Graduation Requirements

Des Moines Public Schools provides high school students with a rich selection of courses from which to choose.

Some of these courses meet specific graduation requirements in areas such as social sciences, mathematics and English.

But many options are also available for electives, including a wide selection of Advanced Placement courses, foreign languages, career and technical programs, and the International Baccalaureate diploma program.

The chart below highlights the requirements for graduating classes through 2013 as well as graduating classes beginning in 2014:

Classes of 2012 & 2013

Units of Credit

Classes of 2014-2017

Units of Credit

Social Science
REQUIRED: World History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Economics

3.0

Social Science
REQUIRED: 1.0 credit in history, U.S. History, U.S. Government, and Economics or Microeconomics

3.0

English
REQUIRED: English I, II, and III (or AP Language)

3.5

English
REQUIRED: English I, II, and III (or AP Language)

4.0

Speech

0.5

 

 

Mathematics
REQUIRED: Algebra I (or higher level math course)

3.0

Mathematics
REQUIRED: Algebra I (or higher level math course)

3.0

Science

3.0

Science

3.0

Applied / Fine Arts

1.5

Applied / Fine Arts

1.5

Physical Education*

1.0

Physical Education*

1.0

Electives

7.5

Electives

7.5

TOTAL

23

TOTAL

23

 * Students must be enrolled in physical education at least 1 semester each year while in high school and complete CPR certification.

In order to be considered on track to graduate in four years, students must meet the following credit requirements each year:
  • 6.0 credits going into Sophomore/10th grade year
  • 12.0 credits going into Junior/11th grade year
  • 18.0 credits going into Senior/12th grade year

Under Iowa law, beginning with the class of 2017, all students must complete coursework in Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, Technology Literacy, and Employability Skills. For a comprehensive list of the courses offered for this requirement, click here.