• SC High School Graduation Requirements


    Requirements for High School Graduation
    To be eligible to graduate with a South Carolina High School Diploma, students must earn 24 required units of credit as outlined below.

    Course credit requirements:

    Students must earn 24 required Carnegie units and pass HSAP to receive a SC high school diploma. If at the end of the senior year a student has earned the required units but has not passed both parts of HSAP, he/she may enroll in Adult Education to receive further academic assistance and re-take the HSAP. Students under the age of 21 may remain in high school and continue to get assistance until they pass the HSAP and receive a diploma. After age 21, students may enter Adult Education but may not re-enroll in high school.
    The 24 units required for graduation are distributed as follows:

    • English/Language Arts: 4 units
    • U.S. History and Constitution: 1 unit
    • Economics (1/2 unit) & US Government (1/2 unit): 1 unit
    • Other Social Studies: 1 unit
    • Math: 4 units
    • Natural Science: 3 units
    • Computer Science (includes keyboarding): 1 unit
    • Physical Education or JROTC: 1 unit
    • Electives: 7 units
    • (Other )*1 unit

    * For students in a college preparatory course of study, one additional unit must be earned in a foreign language (as defined by the SC Board of Education), or
    * For students in a course of study designed to enter the work force, one additional vocational unit must be earned (as defined by the SC Board of Education).

    Further requirements:

    • At least 50 percent of the instructional time in English I, II, III, IV and in any other course used to meet the language arts requirement for graduation must be devoted to the teaching of composition and grammar.
    • Students who earn one unit in science and six or more units in a specific occupational service area will meet the science requirements for a state high school diploma. Vocational programs operating on a 3-2-1 structure may count prevocational education as one of the six required units.
    • Students who otherwise meet the requirements for a state high school diploma must demonstrate proficiency in keyboarding and computer literacy as a condition for the receipt of a high school diploma.
    • At least one time during the four years of grades 9 through 12, each student will receive a program of instruction in comprehensive health to include the specified curriculum and minutes of instruction as outlined in the Comprehensive Health Education Act of 1988 and the regulations of the SC Board of Education.


    Participating in graduation:

    Students must meet all requirements to be eligible to participate in high school graduation ceremonies. If a student has not passed the exit exam, the student may participate in his/her high school graduation if he/she:

    • has completed 24 course credit requirements for a diploma,
    • is eligible to receive a State or District certificate; or
    • has completed a prescribed program of special education which makes the student eligible to receive an exit document.

    When a student has completed the requirements to graduate but commits a Level II or Level III violation of the student behavior code during his/her last semester, the principal may choose to deny the student the privilege of participating in the graduation ceremony. The student and parent will be given due process and may appeal the decision as outlined for student suspensions. The student will receive the diploma or certificate, but not during the graduation ceremony.

    High school diplomas and certificates:
    During graduation ceremonies, students are presented with exit documents that signify the end of their public school education. Depending on the requirements met by the student, he/she may receive an HCS Honors Diploma, South Carolina State High School Diploma, HCS Occupational Diploma, South Carolina State High School Certificate, or an HCS High School Certificate.

    State High School Diploma:

    A student must earn 24 required units.

    HCS Honors Diploma:

    A student must surpass the minimum requirement for graduation and meet the additional following criteria:

    • A Grade Point Average of 4.0 or higher;
    • A composite SAT score of 1000 or higher (Critical Reading & Math) or a composite ACT score of 22 or higher;
    • Five (5) or more math courses and four or more (4) credit-bearing courses in science;
    • Three (3) or more courses at the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Dual Credit level. Two (2) of three (3) must be at the AP or IB level or earned through the Scholars Academy.
    • At least three (3) courses of the same foreign language or four (4) courses in two (2) different foreign languages
    • At least 28 high school units and meet requirements for a State high school diploma.
    • Show evidence of participation in at least one school sponsored organization during grades 10-12, or complete 50 hours of approved community service during high school.

    Eligibility for the Honors Diploma will be made after the 135th day of school in the semester of graduation. Students with serious behavioral offenses may be denied an Honors Diploma.

    HCS High School Certificate:
    Students who attend high school for four years and do not earn the required units of credit and/or do not pass all parts of HSAP may receive a Horry County Schools High School Certificate. More information is available through high school guidance counselor.

    SC Uniform Grading Scale

    Numerical Average

    Letter Grade

    College Prep (CP)

    Honors (H)

    AP/ IB/ Dual Credit

    100

    A

    4.875

    5.375

    5.875

    99

    A

    4.750

    5.250

    5.750

    98

    A

    4.625

    5.125

    5.625

    97

    A

    4.500

    5.00

    5.500

    96

    A

    4.375

    4.875

    5.375

    95

    A

    4.250

    4.750

    5.250

    94

    A

    4.125

    4.625

    5.125

    93

    A

    4.00

    4.500

    5.000

    92

    B

    3.875

    4.375

    4.875

    91

    B

    3.750

    4.250

    4.750

    90

    B

    3.625

    4.125

    4.625

    89

    B

    3.500

    4.00

    4.500

    88

    B

    3.375

    3.875

    4.375

    87

    B

    3.250

    3.750

    4.250

    86

    B

    3.125

    3.625

    4.125

    85

    B

    3.000

    3.500

    4.000

    84

    B

    2.875

    3.375

    3.875

    83

    C

    2.750

    3.250

    3.750

    82

    C

    2.625

    3.125

    3.625

    81

    C

    2.500

    3.000

    3.500

    80

    C

    2.375

    2.875

    3.375

    79

    C

    2.250

    2.750

    3.250

    78

    C

    2.125

    2.625

    3.125

    77

    C

    2.000

    2.500

    3.00

    76

    D

    1.875

    2.375

    2.875

    75

    D

    1.750

    2.250

    2.750

    74

    D

    1.625

    2.125

    2.625

    73

    D

    1.500

    2.000

    2.500

    72

    D

    1.375

    1.875

    2.375

    71

    D

    1.250

    1.750

    2.250

    70

    D

    1.125

    1.625

    2.125

    69

    F

    1.000

    1.500

    2.000

    68

    F

    .875

    1.375

    1.875

    67

    F

    .750

    1.250

    1.750

    66

    F

    .625

    1.125

    1.625

    65

    F

    .500

    1.000

    1.500

    64

    F

    .375

    .875

    1.375

    63

    F

    .250

    .750

    1.250

    62

    F

    .125

    .625

    1.125

    0-61

    F

    .000

    .000

    .000