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Graduation Excellence

On November 9, 2018, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released the 2017-2018 graduation rates for all public schools in DC, including DCPS. DCPS Interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander released the following statement:

“I am proud of the 2,273 graduates who met our standards of excellence, and thankful to the school leaders, staff, students and families for their hard work and commitment last school year and this summer. DCPS has:

  • Engaged our school communities to update our attendance, promotion, grading, and graduation policies;
  • Created a Family Guide and provided training at every high school to ensure our community can navigate those policies;
  • Focused on meeting the needs of each individual student by hosting resource fairs at every comprehensive high school;
  • Met with students and their families to discuss their path to graduation;
  • Increased communication and engagement with our stakeholders by creating the Office of Integrity and five new Advisory Boards for community members and parents;
  • Improved our systems for monitoring student data; and
  • Enhanced Summer School options so that every student has a chance to earn a high school diploma.

In our strategic plan, A Capital Commitment, DCPS made a commitment to equity and excellence, and we continue to strive toward our goal of increasing the number of students – especially students of color – who are college and career ready. We have more work to do and I remain focused on ensuring every DCPS student can reach their full potential and maintaining transparent and strong systems so that students, families, and the community are confident in the value of a DCPS diploma.”

Learn more about our 2017-2018 Graduation Rate[PDF] and our graduation excellence work to ensure every DCPS student is prepared for college, career and life.


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.