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Earning Credit

While specific course offerings are determined by each school or district, the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education afford New York State schools multiple options for awarding diploma credit to students. Currently, students can earn diploma credit in the following ways:

  • Successful Completion of a Unit of Study
    • Students receive at least 180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year (i.e., 108 hours of instruction for a full year course), or the equivalent*, and demonstrate their mastery of the learning outcomes in the course (8 CRR-NY §100.1[a], [b]). This option allows credit to be awarded after receiving instruction from certified teachers that is designed to facilitate the achievement of the State’s learning standards.
      • * Equivalent shall mean at least 180 minutes of instructional time per week for instruction delivered in a traditional face to face model or through alternative instructional experiences, including but not limited to through digital technology or blended learning, that represents standards-based learning under the guidance and direction of an appropriately certified teacher. Instructional experiences shall include, but not be limited to: meaningful and frequent interaction with an appropriately certified teacher; academic and other supports designed to meet the needs of the individual student and instructional content that reflects consistent academic expectations as in-person instruction. Any alternative instructional experience must include meaningful feedback on-student assignments and methods of tracking student engagement.
  • Credit by Examination
    • Students may earn a maximum of 6 ½ units of credit by passing a Regents Examination with a score of 85 percent or higher and passing an oral examination or completing a special project (8 CRR-NY §100.1[b][2] and §100.5[d][1]). This option is available for those students whom the Superintendent or chief administrative officer determines will benefit academically by exercising this option. 
  • Grade 8 Acceleration
    • Public school grade eight students may be awarded credit for successful completion of high school courses and passing related examinations if certain conditions are satisfied. Grade eight acceleration for diploma credit is offered to students who demonstrate readiness as determined by the superintendent or their designee (8 CRR-NY §100.4[d]).
    • Guidance on Grade 8 Acceleration for Diploma Credit
  • Independent Study
    • Students may earn a maximum of 3 units of elective credit through independent study (8 CRR-NY §100.5[d][9]). Participation in independent study is approved by a school-based panel based on specific criteria.
  • Making Up Incomplete or Failed Course Credit
    • Students can earn credit for incomplete or failed coursework via make-up programs (8 CRR-NY §100.5[d][8]). To receive credit, the student shall successfully complete a make-up credit program and demonstrate mastery of the learning outcomes for the subject, including passing the Regents examination in the subject or other assessment if required for earning a diploma.
  • Online and Blended Courses
    • Students may earn credit through online and blended learning (8 CRR-NY §100.5[d][10]). To receive credit, the student shall successfully complete an online or blended course and demonstrate mastery of the learning outcomes for the subject, including passing the Regents examination in the subject and/or other assessment in the subject if required for earning a diploma.
  • Participation in Performance Groups
    • Students may obtain the unit of credit in visual arts and/or music, dance, or theater by participating in certain specific performance groups or advanced activities (8 CRR-NY §100.5[d][2]).
  • Summer School
  • Transfer Credit
    • Transfer students may be awarded units of credit for work done outside the registered New York State high school in which the student is enrolling (8 CRR-NY §100.5[d][5]). Principals and other relevant faculty must review a student's records and award transfer credit if certain criteria are met.
    • Transfer Students webpage

For more information on these and other requirements, please reference the relevant portions of the Part 100 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. For further questions related to earning diploma credit, email or call (518) 474-5922.