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High School Graduation Requirements

Eligibility to Graduate from High School

To participate in a high school graduation ceremony, a student must:

  • Meet all course unit requirements; and
  • Meet the requirements for a Diploma of Performance as specified in a student’s Individual Education Plan.

Diploma of Performance

Students with disabilities who have not met the state assessment requirements or who have not completed all requirements for a high school diploma, but have completed their Individualized Educational Program are eligible to receive a diploma and participate in a high school graduation ceremony. 

High School End-of-Course Testing

The Georgia Milestones Assessment System’s End-of-Course tests will be given at the end of these courses:

  • American Literature and Composition
  • Algebra Concepts and Connections
  • Biology
  • United States History

Students enrolled in these high school courses regardless of their grade level will be required to take the Georgia Milestones End-of-Course tests to satisfy federal accountability requirements. The Georgia Milestones' End-of-Course tests will count as 20 percent of the course grade.

Students taking Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/ Dual Enrollment American Literature and Composition and Biology who have previously earned core credit for the required course shall not take the End-of-Course assessment a second time for elective credit in the associated Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/ Dual Enrollment course.

Students who take and pass the Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate / Dual Enrollment United States History course are exempt from the End-of-Course assessment. Students are not required to take the Advanced Placement exam to be eligible for the exemption in United States History. If a student fails United States History, he or she will take the End-of-Course assessment when the United States History End-of-Course assessment is take for core credit.

High School Course Requirements

Students earn unit credits for courses listed in State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.03: List of Funded K-8 Subjects and 9-12 Courses. Juniors and seniors who transfer to Bulloch County Schools and have met state graduation requirements may be exempt from additional local requirements.

Required Course Unit Credits for Graduation

English Language Arts   4 units
Mathematics   4 units
Science   4 units
Social Studies   4 units
Health and Physical Education   1 units
Career Technical & Agricultural Education; Fine Arts; and/or Modern Language   3 units
Electives   4 units
Total Course Units (minimum) 24 units


English Language Arts

Four units of English shall be required, including one unit of American Literature/Composition. Courses are to be taken in sequence unless extenuating circumstances are well documented by the principal in the student’s permanent record.


Four units of mathematics are required of all students to include:
  • Algebra: Concepts and Connections
  • Geometry: Concepts and Connections
  • Advanced Algebra: Concepts and Connections


Students shall earn four units in science including one full unit of Biology; one unit of either Physical Science or Physics; one unit of either Chemistry, Earth Systems, Environmental Science or an Advanced Placement course; and one additional science unit. The fourth science may be used to meet both the science and elective requirements. Any Advanced Placement science course may be substituted for the appropriate courses listed above.

Social Studies

Four units of credit shall be required in social studies: one in World History, one in Economics, one in U.S. History, and one in Government/Citizenship.

Health & Physical Education

Students shall earn half a unit of Health and half a unit of Physical Education, Personal Fitness or Advanced Physical Fitness to satisfy the requirement of one unit of Health and Physical Education Courses. Physical Education shall be taken to enhance lifelong fitness through physical activities rather than development of athletic performance. Three units of Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps may substitute for the Health and Physical Education requirement.

Fine Arts

Any course or combination of courses from the Fine Arts area may be selected to earn unit credit to satisfy the requirements in Fine Arts/Music for Core Area of Study V. Any of the courses may be used to satisfy the elective unit requirements.

Foreign Language

Two units of the same foreign language are required for students who plan to pursue a college degree. Foreign language courses may be used to satisfy the elective unit requirements. Students whose native language is not English may be considered to have met the foreign language requirement by exercising the credit in lieu of enrollment option if they are proficient in their native language (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish) with credit being established through a formal examination. Any of the courses may be used to satisfy the elective unit requirements.


Career Technical & Agricultural Education

Bulloch County Schools' Career Technical and Agricultural Education program prepares students for their next step after high school whether it is college, to begin a career, a registered apprenticeship, or a branch of the United States military. Career Technical and Agricultural Education leverages partnerships with industry and higher education to ensure students have the skills they need to thrive in the current and future workforce.
With a variety of career programs offered at the middle and high schools, Bulloch County students are able to explore their interests and demonstrate advanced applications as they take courses in their chosen pathway. As students gain technical skills, they also connect the relevance of the academic skills embedded in their coursework through real-world scenarios, labs, and work settings.
  1. Career Clusters: Bulloch County offers Career Technical and Agricultural Education courses in the following career cluster areas:
a.       Agriculture Education
b.       Architecture and Construction
c.       Arts, Audio Visual/Technology and Communications
d.       Business Management and Administration
e.       Education and Training
f.        Finance
g.       Government and Public Administration (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps)
h.       Health Science
i.        Hospitality and Tourism
j.        Human Services
k.       Information Technology
l.        Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)
m.     Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
n.       Workforce Ready
2.       Career Technical Student Organizations: Students are encouraged to participate in the following Career Technical Student Organizations that provide extracurricular activities and competitions to develop leadership, collaborative work ethics, and career- related skills:
a.       Future Business Leaders of America
b.       Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America
c.       The National FFA Organization
d.       Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA): Future Health Professionals
e.       SkillsUSA
f.        Technology Student Association
3.       End-of-Pathway Assessments
All students enrolled in the final course of a Career Technical and Agricultural Education pathway are required to take an End-of-Pathway Assessment assigned to the respective program area. Assessments are provided free of charge to Bulloch County students. End-of-Pathway Assessments are authored by national industry agencies. Upon passing an End-of-Pathway Assessment, students may be issued an official certificate from the testing agency and will receive an honor cord to wear with their school’s graduation regalia. Students who do not initially pass the End-of-Pathway Assessment may be allowed to retest once, but students must attend the required study/remediation session offered by the teacher. The opportunity to take the End-of-Pathway Assessment is only offered during the school year in which the student completes the final course of their Career Technical and Agricultural Education pathway.

Work-Based Learning

The Work-Based Learning program represents the pinnacle of the Career Technical and Agricultural Education program. It allows qualified students who have mastered skills in pathway areas the opportunity to work at an approved job placement to gain valuable work experience while receiving course credit. A job placement may be arranged by the work- based learning coordinator, a career pathway teacher, or an approved part-time job arranged by the student.
To be considered for the work-based learning program, students must complete an application to the high school work- based learning coordinator. Applications will be reviewed and ranked based on the student’s Career Technical and Agricultural Education course completion, attendance, discipline, numeric grade average, and teacher recommendations. Applications received after the due date will be ranked, placed on a waiting list, and considered if space is available in the program.

Student qualifications for Work-Based Learning:

  • Approved job placement by the work-based learning coordinator and alignment with Career Technical and Agricultural Education courses taken and a clearly defined career goal.
  • Classification as either a junior or senior.
  • Ability to maintain a passing average in all classes and be on-track for graduation. Acceptable attendance and discipline record.
  • Must work a minimum of 7.5 hours for one block of work-based learning release and a minimum of 15 hours for two blocks of work-based learning release.
  • Ability to provide own reliable transportation.

Dual Enrollment

The Dual Enrollment program provides opportunities for eligible students in grades 10, 11, and 12 to enroll part-time or full-time in post-secondary institutions and take college courses to earn both high school and college credit. For students who attend a school within the Technical College System of Georgia, tenth-grade students can participate in Career, Technical and Agricultural program courses, but eleventh- and twelfth-grade students are eligible to participate in academic and program courses. For students who attend a school within the University System of Georgia, eleventh and twelfth-grade students may participate, but only tenth-grade students who meet House Bill 444 eligibility requirements can participate. To participate in dual enrollment, students must do the following:
  • Complete all associated forms with their high school counselor.
  • Meet the admissions requirements at the post-secondary institution of their choice. Make satisfactory academic progress.
Approved courses for dual enrollment are listed in the Dual Enrollment Course Directory. The courses a student chooses each term must be listed on his or her dual enrollment application and must be approved by his or her high school and the post-secondary institution he or she will attend. Students who meet all eligibility requirements will receive a student-specific award amount to be applied to tuition, mandatory fees, and books.
Courses do not count against any maximum hourly caps for the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) scholarships or grants. Withdrawing from a course, not attending a course, or not following program rules and regulations may result in students being removed from dual enrollment, thus affecting their high school graduation requirements.
Students must make annual progress towards graduation and completion of their individual graduation plan to participate in dual enrollment.
The following conversion scale will be used for converting letter grades from the post-secondary institution’s official transcript to numerical averages on the high school transcript:
  • A=99
  • B=89
  • C=79
  • D=69
  • F=59

Diploma Seals

Bulloch County Schools offers two types of diploma seals to recognize student excellence.

Fine Arts Diploma Seal

Fine arts education includes the study of dance, media arts, music, theatre/film, and visual arts. High school students have the opportunity to achieve a Fine Arts Diploma Seal and complete a career pathway in dance, music, theatre/film, and visual arts.

Career Ready Diploma Seals

Career Ready Diploma Seals include the demonstration of excellence through the Distinguished Pathway Seal and the Leadership Seal. Both Career Ready Diploma Seals are awarded to high school graduates who complete a series of accomplishments as outlined and engage in activities, courses, and experiences that foster career readiness. The diploma seal is a signal to employers that a student is prepared to participate in the workforce.