Religious and Independent Schools

Nonpublic High School Registration

High school Registration is a process that eligible high schools complete with the New York State Office of Religious and Independent Schools (SORIS) to allow them the privilege to issue valid New York State diplomas and administer Regents examinations. Schools are registered through the University of the State of New York and must be approved by the Board of Regents.

Eligible schools include any religious or independent high schools that serve grades 9 to 12 and once they have a class of students which started in grade 9 that has continued to grade 12. Schools must currently have students in each grade 9 through 11 and anticipate students graduating in grade 12.

Registration Process

To apply for registration, a school will need to:

  1. Complete and submit the Application for Nonpublic Secondary School Registration Word document by the March 1st due date.
  2. Work with SORIS to schedule and conduct a site visit to the school. During the site visit, SORIS staff will tour the school, observe instruction, meet with administrative staff, discuss the school’s application, and provide technical assistance, as needed.
  3. Follow-up on any requests for more information.

Once SORIS has completed the site visit and reviewed all of the information and documentation from the school, it will notify the school of its registration status by email and/or regular mail.

Schools receiving pending or full registration status will be able to request New York State diplomas starting in the year in which it receives its status.* Certificates for fully registered schools will be mailed to the school.


March 1st: Applications are due to SORIS; April - May: Site visits are scheduled and conducted; May - June: Schools are notified of their status; June - July: Certificates mailed to schools receiving full registration status

Two types of registration status may be issued – pending or full:

  1. Pending Registration Status – When a school receives a “pending” registration status, it means there is one or more items that the school is continuing to work on to receive full registration status. The school will be provided with a letter from SORIS, outlining the areas the school needs to make changes to and a deadline by which it needs to do so.

    During this time:

    • The school should be working toward fulfilling the requirements needed to obtain full registration status.
    • SORIS will provide technical assistance, guidance, and direction towards resources, as requested by the school, to help it work towards achieving full registration status.
    • The school may continue to administer State exams and issue valid NYS diplomas (Regents or Local) to students who have met all of the criteria for graduation.
  2. Full Registration Status – A school receiving full “registered” status will be able to issue valid NYS diplomas (Regents or Local) as of the date of the letter notifying the school of its full registration status.

*Please note: Diplomas may not be given out retroactively to previous years. Diplomas may only be issued to students who meet the requirements set forth in CR §100.5.

It is recommended that your school visit the New York State Education Department’s website at least annually to review any updates on graduation requirements, school safety laws, health services and/or immunization requirements, funding opportunities, and any additional relevant laws and regulations. Below are Department resources that may assist you in your review.

Last Updated: February 9, 2022