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Graduation Excellence

Compiled from District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) 5-A DCMR § 2203 (as of April 8, 2016)

Academic Graduation Requirements for DCPS 24.0 Diploma

To receive a diploma in DC, students who enroll in 9th grade for the first time in School Year 2007-2008 and thereafter must earn 24.0 credits (or Carnegie Units) as follows: 


Credits (Carnegie Units)

English 4.0 credits
Mathematics (including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II) 4.0 credits
Science (must include three lab sciences) 4.0 credits
Social Studies (must include World History 1 and 2, United States History; United States Government, and District of Columbia History) 4.0 credits
World Language 2.0  credits
Art 0.5 credits
Music 0.5 credits
Health and Physical Education 1.5 credits
Electives 3.5 credits


24.0 credits

  • For all students entering the ninth (9th) grade beginning school year 2009-2010, one (1) of the three (3) lab science units shall be a course in Biology.
  • At least two (2) of the twenty four (24) Carnegie Units for graduation must include a College Level or Career Preparatory  (CLCP) course approved by the student’s local education agency (LEA) and successfully completed by the student. The course may fulfill subject matter or elective unit requirements as deemed appropriate by the LEA. CLCP courses approved by the LEA may include courses at other institutions.
  • All students must enroll in Algebra I no later than tenth (10th) grade commencing with the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Students qualifying for the evening program high school diploma are not required to take the 1.5 credits in Health and Physical Education.
  • All students must complete 100 hours of community service to receive a high school diploma.


Community Service Requirements

The Community Service Page has more information on community service requirements for graduation.

Please email questions to Academic Planning & Support at [email protected].


DCPS Graduation, Promotion, Secondary Grading and Attendance Policies

For more information, please review DCPS’ Pre-K to Graduation Policies.