Graduation Requirements

Each student must successfully complete required courses and the specified number of electives indicated below to be eligible for graduation. The School offers students information and guidance regarding their academic program at various times during the school year. A student’s academic program will depend on his/her academic abilities, grades, individual and family goals, and co-curricular commitments.

A minimum of 260 credits (units) is required for graduation.  To be eligible for graduation, a senior student’s transcript must show passing grades in all courses. Teacher’s Assistant and Office Aide credits do not count toward graduation requirements.  Any F grades in semester marking periods in grades 9-12 must have been made up through the successful completion of courses matching those s/he failed.  No diploma will be awarded until any existing semester F grades have been remediated.

Grade Level and Typical Course Load Requirements

Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year
(70 units) (70 units) (60 units) (60 units)
1. Faith & Religion 1. Scripture 1. Religion Selectives 1. Religion Selectives
2. English 1-2 2. English 3-4 2. English Selectives 2. English Selectives
3. PE/Health 3. World History 3. U.S. History 3. Social Studies Selectives
4. International Language 4. International Language 4. Mathematics 4. Elective (i.e. Math)
5. Mathematics 5. Mathematics 5. Science 5. Elective (i.e. Science)
6. Biology 6. Chemistry/Conceptual Physics 6. Elective (i.e. Language) 6. Elective (i.e. Language)
7. Visual & Performing Arts 7. Visual & Performing Arts/ Elective 7. Elective 7. Elective

Five (5) semester units are awarded for the successful completion of each regular semester course.  Courses for which fewer credits are awarded are noted as such.

Academic courses recognized by the University of California as being college preparatory in content are designated by (P).  Courses recognized by UC as being college preparatory and AP or honors level in content are designated by (H) (P). All other courses calculated in a student’s academic GPA are designated by (A). Courses that are not specifically academic in nature and not calculated in the academic GPA are designated by (N).

Graduation and College Entrance – Minimum Requirements

Comparison Chart

Note: This chart represents minimum requirements only.


Academic Areas Saint Mary’s Graduation Requirements UC and CSU Requirements
Years Credit Years
Electives* 60 1
English 4 40 4
International Language 2 20 2
Mathematics 3 30 3
PE & Health 1 10 0
Religious Studies 4 40 0
Science** 3 30 2
Social Studies (History) 3 30 2
Visual & Performing Arts 1 10 1
Total Core 260 15

*Any course taken beyond the department requirements is considered an elective. (e.g., Introduction to Calculus, French 5-6, etc.)

**UC requires at least two of the following: biology, chemistry, or physics. CSU requires at least two years of a lab science in two different areas, biological and physical.