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Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements Graduation Power Point is available for download for easy accessibility to graduation information. 
General Requirements:

In addition to the subject and course requirements described in section 2, students must meet the basic requirements outlined below to receive a high school diploma.

All students must attend eight semesters in Grades 9-12 for six periods daily unless the best interests of a student require a different plan. An alternative student enrollment plan involving an accelerated program or a shortened-day schedule, planned for a student with the advice of a counselor, must be approved by the principal and parent or guardian. If a student's program is changed to fewer than six periods per day during the year, prior notification of parent or guardian must be made.

Each student must maintain a record of responsible citizenship.

Students must earn a total of 44 semester credits (including a maximum of 8 credits in physical education, NJROTC, AFJROTC, or JROTC), 32 of which must be earned in Grades 10,11 and 12. Students on an approved early graduation plan must have a total of 44 credits. Credit for Algebra (and higher) and foreign language courses taken in Grades 7 and 8 may be applied to a high school diploma. Courses meeting the 44-credit requirement for graduation are listed in the "High School Diploma Subject and Course Requirements" section.

Grade Point Average:

As of 1997: A grade point average of 2.00 or higher is required to earn a diploma for graduation, otherwise a certificate of completion is issued. Although a particular grade-point average for citizenship is not a part of graduation requirements for a diploma, a grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale in both scholarship and citizenship is required to participate in graduation ceremonies, co-curricular activities and interscholastic athletics.

Advanced Placement:

Advanced Placement (AP) and international baccalaureate (IB) and Honor (HP) courses, the grade point average is computed on a five-point scale: A=5, B=4, C=3, D=1, F=0.

Out-of-class preparation to reinforce, extend and enrich school experiences is expected of all students as part of their efforts to succeed in their studies.

AP courses offered at Lincoln: 

  • Art Studio
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • English Language and Composition
  • English Literature
  • European History
  • Environmental Science
  • Government and Politics: United States
  • United States History
  • Spanish Language
  • Spanish Literature
  • Honors Spanish 7-8
  • Honors Pre-Calculus 1-2

High School Diploma Subject and Course Requirements:

Credits required for graduation: 44 -- must be completed by June of senior year.
Grades 9 through 12: 44 credits
Grades 10 through 12: A minimum of 32 credits of the 44 credits must be earned during these years.

English Language Arts:

8 semester credits

Grade 9 English: 2 credits (English 1-2 or advanced alternative)
Grade 10 English: 2 credits (English 3-4 or advanced alternative)
Grade 11 & 12 English: 4 credits, including 1 credit in a course that emphasizes American Literature and 3 credits from a prescribed list of English courses.

English as a Second Language (ESL) may be used to fulfill the 8-semester English requirement.

English credit will not be granted for drama, public speaking or journalism.
Drama and public speaking qualify for visual and performing arts credit and journalism qualifies for a practical arts credit.

World Languages and Visual, Performing and Practical Arts:

3 semester credits

Option A:
2 semesters of a world language (a one-year course).
1 semester of visual, or performing, or practical arts.

Option B:
2 semesters of visual and/or performing arts.
1 semester of practical arts.

Fine Arts, Visual and Performing Arts: Includes courses in art, music, drama/theater arts and public speaking.

Practical Arts: Includes courses in business education, consumer and family Studies, industrial education, vocational and occupational programs, instructional television, journalism and yearbook.

Social Studies:

6 semester credits

Grade 9 or 10: 2 credits in World History or advanced alternative
Grade 11: 2 credits in U.S. History or advanced alternative
Grade 12: 1 credit in Government and 1 credit in Economics, or advanced alternative.


6 semester credits

Effective with 2004 graduates: Algebra 1-2, Geometry 1-2 and Intermediate Algebra 1-2
(Algebra 1-2; all students will have completed this course in grade 8.)

Physical Education:

4 semester credits

Students must be enrolled in physical education in Grades 9 and 10 unless exempted. Four credits must be earned in Grades 9-12.


4 semester credits

Yearlong course in life science and yearlong course in physical science are required.
Effective with 2004 graduates: Biology 1-2, Chemistry 1-2 and/or Physics 1-2 and/or
Marine Science.

Computer Literacy Competency:

Students can fulfill this requirement in one of three ways:
• Completion of a computer education course
• Completion of an approved course that incorporates computer education and computer applications
• Successful completion of computer literacy exam

Additional Credits:

Additional credits needed to reach a total of 44 credits may be earned by completing additional courses in the above areas and/or elective courses. Courses using languages other than English as the medium of instruction for students not fluent in English may be substituted to fulfill specific subject area requirements.

Common Core Curriculum:

In 2010, the Board of Education adopted the Common Core Curriculum. This curriculum requires that all courses in English, world languages, mathematics, science, social studies, and the visual and performing arts meet or exceed the levels suggested by the California Department of Education's curriculum frameworks and model curriculum standards.

Minimum Number of Credits to Qualify for a Grade-Level Standing:

The grade level of senior high school students is based on the total, cumulative number of credits earned toward high school graduation. The minimum number of credits earned, prior to the beginning of each school year, to achieve each grade level is:

GradeMinimum Credits
9fewer than 10
1231 or more

NOTE: This represents the minimum numbers of credits to qualify for a grade-level standing. If the student is at the low end of the scale, it will be difficult to graduate on schedule.

College Entrance Requirements:

College entrance requirements vary; it should be understood that meeting these high school graduation requirements does not guarantee entrance to specific colleges.