Merced County Office of Education

 
High School Graduation Requirements

​High School Graduation Requirements

 (MSCS POLICY 2026)

A diploma of graduation from high school shall be awarded to each student who has taken and passed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and has satisfactorily met the course work requirements for graduation.  These requirements are:

  1. Satisfactory completion (take and pass) of 220 semester credits in grades 9th through 12th.
  2. Satisfactory completion (take and pass) of the course requirements for their English Learner (EL) or Special Education program equivalent to the following sequence below:
REQUIRED SUBJECTSSEMESTER CREDIT
ENGLISH ​ ​40 CREDITS
​English I (9th)​10
​English II (10th)​10
​English III (11th)​10
​English IV (12th)​10
SOCIAL ​STUDIES35 CREDITS

​Geography (9th)​5
​World History (10th)​10
​U.S. History (11th)​10
​Economics (12th)​5
​American Government (12th)​5
MATHEMATICS20 CREDITS
​ ​ ​​Must complete 20 credits of mathematics during the 9th – 12th grades and must complete a course(s) that covers the standards of Algebra I during the 7th – 12th grades.  The Algebra portion of the requirement may be met either partially or fully by conclusion of the 8th grade.  Any Algebra course(s) taken during the 9th – 12th grades may be included in the 20 credits of mathematics required for graduation. ​
HEALTH (9th grade - State Requirements)5 CREDITS
SCIENCE
20 CREDITS
​(One course in Physical Science and one in Life Science required) ​ ​

FINE ARTS/FOREIGN LANGUAGE/CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) ​10 CREDITS
PHYSICAL EDUCATION (P.E.)
20 CREDITS
ELECTIVES
70 CREDITS
​​Some elective units may include mandatory courses assigned by the Principal or designee to remediate students who have not yet passed the California High School Exit Examination or who are failing to make adequate progress in the academic program. ​ ​ ​
​​Students must complete the COMPUTER LITERACY component as a graduation requirement.  Upon passing an equivalency test and completing all required assignments students can receive 5 credits. ​ ​ ​
TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION:220 CREDITS

 

 

 


Note:  Students who have not passed any section of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) will be required to attend a CAHSEE Support Class designed to help them pass the exam.

Special Note:  A Certificate of Completion, in lieu of a diploma, will be awarded to those students who do not pass the CAHSEE but do satisfactorily complete the 220 semester credits.

Participation in graduation ceremonies is a privilege and may be revoked at the discretion of the administration.

 


 

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