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NYC High School Diploma Options

Published
October 14, 2022
Topics
K-12, Special Education, Transition Planning
  • Students have the right to attend school until the end of the school year in which they turn 21 or obtain a high school diploma.
  • Graduating with a high school diploma provides access to college, the military, and trade school.
  • High school students are encouraged to pursue a Regents or Advanced Regents diploma, which provide more access to postsecondary opportunities than the Local and High School Equivalency Diplomas.
  • Testing accommodations for the NYS Regents exams can be found on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • The NYC Schools Account (NYCSA) provides access to students’ course credits, grades, test scores, IEP, schedules, transportation information, and more. Contact your school for the account creation code.

Types of Diplomas

  • Regents
  • Advanced Regents
  • Local diploma
  • High School Equivalency (GED exam, formerly the TASC)

For more information, view the NYC Public Schools Graduation Requirements and the Diploma Requirements Worksheet

Regents Diploma

44 Course Credits + 5 Regents Exams (passing is 65% or higher).

SubjectEnglish Language Arts (ELA)Social StudiesMathScienceWorld Languages
(formerly LOTE)
+1 State Approved Option*
# OF EXAMS1111Not required1
EXAM NAMESELA-U.S. History
OR
-Global History & Geography
-Algebra I
OR
-Geometry
OR
-Algebra II
-Living Environment
OR
-Chemistry
OR
-Earth Science
OR
-Physics
Any NYC approved World Languages examAny additional Regents exam or state approved +1 option
Low Score Appeal for a Regents Diploma (For All Students): 1 Regents exam with a score of 60-64.
* Students may use an Advanced Placement (AP) or SAT II score, a State approved Career and Technical Education (CTE) exam, another Regents exam, or the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential as their +1 Option.

Advanced Regents Diploma

44 Course Credits + 9 Regents Exams (passing is 65% or higher)

SubjectELASocial StudiesMathScienceWorld Languages
(formerly LOTE)
+1 State Approved Option
# OF EXAMS113211
EXAM NAMESELA-U.S. History OR
-Global History & Geography
-Algebra I,
-Geometry, AND
-Algebra II
-Living Environment AND
-Earth Science
OR -Chemistry
OR
-Physics
Any NYC approved World Languages examAny additional Regents exam or state approved +1 option

Local Diploma*

44 Course Credits + 5 Regents Exams (passing is 55% or higher for students with disabilities)

SubjectELASocial StudiesMathScienceWorld Languages
(formerly LOTE)
+1 State Approved Option
# OF EXAMS1111Not required1
EXAM NAMESELA-U.S. History
OR
-Global History & Geography
-Algebra I
OR
-Geometry
OR
-Algebra II
-Living Environment
OR
-Earth Science
OR
-Chemistry
OR
-Physics
Any NYC approved World Languages examAny additional Regents exam or state approved +1 option
  • Low Score Appeal for a Local Diploma (for all students): 2 Regents exams with a score of 60-64 with all remaining Regents exams with a score of 65 or above.
  • New Arrival ELA Appeal for a Local Diploma (English language learners who arrived in the US in grades 9–12): ELA Regents exam with a score of 55-59 (Students may also appeal one other Regents score of 60–64).
  • Safety Net Options for a Local Diploma (For students with a disability): See below

* Local Diplomas are accepted at some private colleges, community colleges, CUNY and SUNY colleges


Special Appeals (Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic) Updates

  • Any student who has taken a Regents exam June 2022, August 2022, January 2023, June 2023 or August 2023 may utilize the special appeal to earn a diploma with a lower score of 50-64 on a Regents Exam if they obtained a passing grade in the corresponding course.

For more information: NYSED: Appeals, Safety Nets, and Superintendent Determination

Safety Net Options to Obtain a Local Diploma

(For students with a disability)

All safety net options are available to students with a current IEP, students with a 504 Plan, if documented, and students declassified in grades 8-12, if recommended (with the exception of the Superintendent Determination Option)  

Safety Net OptionRequirements and Eligibility
Low Pass Safety Net OptionScore between 55-64 on the required Regents exams
Low Pass Safety Net Option with AppealScore between 52-54 on up to two of the required Regents exams. To be eligible for this option, students must:
-Take the exams they are appealing at least twice
-Show evidence of having taken advantage of academic help at their school
-Pass the course in the subject they are appealing, and
-Receive recommendation by a teacher or the chair of the department in the subject being appealed
Compensatory Safety Net OptionScore between 45-54 on one or two for the required Regents exams (except for Math and ELA exams). To be eligible for this option, students must:
-Pass the ELA and Math exam with a 55 or higher or an approved appeal of 52-54
-Pass the course in the subjects on which they have scored 45-54, and
-Have satisfactory attendance
-A score of 65 or higher on a single exam may only be used to compensate for one exam on which they scored 45-54.
Superintendent Determination Option
(Only available to students with a current IEP)
A parent or guardian must make a request in writing to the principal or the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
 
To be eligible for this option, students:
-Are not eligible for the low pass safety net option/appeal or compensatory safety net option
-Must have earned 44 course credits
-EITHER pass the Math and ELA Regents exams with scores of 55 or higher (or successfully appeal scores of 52-54) OR earn a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential
-Have taken all required Regents exams but have not passed one or more of these exams; and
-Pass the courses in the subjects of the failed exams

For each exam with a failing grade, the superintendent will review the students’  performance in the related course including projects, class work, quizzes, and tests.

Sources: Safety Net Options, Graduation Requirements


High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma*

DescriptionTo be eligible to take the New York State (NYS) High School Equivalency (HSE) Exam, an applicant:
– As of January 2022, New York State has returned to the General Educational Development Test (GED) for the High School Equivalency exam.
– There are four subject tests: Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA); Social Studies; Science; and Mathematical Reasoning.
– Accommodations must be applied for and requested in advance.
– Can not have a high school diploma, or High School Equivalency diploma,
– Must live in NYS for at least thirty days when applying,
– Must be 19 years old or older or meet the underage eligibility criteria.
See age eligibility guidelines here

To prepare for the GED exam, test takers under the age of 19 can enroll in:

State Approved Prep Programs
– NYC Public Schools Pathway to Graduation (P2G) High School Equivalency Program (Ages 17-21)

For adults ages 21 and older:
Email adultednyc@schools.nyc.gov or Call (646) 481-8227 for more information on Adult Education Classes.

*Graduating with a High School Equivalency Diploma provides access to associate degree programs, the military, and trade school. Refer to INCLUDEnyc’s tip sheet about the GED Exam for more information about obtaining a High School Equivalency diploma.