ELA, Math, and Science Course Requirements Across States

Monday, October 19, 2015Printer-friendly version

Closing the Expectations Gap Cover.

Achieve considers states’ mathematics and ELA/literacy high school graduation requirements to be at the college and career-ready (CCR) level if students are expected to complete a course of study aligned with state's CCR standards. In states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), students will need to take at least three years of mathematics to reach the “CCR line” identified in the standards. The CCSS also presume that students will take four years of ELA/literacy (which is a nearly universal requirement in states) and that ELA/literacy courses will be aligned with the CCSS. States and districts will also need to integrate the literacy standards across all other disciplines including history/social studies, science and technical courses. See page 6 of the 2014 Closing the Expectations Gap report for additional details.

This file contains a list of states’ graduation requirements for each diploma (or course of study, endorsement or other classification the state offers) to students. This table details the number and specific names of the English language arts, mathematics, and science courses, as defined by the source linked to in Column L. Of course, readiness for college and careers depends on more than the mastery of ELA/literacy, mathematics content and skills and science, and states' full list of required courses and competencies can be found at the link provided in Column L (i.e., social studies, foreign language, physical education/health, fine arts, career and technical education, information technology, and other electives).

Local education agencies have the authority to, and often do, add additional graduation requirements to the minimum state requirements to earn a diploma. Too, in some cases, while the state does not specify courses, the state does require certain assessments of all students.

This online table will be live and dynamic; Achieve will make updates to it on an ongoing basis to reflect any graduation requirements policy changes that occur in states.