High School Requirements

Your core courses will emphasize the fundamental subject areas of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science. Other courses available for you to take include World Language, Art, Music, Drafting, Physical Education/Health and ROTC. You will also have an opportunity to experience and explore a program of career development in preparation for the numerous career, education and training choices available to you. Please work with your high school counselor to ensure that all requirements are completed prior to graduation.


Credit Bearing Requirements

Students must earn a minimum of 24 credits as described below to earn a diploma from the Chicago Public Schools.

Subject Description Credits
English English I, English II, English III, English IV. 4
Mathematics Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry. (Students successfully completing Algebra and/or Geometry prior to entering high school will follow an appropriate three-year math sequence.) 3
Science Biology and 2 years of Laboratory Science, which must include Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science, or Physics. 3
Social Science World Studies, United States History, and one other Social Science course. 3
World Language Two years of the same world language. 2
Fine Arts One year of Music and one year of Art or Drafting. 2
Physical Education One year of Physical Education I/Health or ROTC I/Health and Physical Education II/Drivers Education or ROTC II/Drivers Education in 9th and 10th grades. 2
Career Education ROTC Advanced Academics CTE programs, advanced academic/fine arts options or ROTC III, ROTC IV. 2
Electives Selection of an additional three courses not already listed above. 3

Non-Credit Bearing Requirements

Subject Description
Service Learning Three approved classroom-integrated service-learning projects that amount to a minimum of forty hours. Twenty hours must be completed by the end of tenth grade.
Consumer Education Complete a course integrating consumer education curriculum.
Public Law 195 Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. and Illinois constitutions as part of subject-area curricula and/or Constitution test.
PSAE Public Act 93857 requires students to take the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) as a condition for receiving a regular high school diploma.

English Language Learners

If you are an English Language Learner (ELL), you will learn English through English as a Second Language (ESL) course offerings that are aligned to academic standards in the core courses. Please note that ESL I, II, III and Transitional English classes satisfy the four years of English required for graduation. Your English language proficiency level will determine your placement in the ESL sequence. If you are enrolled in a Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) program, you will also receive native language instruction in the other subject areas according to your English language proficiency level.


Special Education Students

If you are receiving special education services, your Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may specify any unique circumstances regarding grading, promotion, or graduation criteria. This decision is determined by your IEP team, inclusive of you, your parents, and your teachers.

More Information:
Please visit http://www.cps.edu/Pages/Gettingtothenextgrade.aspx for more information on graduation requirements.

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