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Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements, course options, recognition, and grading system



Courses Credits Options
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Advanced Honors / Honors
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Regular
Math 4

Must include Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, & Upper Math

Upper Math Options:

  • SAILS STATS (Students who score <19 ACT math)
  • STEM MATH (Pre-Cal, Calculus, or Dual Enrollment)


Science 3

Must inlcude Biology I, Chemistry or Physics, & another Lab Science 

Biology, Chemistry and Physics Options:

  • Biology I, Biology I Honors, Chemistry I, Chemistry I Honors, Phyics, Physics Honors
Social Studies 3

Must include W. History & Geography, U.S. History, Economics & Government

  • World History & Geography or World History & Geography Honors

  • U.S. History or U.S. History Honors  or U.S. History AP

  • Econ & Government  or Econ & Gov. Honors

Wellness & P.E. 1.5

Must include 1 credit Wellness and 0.5 credit P.E. 

P.E. Options: P.E., Team Sports, Marching Band, JROTC, Cheer, Dance, Athletics

Wellness options: Lifetime Wellness or JROTC II, & III

(Must take all three JROTC course to replace Wellness & P.E.)

Program of Study 3

Program of Study (Elective Focus) Categories:


  1. Complete 3 courses in the same Career & Technical (CTE) program area OR

  2. Earn 3 additional credits from science and math OR

  3. Earn 3 additional credits from humanities OR

  4. Earn 3 credits from fine art OR

  5. Earmn 3 additional AP credits OR

  6. Earn 3 credits in an area approved by the Anderson County Board of Education

World Language

Must include 2 credits of same world language. 

World Language requirements may be waived only for students who are certain they will not attend a 4-year university directly out of high school. These students and parents must sign an opt-out form. Please see your counselor for more details.

Fine Art Options: History of Rock, Visual Art, Band
Personal Finace 0.5 Online course offered through EverFi
Electives 6 Electives may be used to expand the Program of Study, complete additional Programs of Study, or take courses unrelated to a Program of Study.
Total to Graduate 28  



One Path (See Graduation Requirements Chart)

The Tennessee State Board of Education requires that all students complete 19 credits of core courses as well as a focused Program of Study preparing them for postsecondary study. While all students may not enter postsecondary training immediately following high school, they must be prepared for lifelong learning.




Graduation Stock ImageReady Graduate 

Ready Graduate is part of the Every Student Succeeds Act and the governor's Drive to 55 initiative.  It is also used as an accountability measure for high schools. By meeting at least one of the Ready Graduate indicators, students show that they are more likely to be successful in their transition to the workforce and/or postsecondary education.

To be considered ready graduates, students must meet at least one of the following:

  • Score of 21 or higher on ACT (or 1060 or higher on the SAT); or 

  • Complete 4 early postsecondary opportunities (EPSOs); or 

  • Complete 2 EPSOs and earn an industry certification; or 

  • Complete 2 EPSOs and earn a score of military readiness on ASVAB AFQT (31)

*These requirements are accurate as of the time of this publication.


Honorific Distinction (Beginning with the graduating class of 2022)

Per Anderson County Schools’ Policy, numerical class rank (Valedictorian/Salutatorian) will be replaced by the Latin honorific distinction established by Harvard University beginning with the graduating class of 2022.  We will use the terms “cum laude” (with honor), “magna cum laude” (with great honor), and “summa cum laude” (with highest honor).  To qualify for honorific distinction, students must meet all four ACT benchmarks, and have a weighted GPA that falls within the following GPA ranges:

Cum laude:  3.5-3.79

Magna cum laude:  3.8-3.99

Summa cum laude:  4.0 +


The national ACT test date in April will be the seniors’ final opportunity to reach ACT benchmarks in order to qualify for honorifics.  For honorific recognition, students’ GPA will be calculated based on the first seven semesters of high school.

Note:  The following is the State Department of Education directive for Recognition at Graduation.  The Anderson County Board of Education may add details to these requirements.

Students Will Be Recognized at Graduation as Follows:

  • Graduate with Distinction – Students will be recognized as graduating with “distinction” by attaining a B (3.0) average and completing at least one of the following:

  • Earn a nationally recognized industry certification

  • Participate in one of the Governor’s Schools

  • Participate in one of the state’s All State musical organizations

  • Be selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist

  • Attain a score of 31 or higher composite score on the ACT

  • Attain a score of 3 or higher on at least two AP exams

  • Earn 12 or more semester hours of transcripted postsecondary credit

  • Graduate with Honors – Students will be recognized as graduating with “honors” by scoring at or above ACT benchmark scores:   English 18, Math 22, Reading 22, and Science 23.


Grading System

Grading Scale Year 2021-2022 and Before:

A 93-100 4.0
B 85-92 3.0
C 75-84 2.0
D 70-74 1.0
F 0-69  


Grading Scale Year 2022-2023 and After:

A 90-100 4.0
B 80-89 3.0
C 70-79 2.0
D 60-69 1.0
F 0-59  



Per ACS board policy, student transcripts will include both a weighted GPA and a lottery GPA.  The lottery GPA follows the state’s Uniform Grading System, and is used to determine eligibility for state lottery scholarships.  It will be measured on a 4.0 scale, and includes internally added points that will be applied to the grades used to calculate the semester average for advanced coursework.  This process produces an internally weighted GPA, as allowed by the state Board of Education. The lottery GPA will be calculated using grades from all eight semesters of high school.

The weighted GPA will be calculated using quality points, which will be added to the numerical value corresponding to the letter grade the student receives for the course.  This process produces an externally weighted GPA that, while it may not be used for state lottery scholarship purposes, may be used for other scholarships as allowed by individual organizations and institutions.  The seventh semester weighted GPA will also be used as part of the qualification standards for honorific classification.

For more detailed information regarding Honorific Classification and the Anderson County Schools grading system, please refer to Anderson County School Board policies 4.602 (Honorific Classification) and 4.600 (Grading System).