Complete Courses and Requirements

To earn a high school diploma in Ohio, you must complete the courses shown below and then choose a pathway to show that you are ready for college or a job. Your school counselor will give you more details.


Complete Courses

Take and earn a state minimum of 20 credits in specific subjects.

Courses State Minimum
 English language arts 4 credits
 Health ½ credit
 Mathematics 4 credits1
 Physical education ½ credit2
 Science 3 credits3
 Social studies 3 credits4
 Electives 5 credits5


Other Requirements

You also must receive instruction in economics and financial literacy6 and complete at least two semesters of fine arts6


Your district may require more than 20 credits to graduate.


Mathematics units must include one unit of algebra II or the equivalent of algebra II. Exceptions: a) Algebra II is not a requirement for students following a career-technical pathway. However, students still must have four units in mathematics, and b) A family may decide that their child is not prepared to meet the graduation requirement for a higher level math course. Or, their child may be planning a career that does not require higher level math. Algebra II may not be a requirement for this student. Here is more information on Curriculum Choices.

Physical education - School districts may adopt a policy that would exempt students who participate in interscholastic athletics, marching band or cheerleading for two full seasons or an approved Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program for two years from the physical education requirement. Students must take another course, which cannot be a physical education course, of at least 60 contact hours.

Science units must include one unit of physical sciences, one unit of life sciences and one unit of advanced study in one or more of the following sciences: chemistry, physics or other physical science; advanced biology or other life science; astronomy, physical geology or other earth or space science. Exception: A family may decide that their student is not prepared to meet the graduation requirement for a higher level science course. Or, their student may be planning a career that does not require higher level science. Higher level science may not be a requirement for this student. Here is more information on Curriculum Choices.

Social studies units must include ½ unit of American history and ½ unit of American government in three units required for the classes of 2018 and 2019. The class of 2021 will need ½ unit in world history and civilizations in their required three units as well as American history and American government.

Elective credits must include one or any combination of foreign language, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, agricultural education or English language arts, mathematics, science or social studies courses not otherwise required.

Other state requirements - All students must receive instruction in economics and financial literacy during grades 9-12 and must complete at least two semesters of fine arts taken any time in grades 7-12. Fine arts is not a requirement for students following a career-technical pathway.

Last Modified: 9/5/2017 8:57:47 AM