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Graduation Requirements

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If you are a student or family member of a student, see the Families and Students page. Students are assigned an expected graduation year at the time they enter ninth grade (WAC 180-51-035). They are held to the graduation requirements of that graduation year regardless of the year they actually complete high school.

Legislation passed in the 2019 session (HB 1599) established graduation pathway options. For more about state assessments check OSPI’s State Testing web page

Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements

The State Board’s vision is of an education system that prepares all students for college, career and life. In support of this vision, the Board has worked to create a high school diploma requirements that are both rigorous and flexible. In Washington, high school students must meet credit requirements, graduation pathway option requirements, and have a High School and Beyond Plan

Graduation Requirements Resources
Infographic detailing credit requirements

The State Board of Education sets state credit requirements and local districts may set additional requirements. The Legislature identified the graduation pathway options available for students, and the Board sets the scores on some of the test-based options. 

Graduation Requirements for Washington Students

The 24-credit framework was designed to be both rigorous and flexible. High school course work for most students will keep all postsecondary options open, including meeting the college admission requirements for entry into a public four-year institution or pursuing a program of study in a two -year institution or apprenticeship. The framework is flexible enough to accommodate a program of study leading to a professional or technical certificate or degree through a skills center or Career and Technical Education program.

Visuals illustrating the Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements compared to previous requirements.

Key elements of the framework that allow for flexibility include:

Infographic detailing changing credit requirements
  • 7 of the 24 credits are flexible credits; these include 4 elective credits and 3 Personalized Pathway Requirements that are chosen by students based on their interest and their High School and Beyond Plans.
  • 17 of the 24 credits are mandatory core credits, including 3 credits of science, 2 of which must be lab science.
  • 2 of the flexible credits may be waived locally for individual students based on ‘a student's circumstances,’ as defined by local district policy.

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