New York State Graduation Requirements

Each student must maintain a minimum of five courses plus physical education each semester.

Regents Diploma

Required Courses

  • English: 4 credits
  • Social Studies: 4 credits
  • Math: 3 credits
  • Science: 3 credits
  • LOTE: 1 credit
  • Art/Music: 1 credit
  • Health: 0.5 credit
  • Physical Education: 2 credits
  • Electives: 3.5 credits

Total: 22 credits

Required Regents Exams

  • English language Arts
  • Algebra I
  • Social Studies (1 exam)
  • Science (1 exam)
  • One Pathway Assessment

Must have a passing score of 65 and above.


Advanced Regents Diploma

Required Courses

  • English: 4 credits
  • Social Studies: 4 credits
  • Math: 3 credits
  • Science: 3 credits
  • LOTE: 3 credit
  • Art/Music: 1 credit
  • Health: 0.5 credit
  • Physical Education: 2 credits
  • Electives: 1.5 credits

Total: 22 credits

Required Regents Exams

  • English language Arts
  • Algebra I
  • Geometry and Algebra II
  • Global History and Geograohy
  • U.S. History and Government
  • Science (2 exams)

Must have a passing score of 65 and above. Additionally, a passing grade on a local LOTE exam after the third year of study is required.


Art/Music

All students must complete a minimum of 1 unit of credit in Art/Music. The following courses are acceptable:

  • 400 Studio in Art: Foundations: 1 unit
  • 403 Studio in Art: Art & Culture: 0.5 unit
  • 411 Design & Drawing for Production: 1 unit
  • 554 Fashion Design and Merchandising (with 558): 0.5 unit
  • 558 Interior Design Studio (with 554): 0.5 unit
  • 600/601 Studio Music/Music Theory II: 0.5 unit each
  • 610 Concert Band: 1 unit
  • 612 Wind Ensemble: 1 unit
  • 629 String Orchestra: 1 unit
  • 630 Concert Orchestra: 1 unit
  • 632 Symphony Orchestra: 1 unit
  • 634 Concert Choir: 0.5 unit
  • 635 Voice Class I: 0.5 unit
  • 639 Chorale: 1 unit
  • 7770 Theatre: 1 unit

Pathway Diploma Options

New York state has introduced new options to meet graduation requirements. The Regents exams that satisfy the testing requirements for a Regents and Advanced Regents Diploma still remain. The state has also designated alternative “pathways” to satisfy diploma requirements, generally through a variation in required exams.

The school counselor and student will develop a program to meet the graduation requirements. Parents who have any questions about graduation requirements are strongly encouraged to contact their child’s counselor.


Diploma Levels

  • Advanced Regents Diploma: 8 exams at 65+
  • Regents Diploma: 5 exams at 65+
  • Local Diploma
    • For students with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). See below for additional information.
    • For English as a New Language (ENL) learners who score 55-61 on the ELA exam and appeal. See below for the appeals process.
    • For any student who has passed 3 required Regents exams with a 65 or higher and 2 Regents exams with a score of 60-64 for which an appeal has  been granted.

Students earning 5 units in business, technology, music or art may be exempt from the requirement for 3 units in LOTE. Ask your school counselor for further information.

Students who have completed diploma requirements in fewer than eight semesters shall not be required to continue enrollment in high school for the sole purpose of completing the physical education requirement.

For students with disabilities, a minimum score of 55 on the five required examinations will be acceptable for local credit and a local diploma will be issued. A compensatory safety net option is available for students with disabilities with a score of 65 or higher on the ELA and math exams. They may score between 45-54 on one or more of the remaining three required exams. Students should consult with their school counselor for eligibility.


55-64 Passing Score and Compensatory Safety Net

The following students qualify for the 55-64 passing score and compensatory safety net:

  • Students with disabilities identified through a Committee on Special Education. Specific language regarding the availability of the safety net does not have to be indicated on the student’s individualized education program (IEP).
  • Students with disabilities identified through the Section 504 team if recommended and documented on the student’s 504 Accommodation Plan.
  • Students with disabilities declassified while in grades 8-12 if recommended and documented by the CSE on the student’s IEP.

Appeals Process

The Board of Regents has an appeals process for students who score 60-64 on a required Regents exam. An appeal may be initiated by a student, or by the student’s parent/guardian or teacher on his/her behalf, if the following criteria are met:

  • Has taken the Regents exam in question two times;
  • Has earned a score on the Regents exam under appeal within five points of the 65 passing score on that exam;
  • Presents evidence that the student has taken advantage of academic help provided by the school in the subject tested by the Regents exam under appeal;
  • Based on the student’s official transcript (prior year) or report card (current year), have a course average of 65 or better in the subject under appeal;
  • Be recommended for an exemption to the graduation requirement by the teacher or instructional teacher leader in the subject of the Regents exam under appeal.