How many credits do you need to graduate from high school?

How many credits do you need to graduate from high school

Most students earn credits in high school called Carnegie Units. Each unit represents a year of a complete course in a specific subject. How many credits do you need to graduate from high school? There are non-national standards (each state has its own minimum requirements), but the average number of credits required is 20. The credits that have been distributed among mathematics, science, language, social studies and free choice, including technology, physical education, and art or music.

How many credits do you need to graduate?


Most students earn four credits in mathematics during high school. These are commonly achieved in algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. Other mathematics courses such as business, statistics and calculation also count in the requirements.


Students have to earn three or four credits in science. The courses that meet this requirement are biology I and II, chemistry, physics, and earth and space sciences. Students can obtain additional credits for science lab classes.


High school seniors must earn four credits in English. Each credit represents one year of studies in English grammar and literature in grades 9-12. The requirements for foreign languages ​​vary. Students earn one credit for each year of study of a foreign language.

Social studies

Students generally graduate with four credits earned in social studies courses. These include American and world history, civic education, state history and geography. Some schools have additional courses such as anthropology and sociology, which can be used to fulfill this requirement.

Free choice

Students can obtain credits for free elective courses that count toward the total amount required. These include classes such as art or music appreciation, typing, accounting, technology and physical education. Students earn half a credit for classes that last a semester.

How many credits do you need to graduate from high school

Do you want to graduate on time?

These tips from the blog could help you:

1. Get credits passing exams with material that you already know

Go ahead to what will come! Many colleges accept points for enrolling in double classes in high school or passing advanced exams. You could also achieve them with the tests of the University Level Examination Program of the Higher Education Council.

2. Take at least 15 credits per semester

Although you will only need 12 to be considered a full-time student, obtaining a bachelor’s degree is about 120 credits. That is, to graduate on time, you must add 15 points each semester.

3. Choose your specialization soon!

“Students should make this decision by the end of their first year in college, ” recommended Bruce Vandal, of the Complete College America organization, consulted by USA Today College . Then, “talk to your academic advisor to plan the classes you should take each semester, to graduate in four years.”

4. Make sure your credits are transferable

If you have opted for a community college after high school, you may then want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in another institution. Is it your case? When choosing the community college, try to have transfer agreements with the university that you would like to go to later, or choose a faculty within the same State. Another good strategy is to save the essays and exams of your institution of origin, Vandal suggested. They could help you get credits for a subject that, usually, would not be transferable.

5. Schedule the study

To approve university subjects, usually, require about 30-40 hours of study per week. To achieve this, you must organize! How can you achieve it? Create and follow a study schedule, concluded the specialist.

And you, what strategy do you have to graduate in time?

Iwona Walker

Iwona Walker is a passionate educator, dedicated to transforming the landscape of learning through innovation and creativity. With a background in educational psychology and a fervent belief in the power of technology to enhance education, Iwona has spent years exploring ways to make learning engaging, personalized, and accessible to all.

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