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Mathematics Graduation Requirements

Minimum graduation requirements for mathematics.

California Education Code (EC) specifies that beginning with the graduating class of 2003-04 and each subsequent year, pupils must meet the following minimum graduation requirements for mathematics:

  1. Complete at least two courses in mathematics in grades nine through twelve.
  2. One or a combination of these courses must meet or exceed the rigor of the content standards for Algebra I.

As stated in EC 51224.5(c), if a student, prior to enrollment in grade nine, completes coursework in algebra that meets or exceeds the rigor of the content standards for Algebra I, as adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE), then the Algebra I graduation requirement is met. Although the algebra requirement is met, the student must still complete two years of mathematics in grades nine through twelve as required by EC 51225.3(a)(1)(B). The determination if the coursework in algebra, taken prior to grade nine, meets or exceeds the rigor of the content standards for Algebra I, as adopted by the SBE, is a local decision.

EC Section 51224.5 specifies:

(A) The adopted course of study for grades seven to twelve, inclusive, shall include algebra as part of the mathematics area of study pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 51220.

(B) Commencing with the 2003-04 school year and each year thereafter, at least one course, or a combination of the two courses in mathematics required to be completed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 51225.3 by pupils while in grades nine to twelve, inclusive, prior to receiving a diploma of graduation from high school, shall meet or exceed the rigor of the content standards for Algebra I, as adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to Section 60605.

(C) A pupil who, prior to enrollment in grade 9, completes coursework in algebra that meets or exceeds the rigor of the content standards for Algebra I, as adopted by the State Board of Education, is exempt from subdivision (b), but is not exempt from the requirement that the pupil complete two courses in mathematics while enrolled in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, as specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 51225.3

California EC can be found in the California Law External link opens in new window or tab. library.

For more information, see Algebra I Graduation Requirements frequently asked questions.

Questions: STEM Office | stem@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5847 
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