|Information Regarding Credits and Diplomas
from Nonpublic High Schools
Texas Education Agency (TEA) has received numerous calls regarding nonpublic high schools issuing credits and high school
diplomas to students for a fee. The information provided below is meant to advise the public of the TEA’s authority
in this area.
To earn a high school diploma and graduate from an accredited Texas public high school, at least two requirements must be met.
First, high school students attending an accredited public school in Texas must pursue one of the following diploma
programs: the Recommended High School Program, the Distinguished Achievement Program, or, with proper approval, the
Minimum High School Program. Second, students must pass all four sections of the exit level Texas Assessment of Knowledge
and Skills (TAKS) in order to receive a diploma and graduate from a Texas public high school. Local school districts
or open-enrollment charters may establish additional graduation requirements. Please contact your local school district
or open-enrollment charter for additional information regarding local graduation requirements.
To learn more about graduation requirements for public high school students please visit the TEA’s
website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=6103.
According to Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part 2, Chapter 74, Subchapter C, Rule §74.26 (a)(2), [a] school district
must ensure that the records or transcripts of an out-of-state or out-of-country transfer student (including foreign exchange
students) or a transfer student from a Texas nonpublic school are evaluated and that the student is placed in appropriate classes
promptly. The district may use a variety of methods to verify the content of courses for which a transfer
student has earned credit.
Additionally, the Texas School Directory, issued by the TEA, states that “[s]tudent credits earned in nonpublic schools accredited
by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) can be transferred to Texas public schools.”
Thus, a Texas public school may accept credits from a nonpublic school accredited by TEPSAC without any evaluation. If a
public school accepts such credits, it does so pursuant to its authority under Title 19 TAC §74.26. However, a public school
is not compelled by that section to accept credits from TEPSAC-accredited schools.
Credits earned at a nonpublic school that is not accredited by TEPSAC must be evaluated before a Texas public school may accept the credit.
A public school district or open-enrollment charter may use a variety of assessments or other techniques to determine whether to accept a
credit from an unaccredited nonpublic school and apply it toward Texas public high school graduation. If the evaluation determines that the
student has not mastered the state curriculum for a given subject, a public school district or open-enrollment charter may decline to accept the credit.
The TEA does not have jurisdiction over the curriculum, funding, governance structure, or high school diploma programs at nonpublic
schools in Texas. Additionally, the TEA does not accredit nor set standards for online diploma programs offered by nonpublic high schools.
To determine whether a given nonpublic high school diploma will be accepted by any post-secondary institution(s) in which a student intends to
enroll, please contact the institution(s) directly.
Complaints regarding the business practices of online diploma programs offered by nonpublic high schools may be filed with the
Texas Attorney General, Consumer Protection Office, at
This page last updated December 9, 2009.