Ohio High School Graduation & Credit Requirements

Find out what's required to graduate from high school in the state of Ohio. Learn about graduation requirements, credit requirements, the particular courses needed, and the special honors available. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Requirements Are There to Graduate from High School in Ohio?

Ohio's graduation requirements for students graduating in 2021 or later include at least 20 credits, although local districts are allowed to require more. These 20 credits include English, math, science, social studies, health and physical education, and electives. Students are also required to receive instruction in economics and financial literacy and fine arts. There are additionally three pathways to graduation, and students must achieve at least one of them. Several honors diplomas are available to high achieving students in a number of areas, including academics, arts, and career tech.

Ohio Minimum Graduation Requirements 20 credits required, along with one of three pathways fulfilled
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 Credit Requirements .5 credit of health, .5 credit of physical education, 5 elective credits; courses on economics and fine arts also required
Pathways to Graduation Must achieve 18 cumulative points on end-of-course exams, meet SAT/ACT requirements, or earn an industry credential
Honors Diplomas Academics honor diploma, International Baccalaureate honors diploma, career tech honors diploma, STEM honors diploma, arts honors diploma, and social science and civic engagement honors diploma

What English and Social Studies Credits Are Needed to Graduate from High School in Ohio?

Ohio requires that all students complete 4 credits of English, which are generally English I-IV. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and other advanced or honors versions may be available as substitutes for high performing students. 3 credits of social studies are required for all students, including half a credit of US history, half a credit of US government, and half a credit of world history and civilizations. The remaining 1.5 credits are up to student choice. English I, English II, US history, and US government all have end-of-course exams which students must take.

What Math and Science Credits Are Needed to Graduate from High School in Ohio?

All high school students in Ohio must complete 4 math credits to graduate, including algebra II or the course deemed equivalent. Students on a career-technical education (CTE) pathway may be able to have the algebra II requirement waived, although they will still need 4 math credits. Algebra I and geometry are considered prerequisites, and thus will also be required for most students. Science requirements are 3 credits, and must include 1 credit of physical science (such as physics or chemistry); 1 credit of life science (such as biology); and 1 credit of an advanced science, such as astronomy or geology, or upper-level courses of biology, chemistry, etc. End-of-course exams are required in algebra I and geometry (or their equivalents) and biology.

What Other Credits Are Needed to Graduate from High School in Ohio?

Students in Ohio must also obtain half a credit of health and half a credit of physical education. The physical education credit may be fulfilled by 2 years of participation in extracurricular sports, marching band, cheerleading, or Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs. 5 elective credits are also required; however, all students will need an economics and financial literacy course, and students planning to attend university need 2 credits of fine arts education, which are likely to be used as electives. Local school districts may require more than 20 credits, which could mean adding the aforementioned requirements as additional credits or new credit requirements altogether.

What Are the Three Pathways to High School Graduation in Ohio?

Ohio offers three pathways to graduation, with a student only needing to fulfill one of these areas to be considered qualified to graduate. One pathway is the end-of-course exams; students are graded on a scale from 1 to 5 for each exam they take and must obtain at least 18 points to graduate. The 18 points must also include at least 4 from English, 4 from math, and 6 points from science and social studies together. Another pathway is through the SAT or ACT, where acceptable scores can also meet the criteria. A score of at least 480 on the English and 530 on the math sections of the SAT will be required, while a score of 18 on English and 22 on math for the ACT will also suffice. The final pathway is career readiness, which can be demonstrated by obtaining an industry-recognized and Department of Education-approved credential. A satisfactory score on the WorkKeys career readiness exam is also required for this pathway.

What Honors Diplomas Are Available in the State of Ohio?

Students in Ohio have the option to pursue a number of different honors diplomas. These honors diplomas exist in the fields of academics, career tech, STEM, arts, and social science and civic engagement, as well as for completion of the IB program. To achieve an honors diploma, students must pursue slightly different credit requirements; for example, the academic honors diploma requires 4 science credits instead of 3, as well as 3 credits of foreign languages which are not required for the standard diploma. Other requirements beyond specific credits may also be needed, as with the STEM honors diploma, which requires field experience within the student's focus area, or the career tech honors diploma, which requires that an industry credential be earned. GPA requirements and particular scores on assessments such as SAT, ACT, WorkKeys, or others may also be exist.

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