Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

The Tennessee Department of Education has raised standards and aligned graduation requirements to best prepare students for college and the workforce.

Following the implementation of the Tennessee Diploma Project in 2009, high school students must complete 22 credits to graduate. They also will be tested in core subject areas with End of Course exams, part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP. Their performance on these exams will factor into their semester grade for the course.

To receive a regular high school diploma, all students enrolled in a Tennessee public school during their eleventh (11th) grade year must take either the ACT or SAT. View the FAQ on the policy here.

Total Required Credits: 22

  • Math: 4 credits, including Algebra I, II, Geometry and a fourth higher level math course (Students must be enrolled in a mathematics course each school year.)
  • English: 4 credits
  • Science: 3 credits, including Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and a third lab course
  • Social Studies: 3 credits, including U.S. History and Geography, World History and Geography, U.S. Government and Civics, and Economics
  • Physical Education and Wellness: 1.5 credits
  • Personal Finance: 0.5 credits
  • Foreign Language: 2 credits in the same language
  • Fine Arts: 1 credit
  • Elective Focus: 3 credits consisting of Math and Science, Career and Technical Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, or Advanced Placement (AP)