High School Graduation Requirements

Credit Requirements

The below table summarizes the minimum credit requirements for high school graduation in Arizona for the graduating class of 2013 and beyond. Please note that school districts and charter schools may, at their discretion, establish additional graduation credit requirements for their students.

Class of 2013 and Beyond
English 4 credits
Math (1) (2)
4 credits
Science (3) 3 credits
Social Studies (4) 3 credits
CTE/Fine Art 1 credit
Electives 7 credits
Total 22 credits

(1) Math courses shall consist of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II (or its equivalent) and an additional course with significant math content as determined by district governing boards or charter schools. Students who have not earned formal credit in Algebra I and Geometry but who have covered the course content described in State Board of Education administrative rule R7-2-302 are deemed to have met the requirement for graduation.
(2) The Algebra II requirement may be modified using a Personal Curriculum as outlined in R7-2-302.03. For questions specific to the Personal Curriculum, please contact either Suzi.Mast@azed.gov or Frankie.Sullivan@azed.gov.
(3) Three credits of science in preparation for proficiency at the high school level on the Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test.
(4) Social Studies shall consist of one credit of American History, one credit of World History/Geography, one-half credit of government and one-half credit of economics.

For more detailed information and to view the complete requirements as outlined in State Board of Education administrative rule R7-2-302, please click here.

Testing Requirements (AIMS & Arizona’s New State Assessment)

AIMS
State statute and State Board of Education Rules establish AIMS HS Writing, Reading, and Mathematics as the competency tests students must pass for graduation from an Arizona public high school. This requirement was first effective for the graduating class of 2006.

For those students who do not earn passing scores on all three content areas of AIMS HS there are alternative methods for meeting the AIMS high school graduation requirement. For more information on these alternative methods, please view the documents below:

Pending statutory changes currently under consideration, the AIMS HS Graduation Requirement and the alternative methods for meeting that requirement will remain in place through December 31, 2016. Spring 2014 will be the last time AIMS is administered to sophomores. AIMS retesting opportunities will be available for juniors and seniors through Fall 2016.

Transitioning to Arizona’s New State Assessment
Beginning in Spring 2015, students will take a new state exam. Beginning in 2016, if available, exam scores will be incorporated as a percentage of course grades for courses with standards being assessed. The specific exam, courses, and percentages have yet to be determined by the State Board of Education. Beginning in 2017, it is likely that the graduation requirements will be based entirely on completion of the minimum course of study and competency requirements, which will incorporate exam results.

From a School District or Charter School to another School District or Charter School
When a student who was previously enrolled in a charter school or school district enrolls in any other charter school or school district, the accepting school must accept credits earned by the pupil in courses or instructional programs offered at the school. However, the governing board of a school district or charter school can adopt a policy for determining whether a credit previously earned by a student will be assigned as an elective or core credit.

Upon enrollment at a new school, students are to be provided with a list that indicates which credits have been accepted as elective credits and which credits have been accepted as core credits. Within ten school days after receiving the list, a student can request to take an exam (which is to be designed and evaluated by a teacher who teaches the subject matter on which the exam is based) in each course in which core credit has been denied. The school must accept the credit in question as a core credit for each course in which the student receives a passing score on the exam designed for that subject.

From a Private School to a School District
Students transferring from a private school to a school district are to be provided with a list of credits that have been accepted and denied by the school district. A student can then request to take an exam (which is to be designed and evaluated by a teacher who teaches the subject matter on which the exam is based) in each course in which credit has been denied. The school district must accept the credit for each course in which the student receives a passing score on such an exam.

In addition to the above requirements, the governing board of a school district can prescribe requirements for the acceptance of credits of students who transfer from a private school.

From a Private School to a Charter School
Credit transfer guidelines for students transferring from a private school to a charter school, if in place, would be created and determined at the discretion of a charter school’s governing board.

If you have any questions about the transfer of high school credits from one school to another, please contact us by e-mail at HighSchoolGraduation@azed.gov.

Program Overview
The Move On When Ready program offers students the opportunity to advance through high school at their own pace based on their mastery of curriculum. A key feature of the model provided for in Arizona law is the Grand Canyon Diploma, a performance-based diploma available to students in schools that are participating in the program on a voluntary basis.

Grand Canyon Diploma Qualification Requirements
In order to qualify for a Grand Canyon Diploma, students must meet college and career qualification scores in all core content areas on a series of end-of-course exams. These exams are typically taken during the first 2-3 years of high school.

Students that satisfy all the criteria for a Grand Canyon Diploma are exempt from the minimum course of study requirements and AIMS test score requirements for a traditional high school diploma as outlined above.

If you would like more detailed information about the Grand Canyon Diploma, including the complete requirements, please contact the Center for the Future of Arizona.

If you have any questions about the requirements listed above, please contact us by e-mail at HighSchoolGraduation@azed.gov.