Honors Diplomas

What are Honors Diplomas?

High school students can gain state recognition for exceeding Ohio’s graduation requirements through an honors diploma. Students challenge themselves by taking and succeeding at high-level coursework and in real-world experiences.

Ohio students have the opportunity to choose to pursue one of six honors diplomas:

  1. Academic Honors Diploma
  2. International Baccalaureate Honors Diploma
  3. Career Tech Honors Diploma
  4. STEM Honors Diploma
  5. Arts Honors Diploma*
  6. Social Science and Civic Engagement Honors Diploma 

*includes dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art.

What is new for students in classes of 2017-2020?

These students may choose to pursue the Academic, International Baccalaureate or Career Tech honors diploma under the previously established criteria or the revised criteria. They also may choose to pursue the STEM, Arts, or Social Science and Civic Engagement honors diploma.

What is new for students in classes of 2021 and beyond?

Students in the class of 2021 and beyond must meet the revised criteria to earn an honors diploma.

Communication to Students, Parents and JVSDs

Districts must communicate to parents and students about the option to earn an honors diploma and the criteria required for students to earn each one of the six honors diplomas. School districts cannot require students to apply for or declare their intent to earn an honors diploma.

Districts must also involve Joint Vocational School Districts (JVSDs) in the development of policies, guidelines and procedures for the honors diploma rule. At least annually, JVSDs also must update districts on the status of students enrolled at their schools with respect to the honors diplomas.

Effect on District Report Cards

The Prepared for Success component looks at how well districts are equipping Ohio’s students to take advantage of future opportunities. A district earns one point on the measure for every student who earns any of the following: an honors diploma, college entrance exam remediation-free scores, or 12 points through an industry-recognized credential or group of credentials. 

Issuing Honors Diplomas

The Ohio Department of Education does not provide materials for districts to recognize students who have attained an honors diploma. Local school district boards of education shall determine how to issue these students’ honors diplomas. The honors diploma shall bear the date of its issue and contain the signatures of the president and treasurer of the district board of education, the superintendent of schools and the principal of the high school.

Last Modified: 9/5/2017 9:00:49 AM