Graduation Requirements

Elementary School Requirements

A. The Board shall establish a core curriculum for elementary schools, grades K-6.

B. Elementary school education core curriculum content area requirements:

  • Grades K-2:
    • a. Reading/Language Arts;
    • b. Mathematics;
    • c. Integrated Curriculum.
  • Grades 3-6:
    • a. Reading/Language Arts;
    • b. Mathematics;
    • c. Science;
    • d. Social Studies;
    • e. Arts:
      • i. Visual Arts;
      • ii. Music;
      • iii. Dance;
      • iv. Theatre.
  • f. Health Education;
  • g. Physical Education;
  • h. Educational Technology;
  • i. Library Media.

C. It is the responsibility of the local boards of education to provide access to the core curriculum to all students.

D. Student mastery of the general Core Curriculum is the responsibility of local boards of education.

E. Informal assessment should occur on a regular basis to ensure continual student progress.

F. Norm-referenced tests shall be given to all elementary students in grades 3 and 5.

G. Provision for remediation for all elementary students who do not achieve mastery is the responsibility of local boards of education.

Middle School Requirements

1. The Core Standards and a General Core for middle school students are described in this section.

2. A student in grades 7-8 is required to complete the courses described in Subsection (3) to be properly prepared for instruction in grades 9-12.

3. The following are the Grades 7-8 General Core Requirements:

  • a. Grade 7 Language Arts;
  • b. Grade 8 Language Arts;
  • c. Grade 7 Mathematics;
  • d. Grade 8 Mathematics;
  • e. Grade 7 Integrated Science;
  • f. Grade 8 Integrated Science;
  • g. United States History;
  • h. Utah History; and
  • i. at least one course in each of the following in grades 7 or 8:
    • A. Health Education;
    • B. College and Career Awareness;
    • C. Digital Literacy;
    • D. the Arts; and
    • E. Physical Education.

4. A Local Education Agency (LEA) shall use evidence-based best practices, technology, and other instructional media in middle school curricula to increase the relevance and quality of instruction.

5. An LEA shall use Board-approved summative adaptive assessments to assess student mastery of the following:

  • a. reading;
  • b. language arts;
  • c. mathematics; and
  • d. science.

High School Requirements

Current Courses Meeting the Criteria for Graduation Requirements

A. The Board shall establish Core Standards and a Core Curriculum for students in grades 9-12.

B. Students in grades 9-12 shall earn a minimum of 24 units of credit through course completion or through competency assessment consistent with Rule R277-705: Secondary School Completion and Diplomas to graduate.

C. Grades 9-12 Core Curriculum credits from courses approved by the Board, as specified:

  • English/Language Arts (4 Credits)
  • Mathematics (3 Credits):
    • Successful completion of Secondary Mathematics I, II, and III or higher.
    • Parents may request that students replace Secondary III with a course from the Applied or Advanced approved course list.
    • Students who successfully complete Calculus have met graduation requirements regardless of the number of credits they have taken.
  • Science (3 Credits):
    • 2 Credits (from the four science foundation areas; Earth Systems, Biological Science, Chemistry, AP Computer Science, or Physics).
    • 1 Credit (from the foundation courses or the applied or advanced science core list).
  • Social Studies (3 Credits):
    • 1 Credit (United States History)
    • 0.5 Credit (Geography)
    • 0.5 Credit (Civilization)
    • 0.5 Credit (United States Government and Citizenship)
    • 0.5 Credit (Local Education Agency (LEA) Discretion)
  • Directed Coursework (3.5 Credits):
    • 1.5 Credit (Fine Arts)
    • 1 Credit (Career and Technical Education (CTE))
    • 0.5 Credit (Digital Studies)
    • 0.5 General Financial Literacy
  • Physical Education Health (2 Credits):
    • 0.5 Credit (Health)
    • 0.5 Credit (Participation Skills)
    • 0.5 Credit (Fitness for Life)
    • 0.5 Credit (Individualized Lifetime Activities)
    • Optional: 1.0 Credit Maximum (Team Sport/Athletic Participation)
      • Can be used in place of Participation Skills or Individualized Lifetime Activities only.
  • Required Electives (5.5 Credits)
  • Total Credit Hours (24)

D. LEA boards may require students to earn credits for graduation that exceed minimum Board requirements.

E. Additional elective course offerings may be established and offered at the discretion of an LEA board.

F. Students with disabilities served by special education programs may have changes made to graduation requirements through the individuals Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to meet unique educational needs. A student's IEP shall document the nature and extent of modifications and substitutions or exemptions made to accommodate a student with disabilities.

G. The Board and Utah State Board of Education may review LEA boards' lists of approved courses for compliance with this rule.

H. Graduation requirements may be modified for individual students to achieve an appropriate route to student success when such modifications:

  • are consistent with the student's IEP or Student Education Occupation Plan (SEOP) or both;
  • are maintained in the student's file and include the parent's/guardian's signature; and
  • maintain the integrity and rigor expected for high school graduation, as determined by the Board.

I. Courses required for graduation can be retaken in accordance with the Utah Office of Administrative Rule R277-717: High School Course Grading Requirements.

Demonstrated Competency

Competency Measures Project

The Competency Measures Project was created in response to the Utah Office of Administrative Rule R277-705-3: Required Local Education Agency (LEA) Policy Explaining Student Credit, which requires districts to have policies and procedures to award credit based upon demonstrated competency. Districts in collaboration with the Utah State Board of Education curriculum section are currently developing competency measures to deploy in a consistent manner statewide to meet the credit awarding requirements of state law and Board rule.

Board Goal:

  • Promote competency and the achievement of high learning standards for each child while partnering with families, educators, and communities in various ways.

Anticipated Results:

  • The Curriculum and Instruction Committee will be provided with an update on the Competency Measures Project and the development of policies and procedures that are currently under way in connection with this project. Discussion will ensure related to the procedures to establish and implement a competency based assessment process for students to obtain high school credit.


  • Credit earned through Demonstrated Competency Assessments will be accepted by all public and charter schools as required by State Law but may not be accepted by some private schools. Students enrolled at private schools should speak with a school administrator before taking a Demonstrated Competency Assessment.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does not recognize courses completed through credit-by-exam; Demonstrated Competency Assessments cannot be used to meet NCAA eligibility.
  • Go to StepUp to Higher Education Regents' Scholarship to learn how competency exams may be used towards fulfilling the requirements for the scholarship.

Demonstrated Competency Assessments

Demonstrated Competency Policy


Testing Centers

Northern Utah Testing Center
Districts Served: All Districts North of Davis County
Phone: (801) 402-5385 | E-mail

Granite School District Testing Center
Districts Served: All Districts South of Davis County
Phone: (385) 646-6042 | E-mail

Stephanie Wood
Science Specialist, K-12
Credit Recovery Coordinator
Demonstrated Competency Coordinator
Granite School District
2500 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115-3110
Phone: (385) 646-4239 | E-mail


To obtain a Utah High School Diploma a student must successfully complete 24 academic year credits. Districts may add additional credit requirements.

A student may be awarded a certificate of completion or a differentiated diploma, consistent with state and federal law and the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan.

R277-700: The Elementary and Secondary School General Core | R277-705: Secondary School Completion and Diplomas
Utah Office of Administrative Rules

Helpful Resources

A tool designed for education and career planning.

Utah State Board of Education Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways


R277-700: The Elementary and Secondary School General Core
Utah State Board of Education Administrative Rules

R277-705: Secondary School Completion and Diplomas
Utah State Board of Education Administrative Rules

R277-717: High School Course Grading Requirements
Utah State Board of Education Administrative Rules

R277-717: High School Course Grading Requirements Frequently Asked Questions

Director's Team

Jennifer Throndsen
Director, Teaching and Learning
Phone: (801) 538-7739 | E-mail

Caren Johnson
Administrative Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7788 | E-mail