Subject Area

Specific Credit Requirements

English 4 credits
Fine Arts 1 credit Selected courses in art, dance, drama/theater, and music that satisfy the fine arts requirement are designated FA.
Health Education 0.5 credit
Mathematics 4 credits** 1 full-year (A/B) algebra credit and 1 geometry credit required. Students who successfully complete a calculus course may be exempted from this 4-credit requirement.

NEW STATE REQUIREMENT FOR STUDENTS GRADUATING IN 2018 AND LATER: Students graduating in 2018 and later must be enrolled in a math course each year in grades 9 through 12. This may result in students earning more than 4 credits in math for graduation.
Physical Education 1 credit**
Science 3 credits 1 biology credit, designated BC, and 1 physical science credit, designated PC, must be included.
Social Studies 3 credits 1 U.S. History credit, 1 World History credit, and 1 National, State, and Local Government credit required.
Technology Education 1 credit Courses satisfying this requirement are designated TE.
Electives: The additional credits required for graduation may be fulfilled by one of the following three options
2 credits
in a foreign language
OR 2 credits in american sign language
AND 2.5 credits in elective courses
2 credits
in advanced technology education,
AT AND 2.5 credits in elective courses
4 credits
in a state-approved career and technology program AND
0.5 credit in electives courses
Student Service Learning (SSL) 75 service-learning hours
  Assessment Requirements
HSA and/or PARCC Assessments in:
  • Algebra 1
  • English 10
  • Biology
  • National, State, & Local Government
Students expecting to graduate this school year (June or August 2015) must continue to meet their HSA graduation requirements (pass all HSAs; receive a combined passing score, or complete Bridge Plan projects).

Students enrolled in Algebra 1 and English 10 in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years will take the PARCC assessments corresponding to those courses, but they will not be required to pass the PARCC assessments in order to graduate.

Students enrolled in Algebra 1 and English 10 in the 2016-2017 school year and beyond will be required to pass the PARCC assessments in those courses, or complete Bridge Plan projects in order to graduate.

The Government and Biology HSAs remain in effect. Students graduating in 2015 and beyond must meet the Maryland High School Assessment requirements for those subjects or complete Bridge Plan projects.

Additional information regarding the revised graduation requirements is expected from the Maryland State Department of Education in the Spring of 2015. Updated information will be posted on the MCPS website as it becomes available.

Promotion Regulation
MCPS Regulation JEB-RA, Placement, Promotion, Acceleration, and Retention of Students,, requires that high school students earn five credits each year in order to be promoted, including specific required credits in English, mathematics, science, and social studies as indicated in the chart below.

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Total Credits Needed for Promotion to Next Grade

Total Credits in Required Courses




Social Studies

Other Courses - See Options Required for Graduation

Grade 9 5 1 1 0 0 3
Grade 10 10 2 2 1 1 4
Grade 11 15 3 3 2 2 5

** MCPS requirements that extend state requirements are designated by double asterisk.