How to Get your High School Diploma in South Carolina

Learn how you can earn a high school diploma in the state of South Carolina. Find out about credit requirements, the specific courses needed, and the special honors available.

What Are the Requirements to Earn a High School Diploma in South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina requires that students attempting to earn a high school diploma obtain 24 credits before they are allowed to graduate. Included among these credits are English/language arts, math, science, social studies, computer science, physical education, career education or foreign language, and electives. Additionally, certain seals of distinction have become available to earn with a diploma, beginning with the incoming freshmen of 2018, as well as older academic awards which continue to exist.

South Carolina Diploma Requirements 24 credits required
English and Social Studies Requirements 4 credits of English, 3 credits of social studies
Math and Science Requirements 4 credits of math, 3 credits of science
Other Requirements 1 credit of physical education, 1 credit of computer science, 1 credit of career or foreign language, 7 credits of electives
Special Awards Available Academic honors award and seals of distinction for honors, college-ready, career, or specialization

What Are the English and Social Studies Credit Requirements to Graduate in South Carolina?

The graduation requirements for English/language arts include 4 credits which must consist of English I-IV or their deemed equivalents (referred to as 'Customized English I-IV'), or more advanced versions, such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or dual credit courses. The social studies credit requirements are a total of 3 credits, which includes 1 credit of US history and constitution, half a credit of economics, half a credit of government, and 1 credit left up to student choice from the available social studies courses. Both the US history and constitution course and the government course have a final exam which must be passed in order to graduate.

What Are the Math and Science Credit Requirements to Graduate in South Carolina?

South Carolina's graduation requirements for math include 4 credits. Although no particular math courses are required statewide, certain graduation pathways and local districts may have different requirements. Algebra I, geometry, and algebra II, for example, are required for the honors and college-ready diploma seals, with a fourth higher course up to student choice. Students are required to obtain 3 science credits, of which 1 credit must be biology. While the remaining two credits are up to student choice, 'lab sciences' such as physics and chemistry are strongly encouraged, and even required for the honors and college-ready seals.

What Are the Other Credit Requirements to Graduate in South Carolina?

In addition to core subjects, students in South Carolina are required to earn 1 credit of physical education, which can also be fulfilled through participation in a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program and often includes CPR training. 1 credit of computer science is required, although keyboarding and typing courses may count towards this requirement. 1 credit is reserved for a foreign language or career and technical education, depending on the student's post-graduation plans. Students planning to attend university are strongly encouraged to take a second course in the same foreign language. Students planning to enter the workforce after graduation are encouraged to take 4 credits of career and technical education, all within one of 16 clusters of courses relevant to careers in certain fields. 7 elective credits are available to use to meet these guidelines or to take any other courses the student chooses.

What Awards and Seals of Distinction Are Available to Earn with a Diploma in South Carolina?

The South Carolina Academic Honors Award is available to students who are otherwise eligible to graduate, have received a B grade or higher in all high school courses before their final semester, and score a 710 on the SAT verbal and 690 on the SAT math, or a 30 or higher on the ACT English and 33 or higher on the ACT mathematics section. Seals of distinction are available in several different areas, including honors, college-ready, career, or specialization. The requirements for each are extensive, but do have a core focus. The honors seal requires completion of a number of honors, AP, IB, or other advanced-level courses and a GPA of 3.5. The college-ready seal requires 2 foreign language credits, 1 fine arts credit, particular math and science courses as outlined above, and a GPA of 3.0. The career seal requires a 'major' of 4 credits of career and technical education in the same area, a GPA of 2.5, and an industry credential, career-readiness certificate awarded by the state, or a semester of experience. The specialized seal requires a GPA of 3.0 or higher and 4 courses in the subjects of military (JROTC), the arts, STEM, or a world language. Students may earn multiple seals with their diploma.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools