Earning Units of Credit
There are various options available for the awarding of credit to New York State high school students. This document describes current Part 100 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education ("NYCRR") pertaining to earning units of credit for satisfying general education and diploma requirements in New York State. Twenty-two units of credit in particular subject areas are required to earn a local or Regents diploma in the state.
Currently, students can earn units of credit in the following ways:
Students receive at least 180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year (i.e., 108 hours of instruction for a full year course), or the equivalent, and demonstrate their mastery of the learning outcomes in the course (8 NYCRR § 100.1 [a], [b]). This option allows credit to be awarded after receiving instruction from certified teachers that is designed to facilitate the achievement of the State’s learning standards.
Students may earn a maximum of 6 ½ units of credit by passing a state-developed or state-approved examination with a score of 85 percent or higher and passing an oral examination or completing a special project (8 NYCRR §100.1[b] and § 100.5[d]). This option is available for those students seeking to accelerate, which allows them to take additional classes or to possibly graduate prior to their cohort date.
Transfer students may be awarded units of credit for work done outside the registered New York State high school in which he/she is enrolling. Principals and other relevant faculty must review a student’s records and award transfer credit if certain criteria are met (8 NYCRR § 100.5 [d] ).
Students may obtain the unit of credit in visual arts and/or music, dance or theatre by participating in certain specified performance groups or advanced activities (8 NYCRR §100.5[d]).
Public school grade eight students may be awarded credit for successful completion of high school courses and passing related examinations if certain conditions are satisfied. Grade eight acceleration for diploma credit is offered to students who demonstrate readiness as determined by the superintendent or his or her designee (8 NYCRR § 100.4 [d]).
Under specific circumstances, students may earn credit via summer school (8 NYCRR Part 110).
The Board of Regents has approved an amendment to the Commissioner’s Regulations that provides for make-up course credit programs. A new paragraph 8 to Section 100.5(d) delineates parameters for make-up course credit (8 NYCRR § 100.5 [d]).
The Board of Regents has approved an amendment to the Commissioner’s Regulations that allows students to earn a maximum of 3 units of elective credit towards a Regents diploma through independent study. A new paragraph 9 to Section 100.5(d) delineates parameters for credit through independent study (8 NYCRR § 100.5 [d] ).
The Board of Regents has approved an amendment to the Commissioner’s Regulations that allows students to earn credit through online and blended courses. A new paragraph 10 to Section 100.5(d) delineates parameters for earning credit through online and blended courses (8 NYCRR § 100.5 [d] ).
For more information on these and other requirements, please see the relevant portions of the Part 100 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and the summary of high school diploma requirements.
The Department will continue to examine topics related to earning credit, such as online courses. We will issue further guidance on this website as it becomes available.