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Science Graduation Requirement

Science requirements for high school graduation.

California Education Code Section 51225.3 (a)(1)(C) specifies, in order to receive a high school diploma, a student must successfully complete at least two courses in science, including biological and physical sciences.

A course is one year long or two semesters. While the law is not explicit, one course generally focuses on the biological sciences and the other course focuses on physical sciences. Physical sciences may include physics, chemistry, or earth science. Two years of integrated science would also fulfill this graduation requirement, as long as biological and physical sciences are included.

On September 4, 2013, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (CA NGSS) as required by California Education Code 60605.85. The NGSS Appendices A-M were also adopted to assist teachers in the implementation of the new science standards and to aid in the development of the new science curriculum framework. The CA NGSS replace the 1998, State Board of Education adopted science curriculum standards. See Science for additional information.

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

Questions: Professional Learning Support & Monitoring Office | | 916-323-5847 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 8, 2021