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Credit Requirements


In July 2020, the Board of Regents approved a revision to the unit of study definition.  The revision expands the definition to include alternative instructional experiences.  Additional information can be referenced in the definitions of Part 100 of the Commissioner's Regulations (8 CRR-NY 100.1).

While there are multiple means of earning units of credit towards a diploma, typically students earn diploma credit through the mastery of the learning outcomes set forth in a locally developed syllabus for a given high school subject, after the student had the opportunity to complete a unit of study (180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year, or the equivalent).  The credit requirements in the table below apply to all diploma types:  local, Regents, and Regents with advanced designation. 

English language learners (ELLs) enrolled in Bilingual Education and English as a New Language programs must meet the following program requirements: 9-12 English as a New Language (ENL) Units of Study and Staffing Requirements and 9-12 Transitional Bilingual Education Program Requirements. For additional guidance, reference Units of Study Tables for English as a New Language (ENL) and Bilingual Education Programs.

  Minimum Number of Credits
English 4

Social Studies

Distributed as follows:

  • U.S. History (1 credit)
  • Global History and Geography (2 credits)
  • Participation in Government (1/2 credit)
  • Economics (1/2 credit)


Distributed as follows:

  • Life Science (1 credit)
  • Physical Science (1 credit)
  • Life Science or Physical Science (1 credit)
Mathematics 3
World Languages 1 *
Visual Art, Music, Dance, and/or Theater 1

Physical Education 

(participation each semester, 1/4 credit earned per semester)

Health 1/2
Electives 3 1/2
Total 22

* Students with a disability may be excused from the requirement for 1 unit of credit in World Languages if so indicated on their IEP, but they must still earn 22 units of credit to graduate.  Such students are also exempt from the sequence requirement for earning a Regents diploma with advanced designation.