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 rigorous 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
  • Algebra II – 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 for 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 CPR training – A.C.A. § 6-16-143
  • Beginning with the entering ninth grade class of 2022-2023, a public high school student shall be required to earn one (1) unit of credit in an ADE-approved high school computer science course before the student graduates.  The one (1) unit required may be earned in grades eight through twelve (8-12).  There are nine courses that may be provided to students in Grades 8-12 without any additional approval from ADE. Additional information about these courses can be found in Commissioner's Memo COM-21-099.

For more information, please contact:

Rachel HornDirector 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) 682-4559