Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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A Division of the Arkansas Department of Education

Arkansas Graduation Requirements

Students graduating from an Arkansas Public School or Public Charter School must meet or exceed the following state minimum 22 graduation credit requirements as adopted by the Arkansas State Board of Education. Smart Core is the set of course requirements for all Arkansas public high school students. Because we know how important it is to graduate all students ready to succeed in college and career — the Arkansas Department of Education has created a Graduation Requirement and Course Requirement Handout in addition to Smart Core consent and waiver forms. They are available via the links on the right side of this page. Schools should use these forms to help explain to students and parents the importance of completing the Smart Core curriculum and also to provide appropriate information regarding potential negative consequences of waiving a student’s participation in Smart Core.

Graduation Course Credit Requirements

English Language Arts - 4 credits 
  • English 9 
  • English 10 
  • English 11 
  • English 12 
Mathematics - 4 credits 
  • Algebra I  – 1 credit
  • Geometry  – 1 credit
  • ADE Approved Mathematics – 1 credit
  • ADE Approved Mathematics or Computer Science Flex – 1 credit*

*Algebra II and a math beyond Algebra II or Computer Science Flex Credit are required if Smart Core. Algebra II and/or fourth math may be replaced by another approved course if Smart Core is waived.

Science - 3 credits 
  • ADE approved biology – 1 credit
  • ADE approved physical science – 1 credit
  • ADE approved third science or Computer Science Flex – 1 credit
Social Studies - 3 credits 
  • US History – 1 credit
  • World History – 1 credit
  • Civics – ½ credit 
  • Economics and Personal Finance – ½ credit 
Oral Communication – ½ credit 
Physical Education – ½ credit 
Health & Safety – ½ credit 
Fine Arts – ½ credit 
Career Focus or Additional Content – 6 credits 


Additional Graduation Requirements

  • Students must complete a digital course for credit – A.C.A. § 6-16-1406
  • Students must earn a credit in a course that includes personal & family finance in grades 9-12 – A.C.A. § 6-16-135
  • Students must pass the Arkansas Civics’ Exam – A.C.A. § 6-16-149
  • Students must complete hands-on CPR training – A.C.A. § 6-16-143

For more information, please contact:

Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 301-B
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Phone: (501) 682-4558


State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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