Section I

Requirements & Options

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For students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2013-2014 through 2017-2018

Standard Diploma Course Requirements

​for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2013-2014 through 2017-2018​

Subject Area

Standard Credits

Verified Credits

Specifications

English

4

2

N/A

Mathematics

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall be at or above the level of Algebra and shall include at least two course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra and Geometry.

Laboratory Science

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least two different science disciplines: Earth Sciences, Biology , Chemistry , or Physics. 

Students who complete a career and technical [education] program sequence and pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification, competency credential, or license for (1) the student selected verified credit and (2) either a science or history or social science verified credit when the certification, license, or credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the Board of Education as an additional test to verify student achievement.

History & Social Sciences

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and one course in either World History or Geography or both. 

Students who complete a career and technical [education] program sequence and pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification, competency credential, or license for (1) the student selected verified credit and (2) either a science or history or social science verified credit when the certification, license, or credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the Board of Education as an additional test to verify student achievement.

Health & Physical Education

2

0

N/A

World Language, Fine Arts, or Career & Technical Education

2

0

N/A

Economics & Personal Finance

1

0

N/A

Electives

4

0

Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential electives. Sequential Electives:

  • Sequential electives may be in any discipline as long as the courses are not specifically required for graduation.
  • Courses used to satisfy the one unit of credit in a fine arts or career and technical education course may be used to partially satisfy this requirement.
  • An introductory course followed by another level of the same course of study may be used.
  • Sequential electives do not have to be taken in consecutive years.

CTE Industry Certification Test

0

N/A

Student Selected Test

1

N/A

TOTAL

22

6

Standard Credit

A standard credit is awarded for a course in which the student receives 140 clock hours of instruction and successfully completes the objectives of the course as
evidenced by a passing grade.

Verified Credit

A verified credit is awarded for a course in which the student earns a standard unit of credit and achieves a passing score on a corresponding end-of-course
Standards of Learning test or a substitute assessment approved by the Board of Education.
 
Regular education students who pass their classes but do not earn the required number of verified credits will be awarded a Certificate of Program Completion.
These students will be encouraged to continue to take the SOL tests needed so that they may receive a diploma. Students will not participate in graduation exercises
until a diploma is earned.

For students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2013-2014 through 2017-2018

Advanced Studies Diploma Course Requirements

​for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2013-2014 through 2017-2018​

Subject Area

Standard Credits

Verified Credits

Specifications

English

4

2

N/A

Mathematics

4

2

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least three different course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II.

Laboratory Science

4

2

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least three different science disciplines from among: Earth Sciences, Biology , Chemistry , or Physics or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

History & Social Sciences

4

2

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two courses in either World History or Geography or both.

Health & Physical Education

2

0

N/A

World Languages

3

0

The Advanced Studies Diploma contains a requirement for either three years of one world language or two years of two languages.

Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education

1

0

N/A

Economics & Personal Finance

1

0

N/A

Electives

3

0

N/A

Student Selected Test

0

1

A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career or technical education or other areas as prescribed by the Board in 8 V AC 20-131-110.

TOTAL

26

9

Standard Credit

A standard credit is awarded for a course in which the student receives 140 clock hours of instruction and successfully completes the objectives of the course as
evidenced by a passing grade.

Verified Credit

A verified credit is awarded for a course in which the student earns a standard unit of credit and achieves a passing score on a corresponding end-of-course
Standards of Learning test or a substitute assessment approved by the Board of Education.
 
Regular education students who pass their classes but do not earn the required number of verified credits will be awarded a Certificate of Program Completion.
These students will be encouraged to continue to take the SOL tests needed so that they may receive a diploma. Students will not participate in graduation exercises
until a diploma is earned.

Standard Diploma Course Requirements

for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2018-2019 and Beyond​

Subject Area

Standard Credits

Verified Credits

Specifications

English

4

2

Mathematics

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two different course selections from among: algebra I, geometry, algebra functions, and data analysis, algebra II, or other mathematics courses approved by the board to satisfy this requirement. Per the Standards of Quality, a computer science course credit earned by students may be considered a mathematics course credit.

Laboratory Science

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selection from at least two different science disciplines: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics, or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma and shall include interdisciplinary courses that incorporate Standards of Learning content from multiple academic areas. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement. Per the Standards of Quality, a computer science course credit earned by students may be considered a science course credit.

Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence and pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association, or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification, competency credential, or license for either a laboratory science or history and social science verified credit when the certification, license, or credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the board as an additional test to verify student achievement.

History & Social Sciences

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include Virginia andU.S. history, Virginia and U.S. government, and one course in either world history or geography or both. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence and pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency crede ntial from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association, or acquires a professional license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification, competency credential, or license for e ither a laboratory science or history and social science verified credit when the certification, license, or credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency assessment must be approved by the board as an additional test to verify student achievement.

Health & Physical Education

2

0

N/A

World Language, Fine Arts, or Career & Technical Education

2

0

Per the Standards of Quality, credits earned for this requirement shall include one credit in fine or performing arts or career and technical education. Per the Standards of Quality, a computer science course credit earned by students may be considered a career and technical course credit.

Economics & Personal Finance

1

0

N/A

Electives

4

0

Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential electives as required by the Standards of Quality.

TOTAL

22

5

Additional Requirements for Graduation

  • Advanced Placement, Honors, or International Baccalaureate Course or Career and Technical Education Credential – In accordance with the Standards of Quality, students shall either (i) complete an Advanced Placement, honors, or International Baccalaureate course, or (ii) earn a career and technical education credential approved by the board, except when a career and technical education credential in a particular subject area is not readily available or appropriate or does not adequately measure student competency, in which case the student shall receive satisfactorycompetency-based instruction in the subject area to satisfy the standard diploma requirements. The career and technical education credential, when required, could include the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness assessment.
  • Virtual Course – Students shall successfully complete one virtual course, which may be a non-credit-bearing course or a required or elective credit- bearing course that is offered online.
  • Training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED) – Students shall be trained in emergency first aid, CPR, and the use of AED, including hands-onpractice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students with an IEP or 504 Plan that documents that they cannot successfully complete this training shall be granted a waiver from this graduation requirement, as provided in 8VAC20-131-420 B.
  • Demonstration of the five Cs – Students shall acquire and demonstrate foundational skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship in accordance with the Profile of a Virginia Graduate approved by the board.

To graduate with a Standard Diploma for students who entered the ninth grade for the first time in 2011-2012 through 2017-2018, a student must earn at least 22 standard units of credit and six verified units of credit. Students earn standard credits by successfully completing required and elective courses. Students earn verified credits by successfully completing required courses and passing associated end-of-course SOL tests or other assessments approved by the state Board of Education. Please note: Your school counselor can tell you which courses are offered by your school to fulfill the requirements for a Standard Diploma.

Standard Diploma Course Requirements (8 VAC 20-131-51)

for Students Entering Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2011-2012 through 2017-2018

Subject Area

Standard Credits

Verified Credits

Specifications

English

4

2

N/A

Mathematics

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two different
course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra, Functions, and Data
Analysis, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II. The
board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement. Per the Standards of
Quality, a computer science course credit earned by students may be considered a
mathematics course credit.

Laboratory Science

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at
least two different science disciplines: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics,
or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International
Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.
Per the Standards of Quality, a computer science course credit earned by students
may be considered a science course credit.

Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence and
pass an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and
technical education field that confers certification or an occupational competency
credential from a recognized industry, or trade or professional association, or
acquire a professional license in a career and technical education field from the
Commonwealth of Virginia may substitute the certification, competency credential,
or license for (i) the student-selected verified credit and (ii) either a science or
history and social science verified credit when the certification, license, or credential
confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational competency
assessment must be approved by the board as an additional test to verify student
achievement.

History & Social Sciences

3

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include Virginia and U.S. history,
Virginia and U.S. government, and one course in either world history or geography or
both. The board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.

Students who complete a career and technical education program sequence and pass
an examination or occupational competency assessment in a career and technical
education field that confers certification or an occupational competency credential from
a recognized industry, or trade or professional association, or acquires a professional
license in a career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia
may substitute the certification, competency credential, or license for either a laboratory
science or history and social science verified credit when the certification, license, or
credential confers more than one verified credit. The examination or occupational
competency assessment must be approved by the board as an additional test to verify
student achievement.

Health & Physical Education

2

0

N/A

World Language, Fine Arts, or Career & Technical Education

2

0

Pursuant to § 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code of Virginia, credits earned for this
requirement shall include one credit in fine or performing arts or career and
technical education. Per the Standards of Quality, a computer science course
credit earned by students may be considered a career and technical education
course credit.

Economics & Personal Finance

1

0

N/A

Electives

4

0

Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential
electives as required by the Standards of Quality.

Student Selected Test

0

1

A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science,
technology, career and technical education, econom

Career and Technical Education Credentials

0

0

Students shall earn a career and technical education credential approved by the Board of Education, except when a career and technical education credential in a particular subject area is not readily available or appropriate or does not adequately measure student competency, in which case the student shall receive satisfactory competency-based instruction in the subject area to satisfy the standard diploma requirements. The career and technical education credential, when required, could include the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness assessment.

TOTAL

22

6

Additional Requirements for Graduation

  • For students entering the ninth-grade class for the first time in 2013-2014 and beyond: Students shall
    successfully complete one virtual course, which may be a noncredit-bearing course or a required or elective credit-bearing course that is offered online.
  • For students entering the ninth-grade class for the first time in2016-2017 and beyond: Students shall be trained in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan that documents that they cannot successfully complete this training shall be granted a waiver from this graduation requirement, as provided in 8VAC20-131-420 B.

Advanced Standard Diploma Course Requirements (8 VAC 20-131-51)

for Students Entering the Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2018-2019 and Beyond

Subject Area

Standard Credits

Verified Credits

Specifications

English

4

2

N/A

Mathematics

4

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least three different
course selections from among: algebra I, geometry, algebra II, or other
mathematics courses above the level of algebra II. The board shall approve
courses to satisfy this requirement.Per the Standards of Quality, a computer
science course credit earned by students may be considered a mathematics
course credit.

Laboratory Science

4

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from
at least three different science disciplines from among: earth sciences, biology,
chemistry, or physics or completion of the sequence of science courses required
for the International Baccalaureate Diploma and shall include interdisciplinary
courses that incorporate Standards of Learning content from multiple academic
areas. The board shall approve additional courses to satisfy this requirement. Per
the Standards of Quality, a computer science course credit earned by students
may be considered a science course credit.

History & Social Sciences

4

1

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include Virginia and U.S.
history, Virginia and U.S. government, and two courses in either world history or
geography or both. The board shall approve additional courses to satisfy this
requirement.

Health & Physical Education

2

World Language

3

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include three years of one
language or two years of two languages

Economics & Personal Finance

1

N/A

Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education

1

Per the Standards of Quality, a computer science course credit earned by
students may be considered a career and technical credit.

Electives

3

Courses to satisfy this requirement shall include at least two sequential electives. Sequential Electives:

  • Sequential electives may be in any discipline as long as the courses are not specifically required for graduation.
  • Courses used to satisfy the one unit of credit in a fine arts or career and technical education course may be used to partially satisfy this requirement.
  • An introductory course followed by another level of the same course of study may be used.
  • Sequential electives do not have to be taken in consecutive years.

TOTAL

26

5

Additional Requirements for Graduation

  • Advanced Placement, Honors, or International Baccalaureate Course or Career and Technical Education Credential – In accordance with the Standards of Quality, students shall either (i) complete an Advanced Placement, honors, or International Baccalaureate course or (ii) earn a career and technical education credential approved by the board, except when a career and technical education credential in a particular subject area is not readily available or appropriate or does not adequately measure student competency, in which case the student shall receive satisfactory competency-based instruction in the subject area to satisfy the advanced studies diploma requirements. The career and technical education credential, when required, could include the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness assessment.
  • Virtual Course – Students shall successfully complete one virtual course, which may be a non-credit-bearing course or a required or elective credit- bearing course that is offered online.
  • Training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED) – Students shall be trained in emergency first aid, CPR, and the use of AED, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students with an IEP or 504 Plan thatdocuments that they cannot successfully complete this training shall be granted a waiver from this graduation
    requirement, as provided in 8VAC20-131-420 B.
  • Demonstration of the five Cs – Students shall acquire and demonstrate foundational skills in critical thinking, creativethinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship in accordance with the Profile of a Virginia Graduate approved by the board.

To graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma for students entering the ninth grade for the first time in 2011- 2012 through 2017-2018, a student must earn at least 26 standard units of credit and at least nine verified units of credit. Students earn standard credits by successfully completing required and elective courses. Students earn verified credits by successfully completing required courses and passing associated end-of-course SOL tests or other assessments approved by the state Board of Education.

Please note: Your school counselor can tell you which courses are offered by your school to fulfill the
requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma

Advanced Standard Diploma Course Requirements (8 VAC 20-131-51)

for Students Entering the Ninth Grade for the First Time in 2011-2012 through 2017-2018

Subject Area

Standard Credits

Verified Credits

Specifications

English

4

2

N/A

Mathematics

4

2

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least three different
course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other
mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II. The board shall approve
courses to satisfy this requirement. Per the Standards of Quality, a computer
science course credit earned by students may be considered a mathematics
course credit.

Laboratory Science

4

2

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from
at least three different science disciplines from among: earth sciences, biology,
chemistry, or physics or completion of the sequence of science courses required
for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The board shall approve additional
courses to satisfy this requirement. Per the Standards of Quality, a computer
science course credit earned by students may be considered a science course
credit.

History & Social Sciences

4

2

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia
History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two courses in either world history or
geography or both. The board shall approve additional courses to satisfy this
requirement.

Health & Physical Education

2

0

N/A

World Language

3

0

Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include three years of one
language or two years of two languages.

Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education

1

0

Per the Standards of Quality, a computer science course credit earned by students
may be considered a career and technical education course credit.

Economics & Personal Finance

1

N/A

Electives

3

N/A

Student Selected Test

1

A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science,
technology, career or technical education, economics or other areas as prescribed
by the board in 8VAC20-131- 110.

TOTAL

26

9

Additional Requirements for Graduation

  • Virtual Learning – Students shall successfully complete one virtual course, which may be a noncreditbearing course, or may be a course required to earn this diploma that is offered online.

  • Training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED) – Beginning with first-time ninth-grade students in the 2016–2017 school year, students shall be trained in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of
    automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students with an IEP or 504 Plan that documents that they cannot successfully complete this training shall be granted a waiver from this graduation requirement, as provided
    in 8VAC20-131-420 B.

Graduation Requirements - State of Virginia Applied Studies Diploma

To receive an Applied Studies Diploma, a student must receive exceptional education services and meet the requirements specified in his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP). 

The Applied Studies Diploma is available to all students with an Individualized Education Program. The Code of Virginia (8VAC20-131-50D) states, “In accordance with the requirements of the Standards of Quality, students with disabilities who complete the requirements of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and do not meet the requirements for other diplomas shall be awarded Applied Studies Diplomas.” This diploma is available to all students with an IEP. Students with an IEP who pursue a Standard Diploma but do not meet the criteria are still eligible to earn the Applied Studies Diploma.

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