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Graduation Requirements


Each board providing a program through grade 12 must adopt a policy establishing the requirements students must meet for high school graduation (Iowa Administrative Code 281-12.3(5)). This policy must provide for early graduation and must be consistent with the requirements of Iowa Code 280.14 and the requirements in the introductory paragraph of Iowa Administrative Code 281-12.5(5).

Rule Interpretation from the Chapter 12 Matrix

  • Each school or school district must require the following as part of its graduation requirements:
    • One-half unit of United States government,
    • One unit of American History, and
    • Student participation in physical education for one-eighth unit in each semester of enrollment in high school.
  • Iowa Code 256.7(26) states that beginning with the students in the 2010-2011 school year graduating class, the requirements for high school graduation for students in school districts and accredited nonpublic schools must include:
    • Four years of English and language arts,
    • Three years of mathematics,
    • Three years of science, and
    • Three years of social science.
    • Any additional graduation credits or units are locally determined.
  • Financial Literacy - 2019 Iowa Acts, SF 139 requires all students, beginning with the graduating class of 2021, to complete one-half unit of financial literacy as a high school graduation requirement.
  • Criteria established for early graduation are locally determined.

Computer Science Courses for Math Credit

School districts are encouraged to allow computer science courses that meet state computer science standards and include math content to count as math credits for students who have completed other courses covering the required state math standards. In addition, a computer science course may fulfill a math requirement for graduation if the course meets state academic standards in math (e.g., an integrated Algebra II/Computer Science course). Source: Iowa Computer Science Education Work Group Report, endorsed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Grades, Diplomas & Transcripts for Students with IEPs