Chapter 74. Curriculum Requirements
Subchapter B. Graduation Requirements


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter B issued under the Texas Education Code,
7.102, 28.002, 28.023, 28.025, 28.054, and 38.003, unless otherwise noted.


74.11. High School Graduation Requirements.

(a)  Graduates of each high school are awarded the same type of diploma. The academic achievement record (transcript), rather than the diploma, records individual accomplishments, achievements, and courses completed and displays appropriate graduation seals.

(b)  All credit for graduation must be earned no later than Grade 12.

(c)  To receive a high school diploma, a student entering Grade 9 in the 1998-1999, 1999-2000, or 2000-2001 school years must complete the requirements of the minimum high school program, as specified in subsection (d) of this section; the recommended high school program, as specified in 74.12 of this title (relating to Recommended High School Program); or the distinguished achievement program, as specified in 74.13 of this title (relating to Distinguished Achievement Program -- Advanced High School Program); as well as the testing requirements for graduation, as specified in Chapter 101 of this title (relating to Assessment).

(d)  A student must earn at least 22 credits to complete a minimum high school program. Credit may be awarded without prior instruction under Texas Education Code, 28.023 (Credit by Examination). College Board advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses may be substituted for requirements in appropriate areas. A student must demonstrate proficiency in the following.

(1)  English language arts--four credits. The credits must consist of:

(A)  English I, II, and III (English I for Speakers of Other Languages and English II for Speakers of Other Languages may be substituted for English I and II only for immigrant students with limited English proficiency); and

(B)  a fourth credit of English, which may be satisfied by English IV, Research/Technical Writing, Creative/Imaginative Writing, Practical Writing Skills, Literary Genres, Business Communication, Journalism, or concurrent enrollment in a college English course.

(2)  Mathematics--three credits to include Algebra I.

(3)  Science--two credits to include at least one credit from Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. The second credit may be selected from any science course approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE).

(4)  Social studies--two and one-half credits. The credits must consist of World History Studies (one credit) or World Geography Studies (one credit), United States History Studies Since Reconstruction (one credit), and United States Government (one-half credit).

(5)  Academic elective--one credit. The credit must be selected from World History Studies, World Geography Studies, or any course approved by the SBOE for science credit as found in Chapter 112 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science).

(6)  Economics, with emphasis on the free enterprise system and its benefits--one-half credit. The credit must consist of Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits.

(7)  Physical education--one and one-half credits to include one-half credit in Foundations of Personal Fitness.

(A)  The school district board of trustees may allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for the one and one-half required credits of physical education, including the one-half credit of Foundations of Personal Fitness. The substitutions must be based on the physical activity involved in drill team, marching band, and cheerleading during the fall semester; Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC); athletics; Dance I-IV; and two- or three-credit career and technology work-based training courses.

(B)  A student may not earn more than two credits in physical education toward state graduation requirements.

(C)  In accordance with local district policy, a school district may award up to two credits for physical education for appropriate private or commercially-sponsored physical activity programs conducted on or off campus. The district must apply to the commissioner of education for approval of such programs, which may be substituted for state graduation credit in physical education. Such approval may be granted under the following conditions.

(i)  Olympic-level participation and/or competition includes a minimum of 15 hours per week of highly intensive, professional, supervised training. The training facility, instructors, and the activities involved in the program must be certified by the superintendent to be of exceptional quality. Students qualifying and participating at this level may be dismissed from school one hour per day. Students dismissed may not miss any class other than physical education.

(ii)  Private or commercially-sponsored physical activities include those certified by the superintendent to be of high quality and well supervised by appropriately trained instructors. Student participation of at least five hours per week must be required. Students certified to participate at this level may not be dismissed from any part of the regular school day.

(8)  Health education--one-half credit of Health 1 or Advanced Health, or Health Science Technology--one credit.

(9)  Speech--one-half credit, which may be satisfied by Communication Applications, Speech Communication, Public Speaking, Debate, or Oral Interpretation.

(10)  Technology applications--one credit, which may be satisfied by:

(A)  the following courses in Chapter 126 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications): Computer Science I, Computer Science II, Desktop Publishing, Digital Graphics/Animation, Multimedia, Video Technology, Web Mastering, or Independent Study in Technology Applications;

(B)  the following courses in Chapter 120 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Business Education): Business Computer Information Systems I or II, Business Computer Programming, Telecommunications and Networking, or Business Image Management and Multimedia; or

(C)  the following courses in Chapter 123 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Education/Industrial Technology Education): Computer Applications, Technology Systems (modular computer laboratory-based), Communication Graphics (modular computer laboratory-based), or Computer Multimedia and Animation Technology.

(11)  Electives--five and one-half credits. The credits must be selected from:

(A)  the list of courses approved by the SBOE for Grades 9-12 as specified in 74.1 of this title (relating to Essential Knowledge and Skills);

(B)  Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) (one to four credits); or

(C)  Driver Education (one-half credit).

(e)  A maximum of three credits of reading may be offered by districts for state graduation elective credit for identified students under the following conditions. The school district board of trustees shall adopt policies to identify students in need of additional reading instruction, and district procedures shall include assessment of individual student needs, ongoing evaluation of each student's progress, and monitoring of instructional activities to ensure that student needs are addressed. Reading credits may be selected from Reading I, II, or III.

(f)  An out-of-state or out-of-country transfer student (including foreign exchange students) or a transfer student from a Texas nonpublic school is eligible to receive a Texas diploma but must complete all requirements of this section to satisfy state graduation requirements. Any course credit required in this section that is not completed by the student before he or she enrolls in a Texas school district may be satisfied through the provisions of 74.23 of this title (relating to Correspondence Courses) and 74.24 of this title (relating to Credit by Examination) or by completing the course or courses according to the provisions of 74.26 of this title (relating to the Award of Credit).

(g)  The requirements for high school graduation for students who enrolled in a high school program during or before the 1997-1998 school year shall remain in effect as adopted by the State Board of Education.

(h)  Students entering Grade 9 in the 2001-2002 school year and thereafter must complete requirements in Chapter 74, Subchapter D, of this title (relating to Curriculum Requirements).

Source: The provisions of this 74.11 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4311; amended to be effective October 13, 1997, 22 TexReg 10129; amended to be effective September 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 5675; amended to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691.


74.12. Recommended High School Program.

(a)  General requirements. A student entering Grade 9 in the 1998-1999, 1999-2000, or 2000-2001 school years who wishes to complete the recommended high school program and have the accomplishment recognized on the academic achievement record must complete the following requirements.

(b)  Academic core components. College Board advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses may be substituted for requirements in appropriate areas. Credit may be awarded without prior instruction under Texas Education Code, 28.023 (Credit by Examination). The student must demonstrate proficiency in the following.

(1)  English--four credits. The credits must consist of English I, English II, English III, and English IV (English I for Speakers of Other Languages and English II for Speakers of Other Languages may be substituted for English I and II only for immigrant students with limited English proficiency).

(2)  Mathematics--three credits. The credits must consist of Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.

(3)  Science--three credits. Students may choose three credits from the following four areas. Not more than one credit may be chosen from each of the four areas. All students who wish to complete the recommended high school program are encouraged to take Biology, Chemistry, and Physics to fulfill the requirements of this section.

(A)  Integrated Physics and Chemistry;

(B)  Biology, AP Biology, or IB Biology;

(C)  Chemistry, AP Chemistry, or IB Chemistry; and

(D)  Physics, Principles of Technology I, AP Physics, or IB Physics.

(4)  Social studies--three and one-half credits. The credits must consist of World History Studies (one credit), World Geography Studies (one credit), United States History Studies Since Reconstruction (one credit), and United States Government (one-half credit).

(5)  Economics, with emphasis on the free enterprise system and its benefits--one-half credit. The credit must consist of Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits.

(6)  Languages other than English--two credits. The credits must consist of Level I and Level II in the same language.

(7)  Health education--one-half credit of Health 1 or Advanced Health, or Health Science Technology--one credit.

(8)  Fine arts--one credit, which may be satisfied by any course in Chapter 117, Subchapter C, of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Fine Arts).

(9)  Physical education--one and one-half credits to include one-half credit in Foundations of Personal Fitness.

(A)  A school district board of trustees may allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for the one and one-half required credits of physical education, including the one-half credit of Foundations of Personal Fitness. The substitutions must be based on the physical activity involved in drill team, marching band, and cheerleading during the fall semester; Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC); athletics; Dance I-IV; and two- or three-credit career and technology work-based training courses.

(B)  In accordance with local district policy, a school district may also apply to the commissioner of education for a waiver to allow credit for appropriate private or commercially-sponsored physical activity programs conducted on or off campus. Such approval may be granted under the following conditions.

(i)  Olympic-level participation and/or competition includes a minimum of 15 hours per week of highly intensive, professional, supervised training. The training facility, instructors, and the activities involved in the program must be certified by the superintendent to be of exceptional quality. Students qualifying and participating at this level may be dismissed from school one hour per day. Students dismissed may not miss any class other than physical education.

(ii)  Private or commercially-sponsored physical activities include those certified by the superintendent to be of high quality and well supervised by appropriately trained instructors. Student participation of at least five hours per week must be required. Students certified to participate at this level may not be dismissed from any part of the regular school day.

(10)  Technology applications--one credit, which may be satisfied by:

(A)  the following courses in Chapter 126 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications): Computer Science I, Computer Science II, Desktop Publishing, Digital Graphics/Animation, Multimedia, Video Technology, Web Mastering, or Independent Study in Technology Applications;

(B)  the following courses in Chapter 120 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Business Education): Business Computer Information Systems I or II, Business Computer Programming, Telecommunications and Networking, or Business Image Management and Multimedia; or

(C)  the following courses in Chapter 123 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Education/Industrial Technology Education): Computer Applications, Technology Systems (modular computer laboratory-based), Communication Graphics (modular computer laboratory-based), or Computer Multimedia and Animation Technology.

(11)  Speech--one-half credit, which may be satisfied by Communication Applications, Speech Communication, Public Speaking, Debate, or Oral Interpretation.

(c)  Additional components. All students who wish to complete the recommended high school program are encouraged to study each of the foundation curriculum areas (English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies) every year in high school as provided in Option I. Options II and III are provided for students who want to focus on a particular career exploration or the development of an academic interest or artistic talent. College Board advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses may be substituted for requirements in appropriate areas. The student must choose one of the following options for additional components. Credit may be awarded without prior instruction under Texas Education Code, 28.023 (Credit by Examination), or 39.023(i) (end-of-course tests).

(1)  Option I: mathematics, science, elective. The student must demonstrate proficiency in the following.

(A)  Mathematics--one credit. The credit must consist of Precalculus.

(B)  Science--one credit. Students may select any Science course including Integrated Physics and Chemistry; Biology; Environmental Systems; Chemistry; Aquatic Science; Physics; Astronomy; Geology, Meteorology, and Oceanography; AP Biology; AP Chemistry; AP Physics; AP Environmental Science; IB Biology; IB Chemistry; IB Physics; IB Environmental Systems; Scientific Research and Design; Anatomy and Physiology of Human Systems; Medical Microbiology; Pathophysiology; Principles of Technology I; and Principles of Technology II.

(C)  Elective--one and one-half credits.

(2)  Option II: career and technology. The student must demonstrate proficiency equivalent to three and one-half credits in a coherent sequence of courses for career and technology preparation, as defined by the local school district. To be included in the recommended high school program, a technology preparation program approved by the Texas Education Agency must meet recommended high school program criteria in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, languages other than English, health, fine arts, and technology applications.

(3)  Option III: academic. The student must demonstrate proficiency equivalent to three and one-half credits consisting of state-approved courses from language arts, science, social studies, mathematics, languages other than English, fine arts, or technology applications. Students may choose all three and one-half credits from one of the disciplines, or they may select courses among the listed disciplines.

(d)  Substitutions. No substitutions are allowed in the Recommended High School Program.

(e)  Students entering Grade 9 in the 2001-2002 school year and thereafter must complete requirements in Chapter 74, Subchapter D, of this title (relating to Curriculum Requirements).

Source: The provisions of this 74.12 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4311; amended to be effective October 13, 1997, 22 TexReg 10129; amended to be effective September 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 5675; amended to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691.


74.13. Distinguished Achievement Program -- Advanced High School Program.

(a)  General requirements. A student entering Grade 9 in the 1998-1999, 1999-2000, or 2000-2001 school years who wishes to complete an advanced high school program (called the distinguished achievement program) and have the accomplishment recognized and distinguished on the academic achievement record (transcript) must complete the following requirements.

(1)  Academic core components. College Board advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses may be substituted for requirements in appropriate areas. The student must demonstrate proficiency in the following.

(A)  English--four credits. The credits must consist of English I, English II, English III, and English IV (English I for Speakers of Other Languages and English II for Speakers of Other Languages may be substituted for English I and II only for immigrant students with limited English proficiency);

(B)  Mathematics--three credits. The credits must consist of Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.

(C)  Science--three credits. Students may choose three credits from the following four areas. Not more than one credit may be chosen from each of the four areas. All students who wish to complete the distinguished achievement program are encouraged to take Biology, Chemistry, and Physics to fulfill the requirements of this section.

(i)  Integrated Physics and Chemistry;

(ii)  Biology, AP Biology, or IB Biology;

(iii)  Chemistry, AP Chemistry, or IB Chemistry; and

(iv)  Physics, Principles of Technology I, AP Physics, or IB Physics.

(D)  Social studies--three and one-half credits. The credits must consist of World History Studies (one credit), World Geography Studies (one credit), United States History Studies Since Reconstruction (one credit), and United States Government (one-half credit).

(E)  Economics, with emphasis on the free enterprise system and its benefits--one-half credit. The credit must consist of Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits.

(F)  Languages other than English--three credits. The credits must consist of Level I, Level II, and Level III in the same language.

(G)  Health education--one-half credit of Health 1 or Advanced Health, or Health Science Technology--one credit.

(H)  Fine arts--one credit, which may be satisfied by any course in Chapter 117, Subchapter C, of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Fine Arts).

(I)  Physical education--one and one-half credits to include one-half credit in Foundations of Personal Fitness.

(i)  A school district board of trustees may allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for the one and one-half required credits of physical education, including the one-half credit of Foundations of Personal Fitness. The substitutions must be based on the physical activity involved in drill team, marching band, and cheerleading during the fall semester; Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC); athletics; Dance I-IV; and two- or three-credit career and technology work-based training courses.

(ii)  In accordance with local district policy, a school district may also apply to the commissioner of education for a waiver to allow credit for appropriate private or commercially-sponsored physical activity programs conducted on or off campus. Such approval may be granted under the following conditions.

(I)  Olympic-level participation and/or competition includes a minimum of 15 hours per week of highly intensive, professional, supervised training. The training facility, instructors, and the activities involved in the program must be certified by the superintendent to be of exceptional quality. Students qualifying and participating at this level may be dismissed from school one hour per day. Students dismissed may not miss any class other than physical education.

(II)  Private or commercially-sponsored physical activities include those certified by the superintendent to be of high quality and well supervised by appropriately trained instructors. Student participation of at least five hours per week must be required. Students certified to participate at this level may not be dismissed from any part of the regular school day.

(J)  Technology applications--one credit, which may be satisfied by:

(i)  the following courses in Chapter 126 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications): Computer Science I, Computer Science II, Desktop Publishing, Digital Graphics/Animation, Multimedia, Video Technology, Web Mastering, or Independent Study in Technology Applications;

(ii)  the following courses in Chapter 120 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Business Education): Business Computer Information Systems I or II, Business Computer Programming, Telecommunications and Networking, or Business Image Management and Multimedia; or

(iii)  the following courses in Chapter 123 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Education/Industrial Technology Education): Computer Applications, Technology Systems (modular computer laboratory-based), Communication Graphics (modular computer laboratory-based), or Computer Multimedia and Animation Technology.

(K)  Speech--one-half credit, which may be satisfied by Communication Applications, Speech Communication, Public Speaking, Debate, or Oral Interpretation.

(2)  Additional components. All students who wish to complete the distinguished achievement program are encouraged to study each of the foundation curriculum areas (English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies) every year in high school as provided in Option I. Options II and III are provided for students who want to focus on a particular career exploration or the development of an academic interest or artistic talent. College Board advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses may be substituted for requirements in appropriate academic areas. The student must choose one of the following options for additional components. Credit may be awarded without prior instruction under Texas Education Code, 28.023, (Credit by Examination).

(A)  Option I: mathematics, science, elective. The student must demonstrate proficiency in the following.

(i)  Mathematics--one credit. The credit must consist of Precalculus.

(ii)  Science--one credit. Students may select any Science course including Integrated Physics and Chemistry; Biology; Environmental Systems; Chemistry; Aquatic Science; Physics; Astronomy; Geology, Meteorology, and Oceanography; AP Biology; AP Chemistry; AP Physics; AP Environmental Science; IB Biology; IB Chemistry; IB Physics; IB Environmental Systems; Scientific Research and Design; Anatomy and Physiology of Human Systems; Medical Microbiology; Pathophysiology; Principles of Technology I; and Principles of Technology II.

(iii)  Elective--one-half credit.

(B)  Option II: career and technology. The student must demonstrate proficiency equivalent to two and one-half credits in a coherent sequence of courses for career and technology preparation, as defined by the local school district. To be included in the distinguished achievement program, a technology preparation program approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must meet distinguished achievement program criteria in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, languages other than English, health, fine arts, and technology applications.

(C)  Option III: academic. The student must demonstrate proficiency equivalent to two and one-half credits consisting of state-approved courses from language arts, science, social studies, mathematics, languages other than English, fine arts, or technology applications. Students may choose all two and one-half credits from one of the disciplines, or they may select courses among the listed disciplines.

(3)  Advanced measures. A student also must achieve any combination of four of the following advanced measures. Original research/projects may not be used for more than two of the four advanced measures. The measures must focus on demonstrated student performance at the college or professional level. Student performance on advanced measures must be assessed through an external review process.

(A)  original research/project that is:

(i)  judged by a panel of professionals in the field that is the focus of the project; or

(ii)  conducted under the direction of mentor(s) and reported to an appropriate audience; and

(iii)  related to the required curriculum set forth in 74.1 of this title (relating to Essential Knowledge and Skills);

(B)  test data where a student receives:

(i)  a score of three or above on The College Board advanced placement examination;

(ii)  a score of four or above on an International Baccalaureate examination; or

(iii)  a score on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) that qualifies a student for recognition as a Commended Scholar or higher by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation; as part of the National Hispanic Scholar Program of the College Board; or as part of the National Achievement Scholarship Program for Outstanding Negro Students of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The PSAT score may count as only one advanced measure regardless of the number of honors received by the student; or

(C)  college academic courses and tech-prep articulated college courses with a grade of 3.0 or higher.

(4)  Substitutions. No substitutions are allowed in the Distinguished Achievement Program.

(b)  Students entering Grade 9 in the 2001-2002 school year and thereafter must complete requirements in Chapter 74, Subchapter D, of this title (relating to Curriculum Requirements).

Source: The provisions of this 74.13 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4311; amended to be effective October 13, 1997, 22 TexReg 10129; amended to be effective September 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 5675; amended to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691.


74.14. Academic Achievement Record (Transcript).

(a)  The commissioner of education shall develop and distribute to each school district and institution of higher education in the state a common academic achievement record and coding system for courses and instructions for recording information on the academic achievement record. Each school district must use the coding system provided by the commissioner.

(b)  Each school district must use an academic achievement record (transcript) form designated by the State Board of Education (SBOE). Each district must reproduce the form in sufficient quantities. The form shall serve as the academic record for each student and must be maintained permanently by the district. Each district must ensure that copies of the record are made available for a student transferring from one district to another. The information may be provided to the student or to the district to which the student is transferring or both. To ensure appropriate placement of a transfer student, a district must respond promptly to each request for student records from a receiving school district.

(c)  Any credit earned by a student must be recorded on the academic achievement record, regardless of when the credit was earned.

(d)  A student who completes high school graduation requirements shall have attached to the academic achievement record a seal approved by the SBOE.

(e)  A student who completes all graduation requirements except for required exit-level assessment instruments may be issued a certificate of coursework completion. The academic achievement record will include a notation of the date such a certificate was issued to the student.

Source: The provisions of this 74.14 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4311; amended to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691.


For additional information, email rules@tea.state.tx.us.