Graduation Requirements

Each Upper School student earning a Country Day diploma will have successfully completed 21 academic credits in a series of required courses and electives, based on individual interests and needs. Full-year courses earn 1.0 academic credits and semester courses earn 0.5 academic credits. 

The 21 total academic credits must include the following:

English Language & Literature (4.0 credits)

All students must be enrolled in an English course during every semester in the Upper School. Students needing additional English language support may take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, which count toward the 4.0 required English credits. 

Mathematics (4.0 credits)

All students must be enrolled in a math course during every semester in the Upper School. 

Sciences (3.0 credits)

All students must complete Biology I in their freshman or sophomore year. Students joining Country Day after the 9th or 10th grade must fulfill the high school Biology requirement, although credit may transfer from another institution. 2.0 additional credits in lab science are required in the Upper School.

History & Social Studies (3.0 credits)

All students must complete 9th Grade History and World History II, typically in their 9th and 10th grade years. Juniors typically take United States History (whether college preparatory or AP level), which is required for all graduates. Successful completion of a research paper is required in each of grades 9-11. IB students typically complete their US History requirement in their senior year.

Modern & Classical Languages (2.0 credits)

All students must complete at least two years of consecutive study in the same language in the Upper School. Most students complete three or more years of study, with four highly recommended by most colleges and universities. 

Fine Arts (1.5 credits)

All students must complete 1.5 credits in the Fine Arts, with 0.5 credits usually completed in the Freshman year. Any combination of courses in the Visual Arts, Theatre, or Music may satisfy this requirement.

Diploma requirements also include:

  1. Co-curriculars: 8 activities, 0.25 credits each (2 per year) 2.0 credits, total
  2. A passing grade (D-/60 or above) earned in all courses during the senior year
Co-curricular activity credits may be earned in the following ways:
  • Participating (as player or manager) on a Country Day sports team 
  • Completing a Country Day physical education or preseason conditioning course 
  • Applying for alternate PE credit for physical training done outside of school, with supervision
  • Participating in a Country Day theater production (onstage or backstage; may only be applied one time per academic year)
  • Completing CAS service hours (IB students only; may only be applied one time per year)
  • Being employed at least 10 hours a week for the duration of an athletic season