graduation requirements. Some requirements are different based on the year a student started high school. These requirements are described on different graduation requirements cards located on the DOE InfoHub.

  • Use the current graduation requirements card to read about graduation options for all students who started ninth grade in 2017.
  • Use the past graduation requirements cards to read about graduation options for students who started ninth grade before 2017. There are separate cards for three groups of students:
    • general education students
    • students with disabilities
    • Career & Technical Education (CTE) students
Contact your student's school for more information about graduation requirements or the graduation requirements cards.

 

Find Out More

Diploma Worksheet

The diploma requirements worksheet is a printable resource that you can use with your school to track student progress toward graduation. You can use this worksheet as a tool to compare the information on your student’s transcript with the graduation requirements on this page. You should contact your guidance counselor if you believe your student is not on track to graduate. If your student has a disability, you can ask your guidance counselor about additional options.

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