6:300-AP3 State Law Graduation Requirements

The School Code, 105 ILCS 5/27-22, amended by P.A. 101-464, eff. 1-1-20, and 105 ILCS 5/22-85 (final citation pending), added by P.A. 101-180, eff. 6-1-20, contains the following course requirements for a student in Illinois to receive a high school diploma. Other graduation requirements, including additional course requirements, if any, are contained in School Board policy 6:300, Graduation Requirements. For guidance in offering the coursework necessary to meet the State graduation requirements, see the Illinois State Board of Education, State Graduation Requirements, Guidance Document (2016), available at: www.isbe.net/Documents/grad_require.pdf.

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State Law Graduation Requirements

105 ILCS 5/27-22

Sec. 27-22. Required high school courses.

(a) – (d) are not listed because their dates have passed.

e.  As a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma, each pupil entering the 9th grade must, in addition to other course requirements, successfully complete all of the following courses:

  1. Four years of language arts.
  2. Two years of writing intensive courses, one of which must be English and the other of which may be English or any other subject. When applicable, writing-intensive courses may be counted towards the fulfillment of other graduation requirements.
  3. Three years of mathematics, one of which must be Algebra I and one of which must include geometry content, and one of which may be an Advanced Placement computer science course. A mathematics course that includes geometry content may be offered as an integrated, applied, interdisciplinary, or career and technical education course that prepares a student for a career readiness path.
  4. Two years of science.
  5. Two years of social studies, of which at least one year must be history of the United States or a combination of history of the United States and American government and, beginning with pupils entering the 9th grade in the 2016-2017 school year and each school year thereafter, at least one semester must be civics, which shall help young people acquire and learn to use the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will prepare them to be competent and responsible citizens throughout their lives. Course content shall focus on government institutions, the discussion of current and controversial issues, service learning, and simulations of the democratic process.
  6. One year chosen from (A) music, (B) art, (C) foreign language, which shall be deemed to include American Sign Language, or (D) vocational education.

f.  The State Board of Education shall develop and inform school districts of standards for writing-intensive coursework.

(f-5)   If a school district offers an Advanced Placement computer science course to high school students, then the school board must designate that course as equivalent to a high school mathematics course and must denote on the student’s transcript that the Advanced Placement computer science course qualifies as a mathematics-based, quantitative course for students in accordance with subdivision (3) of subsection (e) of this Section.

g.  This amendatory Act of 1983 does not apply to pupils entering the 9th grade in 1983-1984 school year and prior school years or to students with disabilities whose course of study is determined by an Individualized Education Program.

This amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly does not apply to pupils entering the 9th grade in the 2004-2005 school year or a prior school year or to students with disabilities whose course of study is determined by an Individualized Education Program.

h.  The provisions of this Section are subject to the provisions of Section 27-22.05 [substitutions for required courses].

105 ILCS 5/22-85

(final citation pending), added by P.A. 101-180, eff. 6-1-20

Sec. 22-85. Graduation requirements; Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

a.  Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, in addition to any other requirements under this Code, as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma from a public high school, the parent or guardian of each student or, if a student is at least 18 years of age or legally emancipated, the student must comply with either of the following:

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid with the United States Department of Education or, if applicable, an application for State financial aid.
  2. On a form created by the State Board of Education, file a waiver with the student’s school district indicating that the parent or guardian or, if applicable, the student understands what the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and application for State financial aid are and has chosen not to file an application under paragraph (1).

(b)   Each school district with a high school must require each high school student to comply with this Section and must provide to each high school student and, if applicable, his or her parent or guardian any support or assistance necessary to comply with this Section. A school district must award a high school diploma to a student who is unable to meet the requirements of subsection (a) due to extenuating circumstances, as determined by the school district, if (i) the student has met all other graduation requirements under this Code and (ii) the principal attests that the school district has made a good faith effort to assist the student or, if applicable, his or her parent or guardian in filing an application or a waiver under subsection (a).

(c)    The State Board of Education may adopt rules to implement this Section.

Date Adopted:  January 21, 2020