High School, College, Career

Graduation Requirements

Seattle Public Schools Graduation Requirements

Students in the Class of 2021 and beyond must earn 24 credits to graduate. The new graduation requirements are mandated by the Washington State Board of Education. The board designed the new requirements to be both rigorous and flexible, and to support the vision of an education system that prepares all students for college, career, and life.

Students in the Class of 2021 and beyond may be eligible for a 2 credit waiver of elective or personal pathway courses, based on their circumstances.

Seniors in the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 may also be eligible for a Covid-19 emergency graduation waiver. School staff will contact students who may be eligible and discuss the benefits and limitations of applying for the waiver. This waiver authority expires on August 31, 2021.

Below are translated versions of the 24 Credit Graduation Requirement video.

Class of 2021 and Beyond

24 Credits Minimum

24 credits are required for graduation earned from the below list of approved courses.The credit requirements are minimums both in terms of total credits required for graduation and for credits in the various subject areas.  To ensure both work and college readiness, the district encourages students to exceed the requirements.  

English Language Arts
Credits: 4.0
Required Courses:

  • Introduction to Literature & Composition 9
  • World Literature & Composition 10
  • American Literature & Composition 11, Ethnic Studies Lit and Comp, African, Asian, Latin, or Native American Lit and Comp, AP Literature, IB Lang and Lit 11, or CIHS English 
  • Comparative Literature & Composition 12, AP Language, IB Lang 12, or CIHS English

Note: Students should complete Intro to Lit & Comp 9, World Lit 10, AP/IB/CIHS/Ethnic Studies LA 11 or 12 or approved content alternatives. 

Social Studies
Credits: 3.0
Required Courses:

  • World History 1 or Ethnic Studies WH 1
  • World History 2, Ethnic Studies WH 2, AP World History 1, or AP Human Geo A
  • World History 3, AP World History 2, or AP Human Geo B
  • U.S. History, or Ethnic Studies US History, IB History of the Americas, AP US History, CIHS AES 151, or CIHS 147 & 148
  • American Government, IB 20th Century, AP American Government or AP US Government & Politics
  • Washington State History 2 

Note: Students must also complete an OSPI developed classroom-based assessment in civics in the eleventh or twelfth grade. The World History 2 or 3 courses will satisfy the state requirements for .5 credit in Current World Problems (CWP). The American Government course will satisfy the state requirement for a .5 credit in Civics.  Since Time Immemorial Tribal Curriculum is part of the social studies course curriculum. RCW 28A.230.093 WAC 392-410-120 WAC 180-51-067 RCW 28A.320.170 

Mathematics
Credits: 3.0
Required Courses:

  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2, IB Math SL Year 1, Financial Algebra, CIHS Bus 130, Modeling our World or a more advanced course in the sequence or an approved CTE math course.

Note: *Students may elect to take an approved third mathematics credit tailored to their career path, to meet the Algebra II graduation requirement. For more information. RCW 284.230.097 

Science
Credits: 3.0
Required Courses:

  • Phys A/Chem A
  • Biology
  • Phys B/Chem B or Select from approved core course offerings.

Note: Students should complete Phys A/Chem A and Biology A & B, Phys B/Chem B or earn credits in OSPI approved equivalent career and technical education (CTE) courses.1The third credit may be chosen based on the students’ interest and may include a CTE science-equivalent course RCW.24A.305.130 RCW 28A.700.070 WAC 180-51-068 RCW 28A.230.010

Career Connected Learning (CTE)
Credits: 1.0
Required Courses: Select from approved course offerings.

Notes: Career Connected Learning (CCL/CTE) credits may be earned in exploratory or preparatory CCL/ CTE classes and certain approved non-CCL/CTE courses. See official district course catalogue for approved courses.

Health
Credits: .5
Required Courses:

  • .5 Health or Family Health

Note: Health may not be waived.

Physical Education
Credits: 1.5
Required Courses:

  • Select from approved course offerings

Note: The performance component of Fitness (physical education) may be waived for specific reasons such as physical disability or other reason described in RCW 28A.230.050. However, the content knowledge requirement must be met by either course work in fitness education or completing the OSPI developed Concepts of Health and Fitness Assessment. RCW 28A.230.050; WAC 180-50-135; WAC 392-410-136; WAC 392-410-310; and WAC 392-410-340. Students must also complete an OSPI approved assessment in health during high school. PE waivers are not guaranteed. 

Fine or Performing Arts
Credits: 1.0 to 2.0 Credits
Required Courses: Select from approved course offerings.

Notes: Select from courses in fine, visual or performing arts or cross-credited CTE courses. 1 credit may be a Personalized pathway requirement3 WAC 180-50-068 

Personal Pathway Courses (World Language, Art, Science, etc)
Credits: 2.0 to 3.0 Credits
Required Courses: Select from approved course offerings.

Notes: Personalized pathway requirements are related courses that lead to a specific post high school career or educational outcome chosen by the student based on the students’ interests and High School Beyond Plan.

World Languages are recommended for students planning on attending a 2 or 4-year college or university for admissions purposes. These may be taken as a part of the personal pathway or elective credits.

Electives
Credits: 4.0
Required Courses: Any course other than the courses listed above.

TOTAL CREDITS
Credits: 24.0

Note: Official WA State transcripts provide a record of courses completed, credits, and grades.

1. Refer to WAC 180-51-067 and FAQS for guidance on approved course sequence and alternatives.

2. Students who have completed and passed a state history and government course in another state may have the Washington state history and government requirement waived. The study of the United States and Washington State Constitutions required under RCW 28A.230.170 shall not be waived, but may be fulfilled through an alternative learning experience approved by the school principal. Additionally, eleventh and twelfth grade students who transfer from out of state, may have the Washington state history requirement waived by the principal if they would not be able to graduate with their class without such a waiver.

3. The 3rd credit of science and the 3rd credit of math are chosen by the student based on the student’s interest and High School and Beyond Plan, and approved by the parent or guardian, or if the parent or guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference, the school counselor or principal (WAC 180-51-068).

4. Personalized Pathway Requirement are related courses that lead to a specific post high school career or educational outcome chosen by the student

English + Math Pathway
Any one LA AND one Math option
CTE PathwayMilitary
English OptionsMath Options
SBA ELA(2548) or​WA-AIM(104)  or​SAT(410) or​ACT (14) Score ​or​SBA Math(2595) or​WA-AIM(103) or​SAT(430) or​ACT(16) Score​or​2 Credits in one Program Area + a Dual Credit or Industry Certification Opportunity in one course​​Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery with a score of 31 or higher
Running Start – English or​CIHS – English or​ Bridge to College English w/a D or higher​or​Running Start – Math or​ CIHS –Math or​ Bridge to College Math ​w/ a D or higher​or​
AP Lang and Comp
AP Economics​
AP Psychology
AP US History
AP World History 
AP US Govt and Politics
AP Comp Govt and Politics​IB Individuals and Societies courses or English Language and Lit​w/C+ or higher​
AP Statistics​
AP Computer Science A​
AP Computer Science Principles​AP Calculus
​Any IB Math Course​w/ C+ or higher​
Students should attempt as many pathways as they are interested in completing; no student should be tracked into one pathway.​
Students in the class of 2021 are the last class to use the Certificate of Individual Achievement for the ELA/Math option.

High School and Beyond Planning is a state requirement which helps students walk through the process of goal setting, future planning and self assessment. Students learn about their learning styles, career interests and they are asked to consider how the courses they select support their career goals. Additionally, students learn about college costs and selecting a college that meets the students needs.  Students are encouraged to change their goals and plans as they move towards graduation to include their new interests and knowledge. 

As a part of our High School and Beyond Plan, our students use Naviance to explore colleges and career paths, analyze skills and talents and help them stay on track to reach academic goals. Naviance fosters post-high school planning communication and collaboration for students, school counselors and families. Learn more about Naviance.

Service Learning

Seattle Public Schools requires students to complete 60 hours of service learning before graduation. Through service-learning students apply their academic skills and knowledge in real-life settings. Contact individual schools for specific information.

Class of 2020

21 Credits Minimum

The credit requirements are minimums both in terms of total credits required for graduation and for credits in the various subject areas. In order to ensure both work and college readiness, the district encourages students to exceed the requirements.  

English/Language Arts

Credits: 4.0
Required Courses:

  • Select from approved course offerings.

Notes: Students should complete Intro to Lit & Comp 9, World Lit 10, AP/IB/CIHS/Ethnic Studies LA 11 or 12 or approved content alternatives.

Social Studies

Credits: 3.0
Required Courses:

  • World History or Ethnic Studies World History 1, 2, and 3
  • U.S. History, or Ethnic Studies US History 11A, 11B
  • American Government
  • Washington State History

Notes: Students must also complete an OSPI developed classroom-based assessment in civics in the eleventh or twelfth grade. The World History 2 or 3 courses will satisfy the state requirements for .5 credit in Current World Problems (CWP). The American Government course will satisfy the state requirement for a .5 credit in Civics. Since Time Immemorial Tribal Curriculum is part of the social studies course curriculum. RCW 28A.230.093 WAC 392-410-120 WAC 180-51-067 RCW 28A.320.170

Mathematics

Credits: 3.0
Required Courses:

  • Algebra I or Integrated Math
  • Geometry or Integrated Math 2
  • Algebra II, more advanced course in the sequence or CTE math course.3

Notes: Students may elect to take an approved third mathematicscredit tailored to their career path, to meet the Algebra II graduation requirement. For more information. RCW 284.230.097

Science

Credits: 2.0
Required Courses:

  • Phys A/Chem A
  • Biology or
  • Select from approved core course offerings.

Notes: Students should complete Phys A/Chem A and Biology A & B, Phys B/Chem B or earn credits in OSPI approved equivalent career and technical education (CTE) courses.  RCW.24A.305.130 RCW 28A.700.070 WAC 180-51-068 RCW 28A.230.010

Career Technical Education (CTE)

Credits: 1
Required Courses:

  • Select from approved course offerings

Notes: CT Education credits may be earned in Exploratory or Preparatory CTE classes and certain approved non-CTE courses. CTE graduation pathway courses must be in a single program of study. For more information contact CTE.

Physical Education

Credits: 1.5
Required Courses:

  • Select from approved course offerings

Notes: The performance component of Fitness (physical education)may be waived for specific reasons such as physical disability or other reason described in RCW 28A.230.050. However, the content knowledge requirement must be met by either course work in fitness education or completing the OSPI developed Concepts of Health and Fitness Assessment.
RCW 28A.230.050; WAC 180-50-135; WAC 392-410-136; WAC 392-410-310; and WAC 392-410-340. Students must also complete an OSPI approved assessment in health during high school.

Health

Credits: 0.5
Required Courses:

  • Health or Family Health

Notes: Health may not be waived

Fine or Performing Arts

Credits: 1.0
Required Courses: Select from approved course offerings.

Notes: Select from courses in fine, visual or performing arts or cross-credited CTE courses. 1 credit may be a Personalized pathway requirement3 WAC 180-50-068

Electives

Credits: 5.0
Required Courses: Select from approved course offerings.

Notes: Any course other than the required courses listed above.

TOTAL CREDITS

Credits: 21.0

1. Refer to WAC 180-51-067 and FAQS for guidance on approved course sequence and alternatives.

2. Students who have completed and passed a state history and government course in another state may have the Washington state history and government requirement waived. The study of the United States and Washington State Constitutions required under RCW 28A.230.170 shall not be waived but may be fulfilled through an alternative learning experience approved by the school principal. Additionally, eleventh and twelfth grade students who transfer from out of state, and who have or will have earned two credits in social studies at graduation, may have the Washington state history requirement waived by the principal if they would not be able to graduate with their class without such a waiver.

3. The 3rd credit of math are chosen by the student based on the student’s interest and High School and Beyond Plan, and approved by the parent or guardian, or if the parent or guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference, the school counselor or principal (WAC 180-51-068).4. Personalized Pathway Requirement are related courses that lead to a specific post high school career or educational outcome chosen by the student based on the student’s interests and High School and Beyond Plan, that may include Career and Technical Education or World Languages, and are intended to provide a focus for the student’s learning.

ELA + Math Pathway
ELA Options
ELA + Math Pathway
Math Options
CTE Pathway
SBA ELA(2548) or​ WA-AIM(104)  or​ SAT(410) or​ACT (14) Score ​or​SBA Math(2595) or ​WA-AIM(103) or​ SAT(430) or​ACT(16) Score​ or​2 Credits in one Program Area + a Dual Credit or Industry Certification Opportunity in one course​​
Running Start – English or ​CIHS – English or​Bridge to College English ​w/a D or higher or​Running Start – Math or​CIHS –Math or​ Bridge to College Math ​w/a D or higher or​
AP Lang and Comp​
AP Economics​
AP Psychology
AP US History​
AP World History 
AP US Govt and Politics
AP Comp Govt and Politics
IB Individuals and Societies courses or English Language and Lit​w/C+ or higher​
AP Statistics​
AP Computer Science A
AP Computer Science Principles​
AP Calculus​
Any IB Math Course​w/ C+ or higher​
Students in the class of 2020 may also meet the requirement with a Certificate of Individual Achievement.

High School and Beyond Planning is a state requirement which helps students walk through the process of goal setting, future planning and self assessment. Students learn about their learning styles, career interests and they are asked to consider how the courses they select support their career goals. Additionally, students learn about college costs and selecting a college that meets the students needs.  Students are encouraged to change their goals and plans as they move towards graduation to include their new interests and knowledge. 

As a part of our High School and Beyond Plan, our students use Naviance to explore colleges and career paths, analyze skills and talents and help them stay on track to reach academic goals. Naviance fosters post-high school planning communication and collaboration for students, school counselors and families. Learn more about Naviance.

Service Learning

Seattle Public Schools requires students to complete 60 hours of service learning before graduation. Throughservice-learning students apply their academic skills and knowledge in real-life settings. Contact individual schools for specific information.