Academic Standards and Graduation Requirements

To comply with Colorado State Board of Education graduation standards, the PSD Board of Education adopted new graduation requirements in 2017, reflected in District policy IKF-2017.  If you have questions about graduation requirements for your student, please contact their high school counselor. 


High School Diploma Requirements

To earn a high school diploma, students must earn 240 credits, and complete one option of meeting requirements for a state-approved assessment measure OR a college/career readiness measure.


Option A:  State-Approved Assessment Measures

Students must meet or exceed minimum scores in mathematics and English on one or more state-approved assessment measures. 

Option A example: A student must earn 240 credits and take one of the state-approved assessments, such as the SAT. Students take the SAT exam free of charge during their junior year. They need to score 470 or higher in English and 500 or higher in mathematics.

State-Approved Assessment Options with Scores/Criteria

Learn more about these options on the Assessments / Measures for Graduation web page. 


  • English score:
    • Classic: 62 on reading or 70 on sentence skills
    • Next generation: 241 on reading or 236 on science writing
  • Mathematics score:​​​​​
    • Classic: 61 on elementary algebra
    • Next generation: 255 on arithmetic (AR) OR 230 on quantitative reasoning, algebra and statistics (QAS)


  • English score: 18
  • Mathematics score: 19

ACT WorkKeys

English and Mathematics: Students must score at the bronze level (a score of at least 3) in all three assessments- Applied Mathematics, Graphic Literacy and Workplace Documents - and they will earn the ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate.

Advanced Placement Exams

English and Mathematics: Students must score 2 or higher on any A.P. test

ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Battery) Assessment

English and Mathematics: Students must score 31 or higher.

International Baccalaureate Exams

English and Mathematics: Students must score 4 or higher.


  • English score: 470
  • Mathematics score: 500

Option B:  College, Career Readiness Measures

Students must meet one of the state-approved individualized college and career-readiness measures:

Option B example: A student must earn 240 credits and earn an industry certificate, such as in the culinary arts. The certification indicates the student is prepared to work in a professional setting after high school.

PSD Core Credit Requirements 

To graduate from a PSD high school, students must earn a total 240 credits from these required subject areas: 

Mathematics, Computer Science - 30 credits
Algebra, geometry, data-analysis, and statistics; algebra II recommended

Science - 30 credits
Physical, life and earth-systems sciences (chemistry and/or physics recommended)

Language Arts - 40 credits
Oral expression and listening, reading, writing, composition, research and reasoning

Social Studies - 25 credits
Geography, civics, history and economics (must include U.S. History and U.S. Government)

Humanities - 5 credits
Study of literature, history, philosophy and comparative religion, visual and performing arts and culture.

World Language or Culture - 10 credits
World languages; knowledge and understanding of world cultures (two years of a language is recommended)

Fine and Applied Arts - 10 credits
Developing original products, creating such as in art or gourmet food; performing and problem-solving using critical and creative thinking

Wellness - 15 credits
Physical and personal wellness

Financial Literacy - 5 credits
Personal financial literacy

Economics - 5 credits
Micro and macroeconomics

Electives - 65 credits
Student-selected courses in personal interest areas