Chapter 74. Curriculum Requirements
Subchapter D. Graduation Requirements, Beginning with School Year 2001-2002


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


74.41. 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 2001-2002 school year and thereafter must complete the following:

(1)  requirements of the minimum high school program specified in 74.42 of this title (relating to Minimum High School Program), the recommended high school program specified in 74.43 of this title (relating to Recommended High School Program), or the advanced program specified in 74.44 of this title (relating to Distinguished Achievement High School Program); and

(2)  testing requirements for graduation as specified in Chapter 101 of this title (relating to Assessment).

(d)  A maximum of three credits of reading (selected from Reading I, II, or III) may be offered by districts for state graduation elective credit for identified students under the following conditions.

(1)  The school district board of trustees shall adopt policies to identify students in need of additional reading instruction.

(2)  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.

(e)  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 Distance Learning) 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 Award of Credit).

(f)  Elective credits in all three graduation programs may be selected from the following:

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

(2)  state-approved innovative courses as specified in 74.27 of this chapter (relating to Innovative Courses and Programs);

(3)  Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)--one to four credits;

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

(g)  College Board advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses may be substituted for courses required in appropriate areas in all three high school graduation programs. College Board advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses may be used as electives in all three high school graduation programs.

Source: The provisions of this 74.41 adopted to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691.


74.42. Minimum High School Program.

(a)  Credits. A student must earn at least 22 credits to complete the Minimum High School Program.

(b)  Core Courses. 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)  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 and Geometry.

(3)  Science--two credits. The credits must consist of Biology and Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC). A student may substitute Chemistry or Physics for IPC and then must use the second of these two courses as the academic elective credit identified in subsection (b)(6) of this section.

(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)  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)  Academic elective--one credit. The credit must be selected from World History Studies, World Geography Studies, or any science course approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE) for science credit as found in Chapter 112 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science). If a student elects to replace IPC with either Chemistry or Physics as described in subsection (b)(3) of this section, the academic elective must be the other of these two science courses.

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

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

(B)  The school district board of trustees may allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for the required credits in physical education, including the 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; two- or three-credit career and technology work-based training courses, and off-campus physical education.

(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, which may be satisfied by Health 1 or Advanced Health, or Health Science Technology--one credit, which may be satisfied by Introduction to Health Science Technology, Health Science Technology I, or Health Science Technology II.

(9)  Speech--one-half credit. The credit must consist of Communication Applications.

(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 the 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 the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Education/Industrial Technology Education): Computer Applications, Technology Systems (modular computer laboratory-based), Communications Graphics (modular computer laboratory-based), or Computer Multimedia and Animation Technology.

(c)  Elective Courses--five and one-half credits. The credits must be selected from the list of courses specified in 74.41(f) of this title (relating to High School Graduation Requirements).

Source: The provisions of this 74.42 adopted to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691.


74.43. Recommended High School Program.

(a)  Credits. A student must earn at least 24 credits to complete the Recommended High School Program.

(b)  Core Courses. A student must demonstrate proficiency in the following:

(1)  English language arts--four credits. The credits must consist of English I, II, III, and 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. One credit must be a biology credit (Biology, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, or International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology). Students must choose the remaining two credits from the following areas. Not more than one credit may be chosen from each of the areas to satisfy this requirement. Students on the Recommended High School Program are encouraged to take courses in biology, chemistry, and physics to complete the science requirements.

(A)  Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC);

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

(C)  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 earned must be for any two levels in the same language.

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

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

(B)  The school district board of trustees may allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for the required credits in physical education, including the 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.

(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, which may satisfied by Health 1 or Advanced Health, or Health Science Technology--one credit, which may be satisfied by Introduction to Health Science Technology, Health Science Technology I, or Health Science Technology II.

(9)  Speech--one-half credit. The credit must consist of Communication Applications.

(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 the 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 the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Education/Industrial Technology Education): Computer Applications, Technology Systems (modular computer laboratory-based), Communications Graphics (modular computer laboratory-based), or Computer Multimedia and Animation Technology.

(11)  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).

(c)  Elective Courses--three and one-half credits. The credits may be selected from the list of courses specified in 74.41(f) of this title (relating to High School Graduation Requirements). All students who wish to complete the Recommended High School Program are encouraged to study each of the four foundation curriculum areas (English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies) every year in high school.

(d)  Substitutions. No substitutions are allowed in the Recommended High School Program, except as specified in this chapter.

Source: The provisions of this 74.43 adopted to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691; amended to be effective August 8, 2006, 31 TexReg 6212.


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

(a)  Credits. A student must earn at least 24 credits to complete the Distinguished Achievement High School Program.

(b)  Core Courses. A student must demonstrate proficiency in the following:

(1)  English language arts--four credits. The credits must consist of English I, II, III, and 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. One credit must be a biology credit (Biology, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, or International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology). Students must choose the remaining two credits from the following areas. Not more than one credit may be chosen from each of the areas to satisfy this requirement. Students on the Distinguished Achievement High School Program are encouraged to take courses in biology, chemistry, and physics to complete the science requirements.

(A)  Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC);

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

(C)  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--three credits. The credits earned must be for any three levels in the same language.

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

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

(B)  The school district board of trustees may allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for the required credits in physical education, including the 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.

(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, which may be satisfied by Health 1 or Advanced Health, or Health Science Technology--one credit, which may be satisfied by Introduction to Health Science Technology, Health Science Technology I, or Health Science Technology II.

(9)  Speech--one-half credit. The credit must consist of Communication Applications.

(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 the 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 the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Education/Industrial Technology Education): Computer Applications, Technology Systems (modular computer laboratory-based), Communications Graphics (modular computer laboratory-based), or Computer Multimedia and Animation Technology.

(11)  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).

(c)  Elective Courses--two and one-half credits. The credits may be selected from the list of courses specified in 74.41(f) of this title (relating to High School Graduation Requirements). All students who wish to complete the Distinguished Achievement High School Program are encouraged to study each of the four foundation curriculum areas (English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies) every year in high school.

(d)  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. The student may choose from the following options:

(1)  original research/project that is:

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

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

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

(2)  test data where a student receives:

(A)  a score of three or above on the College Board advanced placement examination;

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

(C)  a score on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) that qualifies the 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 shall count as only one advanced measure regardless of the number of honors received by the student; or

(3)  college academic courses, advanced technical credit courses, and dual credit courses with a grade of 3.0 or higher.

(e)  Substitutions. No substitutions are allowed in the Distinguished Achievement High School Program, except as specified in this chapter.

Source: The provisions of this 74.44 adopted to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691; amended to be effective August 8, 2006, 31 TexReg 6212.


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