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NJ High School Graduation Requirements



Mercer County Technical School District - High School Graduation Requirements

A graduating pupil must have earned a minimum of 120 (four-year high school: no fewer than one hundred twenty credits) credits in courses designed to meet all of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards including, but not limited to, the following credits:


  1. 20 Twenty credits in language arts literacy aligned to grade nine through twelve standards, effective with the 2009-2010 grade nine class;
  2. 15 Fifteen credits in mathematics, including Algebra I or the content equivalent (“content equivalent” is defined at N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.3) effective with the 2008- 2009 grade nine class, including geometry or the content equivalent effective with the 2010-2011 grade nine class, and including a third year of mathematics that builds on the concepts and skills of algebra and geometry and that prepares pupils for college and 21st century careers effective with the 2012-2013 grade nine class;
  3. 15 Fifteen credits in social studies, including satisfaction of N.J.S.A. 18A:35-1 and 18A:35-2: five credits in world history, and the integration of civics, economics, geography, and global content in all course offerings;
  4. 15 Fifteen credits in science, including at least five credits in laboratory biology/life science or the content equivalent effective with the 2008-2009 grade nine class, including one additional laboratory/inquiry-based science course which shall include chemistry or physics effective with the 2010-2011 grade nine class, and including one additional laboratory/inquiry-based science course effective with 2012-2013 grade nine class;
  5. 3-3/4 Three and three-quarters credits in health, safety, and physical education during each year of enrollment, distributed as one hundred fifty minutes per week, as required by N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5, 7 and 8;
  6. 5 Five credits in visual and performing arts (dance);
  7. 5 Five credits in world languages or pupil demonstration of proficiency as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1(a)2ii(2);
  8. 2-1/2 Two and one-half credits in financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy, effective with 2010-2011 grade nine class;
  9. 5 Technological literacy, consistent with the Core Curriculum Content Standards, integrated throughout the curriculum;
  10. 5 Five credits in 21st century life and careers, or career-technical education; and
  11. Electives as determined by the high school program sufficient to total a minimum of 120 credits.

Credit means the award for the equivalent of a class period of instruction which meets for a minimum of forty minutes, one time per week during the school year or as approved through N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1(a)2. 


Please click to review the complete Board Policy 5460 regarding high school graduation.



New Jersey High School Graduation Requirements

This section includes descriptions of the academic expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the time they graduate from high school.  

N.J. Department of Education Required Assessments for High School Graduation

Click here to see a summary of high school graduation assessment requirements set forth by the NJ Department of Education in October 2016.

Credits Required for High School Graduation

English/Language Arts Literacy

20 credits (including English I-IV)

Health & Physical Education

At least 3.75 credits per year in physical education, health & safety during each year of enrollment, distributed as 150 minutes per week


15 credits (including Algebra I, Geometry)


15 credits (including Lab Biology; Lab Chemistry and/or Physics and/or Environmental Science; plus a third laboratory/inquiry-based science)

Social Studies

15 credits (including Modern World History/Geography, U.S. History I & II)

World Languages

5 credits

21st Century Life & Careers (Family/Consumer Science, Business Administration & Technology, Technology Education)

5 credits

Financial, Economic, and Entrepreneurial Literacy

2.5 credits

Visual and Performing Arts (Art, Music, Drama, Dance)

5 credits


15 credits

Total number of required credits

120 Credits


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HIB Contacts

To report an incident of Harrassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB), please contact a specialist below.

District Anti-Bullying Coordinator

Doug Shunk or 609-586-5144, Ext. 2146

Back-Up Coordinator

David Lugo or 609-737-9785, Ext. 4012

Health Science Academy • Career Prep Specialist • Assunpink Center Specialist

Megan Ferdetta or 609-586-5144, Ext. 2140

District Specialist

Dana HiceDePugh or 609-438-0109

Adult Evening School Specialist

Mary Smith-Jones or 609-586-5146

Health Careers Center Specialist

Gary Mattia or 609-586-5144

Sypek Center Specialist • STEM Academy • Culinary Academy

Lance Simek or 609-737-9785, Ext. 4140

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