Missouri High School Diploma Requirements

Find out what is required to receive a high school diploma in the state of Missouri. Learn about the credits required, exams that must be passed, and the special endorsements that you could earn.

What Are the Minimum Requirements to Graduate High School in Missouri?

The state of Missouri requires that students complete at least 24 credits in order to graduate from high school. These 24 credits can be broken down into 4 credits of English, 3 credits of math, 3 credits of science, 3 credits of social studies, 1 credit of fine arts, 1 credit of physical education, 1 credit of practical arts, half a credit each for health and personal finance, and 7 credits of electives. It is also strongly recommended that students planning to attend college take an additional credit of math and 2 credits of the same foreign language. Local school districts may have additional requirements.

It is also possible for students to earn special endorsements with their diploma, such as the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certificate for students preparing for a particular career while in high school, or the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy for students demonstrating a certain degree of fluency in two or more languages.

Missouri High School Diploma Requirements 24 credits
English and Social Studies Requirements 4 credits of English, must pass English II EOC exam. 3 credits of social studies, including 1 of US history and .5 of government, with its EOC. Must pass exams on US and MO constitutions and a civics exam
Math and Science Requirements 3 credits of math, must pass Algebra I or II EOC exam. 3 credits of science, must pass Biology I EOC exam.
Additional Requirements 1 credit of fine arts, 1 credit of physical education, 1 credit of practical arts, .5 credit of health, .5 credit of personal finance, 7 credits of electives
Available Endorsements Career and Technical Education Certificate, Missouri Seal of Biliteracy

What Are Missouri's English and Social Studies Requirements for High School Graduation?

Missouri requires that students obtain 4 credits of English, which must include English I and II, as the English II end-of-course exam is required to graduate. Other eligible courses for the 2 remaining credits include English III and IV as well as speech and debate courses, or even mass media courses if they're taught by an English teacher.

The social studies requirements are 3 credits. Courses must include 1 credit of US history and half a credit of government, which also has an end-of-course exam required. Additionally, all students in Missouri must take and pass exams on both the US constitution and the Missouri state constitution, which are likely to be administered after a course covering these documents. Students entering high school after 2017 are also required to take a civics exam similar to that given to immigrants applying for citizenship.

What Are Missouri's Math and Science Requirements for High School Graduation?

While students are only required to obtain 3 credits of math, they are strongly encouraged to take a fourth credit and maintain one math course each year. Algebra I must be among these, as the Algebra I end-of-course exam is required for graduation. Students who took Algebra I before reaching high school must instead take and pass Algebra II and its end-of-course exam.

For science, 3 credits are required. Biology I and its end-of-course exam must be among them. Students are encouraged to take chemistry and physics courses with lab work portions, although they may be free to choose otherwise. Computer science courses may be able to count as math or science credits, depending on the particular course.

What Are Missouri's Additional Requirements for High School Graduation?

Missouri also requires that students take at least 1 credit of fine arts, which can include visual arts, media arts, music, dance, or theater. Courses focusing on the critical analysis, appreciation, or theory behind these disciplines may also qualify for credit. Students must also earn 1 credit of practical arts, which is defined as a course that provides life skills or helps a student with their career goals. Additionally, 1 credit of physical education and a half credit of health are required, and other courses or extracurricular sports cannot fulfill them. Courses must include instruction on CPR and the Heimlich maneuver or other techniques to prevent choking. Additionally, students must take half a credit of personal finance, which may also count towards social studies, practical arts, or elective credits. The 7 remaining credits are electives, although students are encouraged to take 2 credits' worth of a single foreign language.

How Can a Student in Missouri Earn a Special Endorsement with A High School Diploma?

In Missouri, there are two primary special endorsements available for students graduating high school. The first is the CTE certificate, which requires that students take at least 3 credits in a single approved career program, maintain a 3.0 GPA in that concentration, pass a technical skills assessment or earn a recognized industry credential, complete at least 50 hours of work-based experience, maintain a 95% attendance rate across all of high school, demonstrate soft or business skills, and meet the state standard for any SAT, ACT, or other exams measuring preparedness.

The second available endorsement is the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy, which is granted to students who have superior ability in English, a language other than English, and social or cultural ability proven through approved programs. The Missouri Seal of Biliteracy may count for college credit at universities within the state.

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