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.
- 24 CREDITS MINIMUM
See breakdown of specific credits on page two of this bulletin. The credit requirements are minimums both in terms of total credits required for graduation and for credits in the various subject areas.
- GRADUATON PATHWAY
In the classes of 2020-2027, students must meet at least one of these pathway options to graduate:
- English Language Arts + Mathematics Pathway – Using either Exams scores or Courses as approved by the State Board of Education, or a combination of the approved exams and courses.
- CTE Sequence: Complete a 2-credit sequence of courses in a pre-approved Seattle Career Pathway, which leads to a recognized career certificate or allows students to earn dual credit.
- Military Pathway – successful completion of the Armed Services Vocational Battery for students interested in Military careers.
- HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND PLAN
The State of Washington requires all students to create a High School and Beyond Plan. Seattle Public Schools expects students entering grade 8 to begin to develop a 5-year plan including 4 years of high school courses, resume, post high school career and college goals. The plan should be updated over time as the student develops high school plans. School counselors, staff and parents help students develop their individual plans. More information can be found at: http://www.k12.wa.us/GraduationRequirements/Requirement-HighSchoolBeyond.aspx.
- SERVICE LEARNING
Seattle Public Schools requires students to complete 60 hours of service learning before graduation. Students who have not attended Seattle schools for all four years will be responsible for 15 hours of service per year enrolled.
Seattle Public Schools offers several types of graduation waivers.
Students may be eligible for local graduation waivers for Service Learning or other Seattle Schools’ specific requirements.
Students in the Class of 2021 and beyond may be eligible for a 2 credit waiver of elective or personal pathway courses.
Seniors graduating in the 2022-2023 school year may 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. Contact your school if you have questions.
Below are translated versions of the 24 Credit Graduation Requirement video.
New District Guides for 2023-24 High School Course Registration!
The following documents provide an introduction to the Seattle Public Schools high school course registration process for the 2023-24 school year. They are designed to assist you in making informed, educational decisions in preparation for your future and to complement the information you receive from your high school.
- Introduction to High School Course Registration – English
- Introduction to High School Course Registration – Amharic
- Introduction to High School Course Registration – Chinese
- Introduction to High School Course Registration – Somali
- Introduction to High School Course Registration – Spanish
- Introduction to High School Course Registration – Vietnamese
Graduation Requirements Class of 2027
Graduation Requirements Class of 2026
Graduation Bulletin Class of 2021 thru 2025
Graduation Bulletin Class of 2020
- Refer to WAC 180-51-067 and SPS FAQS for guidance on approved course sequence and alternatives.
- 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 if they would not be able to graduate with their class without such a waiver.
- 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).
- 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.
- Courses and other Pathways that qualify
LA Graduation pathway are:
• English Language and Composition
•English Literature and Composition
•United States History
•World History •United States Government and Politics
•Comparative Government and Politics
• All Courses in English Language and Literature
• All Courses in Individuals and Societies Running Start/College in the High School
• English 100 or Above Bridge to College Language Arts
Math Graduation Pathway are:
•Computer Science A
•Computer Science Principles
•Calculus IB Courses
•Any IB course in mathematics
Running Start or College in the High School Math 100 or above Bridge to College Mathematics ASVAB Military Exams with approved score Or any courses listed by the SBE.
- Students who are served by special education services who need alternative course requirements, should have those graduation course alternatives noted in their IEP.
Caution: Entrance requirements to four-year colleges and universities sometimes exceed Seattle Public Schools high school graduation requirements. Check with college admissions staff for more information. There is an open-door admission policy to the two-year community colleges and public technical colleges in this state, though some programs of study may have specific requirements. Seattle Public Schools prioritizes courses that meet graduation requirements for all students. However, students who continue to enroll in a challenging course of study in high school are more likely to find success in whatever post-secondary option they choose.
Waiver of District High School Graduation Requirements or 2 Elective Credits.
- Four years of attendance (grades 9-12) are usually necessary for graduation.
- While specific District high school graduation requirements may be waived for an individual student; No State Requirement May Be Waived (i.e., state minimum credit requirements and High School and Beyond Plan, etc.) except where provided for under state law. Families or students may request a waiver during graduation processes and the principal will submit the waiver request to the Director of Schools for final approval. Waivers approvals are not guaranteed. For further information please contact your school for details