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Graduation Requirements


Board Policy 6146.1(a) specifies that students receiving a high school diploma from the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District must successfully complete 230 credits (units) of course work (ten credits equal one year of work for one period a day).  A "C" grade is considered passing in all subjects.  With the grade of "D," credit is earned; however, the student in some cases cannot move to the next level.  This does not preclude the earning of extra credits beyond the regular school day or year for the purpose of acceleration.  Incoming 9th graders may earn high school credits as soon as he/she has graduated from a Middle School or K-8 School.  The requirements of 230 semester credits may be reduced for transfer students whose previous school program did not permit the earning of 60 semester credits per year, and for students whose programs have not permitted them to take four (4) semesters of physical education.  Requirements for graduation from the 12th grade of the continuation high school shall be the same as those for regular high school with the exception that physical education shall not be required during each semester of attendance.  When physical education is not offered at the continuation high school of community day school, the students shall take an independent study physical education course(s) as necessary to compensate for the lack of physical education credits.  In addition to fulfilling the credit requirements, students shall have successfully passed the California High School Exit Exam. Beginning with the graduating class of 2006, all students will be required to pass the California High School Exit Exam. 

The following credits (units) are required for graduation:


Course Requirements

 Required Subjects 



A-G Requirements


History/Social Science 



A.  2 years

 World Geography  

1 semester



 US History 

1 year 



 World History  

1 year 




1 semester



 Econ omics 

1 semester



 Total History/Social Science

3.5 years




English (grade level content approved courses)

4 years


B. 4 years

Mathematics (must include Algebra I) 3 years 


C. 3 years to include passing  Algebra 1




D. 2 years including Biology,

 Physical Science  

1 year 


 Chemistry or Physics

 Life Science 

1 year 



 Total Science  

2 years 

20 credits


Foreign Language or American Sign Language

10 credits

E.  2 years, 3 recommended

Visual or Performing Arts


10 credits

F. 1 year


1 semester

5 credits


Physical Education 




 P.E. I (9th grade)  

1 year 

10 credits


 P.E. II (10th grade)  

1 year 

10 credits


 (Must pass fitness test)




 Total P.E . 

2 years 

20 credits




60 credits

G.  1 year (approved class)







Credits (Units) Required for Promotion

MPUSD Board policy governs how students are promoted to the next higher grade level.  While high school students may follow a credit recovery plan, it is recommended that students:


From -To Required Credits/Units

9th - 10th 50 Units

10th - 11th 110 Units

11th - 12th 170 Units

Graduation  230 Units

High School Exit Exam

California students in public schools must pass the State High School Exit Examination in Language Arts and Mathematics as a condition of high school graduation. Multiple measures are in place for your child to make progress towards passing the high school exit exam. The multiple measures or benchmarks include:


  1. Students in grade 10 may take it once in the Spring, in grade 11 may take it two times per year, and students in grade 12 may take the examination up to three times per year until they pass it.
  1. Remediation instruction during the year following grade 12 pursuant to Education Code 37252 or 37254
  1. If space is available, enrollment for an additional year at a comprehensive high school if the student has been continuously enrolled
  1. Enrollment in an alternative education program,
  1. Reclassification as a junior,
  1. Maintaining continuous enrollment in an independent study program
  1. Enrollment in an adult secondary school.


In addition, some community colleges offer non-credit adult education programs and grant high school diplomas without requiring passage of the exit examination. Students may also obtain a diploma equivalent by passing the California High School Proficiency Exam or the General Education Development test. 

Early Graduation

Early graduation diploma is permissible for those students who complete semester credit requirements as verified by a senior audit. By completion of the first semester of student's 11th grade year, students must co-sign a plan along with their parent(s)/guardian(s), counselor and/or administrator. They must have earned 190 credits prior to their last planned semester of attendance.  Students must pass the High School Exit Exam.

Honorary Diploma

The Board of Education may confer honorary high school diplomas upon foreign exchange students who have not completed the course of study ordinarily required for graduation, and who are returning to their home countries following the completion of one academic school year in California. Honorary high school diplomas awarded pursuant to this policy shall be clearly distinguishable from the regular diplomas of graduation awarded by the district. The student must also be enrolled in Senior English, Economics/Civics, and/or United States History classes in order to earn an honorary diploma.

Participation in Commencement

Participation in commencement is an earned privilege. Students suspended during the last 15 school days preceding the commencement may not participate in commencement exercises in line with Board Policy 5127.