The State Board of Education intends for the third credit to be a rigorous, high school-level math course that will serve the student's education and career goals. Courses in which the majority of the math is at a K-8 level would not qualify for the third credit. Traditional math examples may include, but are not limited to: algebra 2, statistics, discrete math, linear algebra, mathematical modeling, or pre-calculus.

Students and educators should be aware that Algebra II, as well as a senior year math-based quantitative course, is a College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs), a requirement for admission to Washington public four-year baccalaureate institutions, as well as many other colleges and universities.

The content of the third credit of math may be chosen by the student based on the student's interest and their high school and beyond plan, with the agreement of the student's parent or guardian or agreement of the school counselor or principal. Rules adopted by the SBE, WAC 180-51-068 and WAC 180-51-210, clarify that the school must give precedence to the direction of the parents or guardian, if provided, and that request for agreement should be made in the predominant language of the parents or guardian to the extent feasible.

Non-math courses may count as a third credit of math or substitute for a third credit of math if the course is:

- A CTE course with a course equivalency in math.
- A computer science course, and the school counselor has provided written notification to the student and the student’s parents or guardians of the consequences of the substitution on postsecondary opportunities.
- A course that addresses high school level learning standards in math and is locally identified as meeting a math graduation requirement.
- A Bridge to College math course, or other course designed for students who did not pass the state assessment in math.

Note: a support class may count as an elective credit, but it cannot satisfy the third credit of math. A student may not repeat algebra 1, geometry, integrated math I or integrated math II and count the repeated course as the third credit of math.