High School Graduation Requirements in Texas

Family Lawyer

In 2013, Texas 83rd Legislative session passed House Bill 5 (HB 5). HB 5 changed the graduation requirement for students entering 9th grade during the 2014-2015 school year or later. The student entering 9th grade are automatically enrolled into this graduation program.

Texas High School Graduation Requirements

The most recent high school graduation plan in the State of Texas was enacted by, House Bill 5. House Bill 5 is also known as the Foundation High School Program.

The Foundation High School Program contains up to four parts:

  • A 22-credit foundation plan which is the core of the Texas high school diploma program
  • Five endorsement options that allow students to focus on a related series of courses
  • A higher performance category called the Distinguished Level of Achievement
  • Performance Acknowledgement that note outstanding achievement in specific areas

Below is a thorough description of the requirements for each part of the Foundation High School Program.

The Foundation High School program includes (22credits):

  • English (4 credits): English l, English ll, English lll, and an advanced English course
  • Mathematics (3 credits): Algebra l, Geometry, and an advanced math course
  • Science (3 credits): Biology, Integrated Physics & Chemistry or an advanced science course, and an advanced science course
  • Social Studies (3 credits): World History or World Geography, U.S. History, U.S. government (one-half credit), and economics (one-half credit)
  • Languages other than English (2 credits): 2 Credits in the same language, or 2 Credits from Computer Science l, ll, lll
  • Physical Education (1 credit)
  • Fine Arts (1 credit)
  • Electives (5 credits)
  • Speech (.5 credits)

Five endorsement options (the student may choose to focus on one area):

  • STEM
  • Business and Industry
  • Public Service
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Multidisciplinary Studies

The Distinguished Level of Achievement requirements (this is an option available to students but is not required):

  • A total of 4 credits in math, including Algebra 2
  • A total of 4 credits in science
  • Successful completion of an endorsement in the area of interest

In total, the student will be graduating with 26 credits if the student decides to complete the Distinguished Level of Achievement.

Performance Acknowledgement (the student must complete one of the options below):

  • Have completed at least 12 dual credit hours with a grade of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Outstanding performance on an AP test or IB exam
  • Outstanding performance on the PSAT, the ACT-Plan, the SAT, or the ACT
  • Outstanding performance in bilingualism and biliteracy

In order, for a high school student to graduate, the student must also pass five end-of-course (EOC) assessments: Algebra l, English l, English ll, Biology, and U.S. History.

Senate Bill 30 also known as the Community Safety Education Act was passed by the 85th Texas Legislature which requires school districts and charter schools to provide instruction to students in grades 9-12 on proper interaction with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters. SB30 became effective August 27, 2018, to all entering 9th-grade students in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter.

Fun Fact: In the state of Texas if a student attends a public high school in Texas and graduates in the top 10 percent of their class, the student is eligible for automatic admission at any public university in Texas.

For more information visit https://tea.texas.gov/graduation.aspx and schedule a consultation with an Arlington family lawyer.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and Texas high school graduation requirements.