Science Graduation Requirement Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: October 2012
One of the Board’s strategic plan goals is to promote effective strategies to make Washington’s students nationally and internationally competitive in math and science. The Board provides system oversight for math and science achievement, and establishes state credit requirements for high school graduation.
The Board also sets the cut scores on the state science assessments to establish the level of proficiency students are expected to attain.
Washington requires students to complete two credits of science, including one credit of a laboratory science, in order to graduate from high school.
Forty-seven districts (19 percent of districts with high schools) required students to take three or more credits of science in 2011.
A 2008 transcript study of almost 15,000 2008 Washington graduates showed that 54.6 percent of the students took three credits of science, including two labs (almost 79 percent of the students took two credits of lab science).
The science research brief from the transcript study is available on our website.
SBE approved a new career and college ready graduation requirements framework that includes three credits of science, including two laboratory science credits. The legislature must authorize and fund any new requirements that have a fiscal impact on districts. Until the legislature acts, SBE will not adopt rules to implement the new requirement.
Washington requires students in the graduating class of 2015 to pass a statewide biology end-of-course assessment. A table of graduation requirements for the classes of 2012 to 2016, including required assessments, is available on our website.