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 2020:

REQUIREMENTS UNITS OF CREDIT
Social Studies

REQUIRED: US History, US Government, Economics or Microeconomics, and 1.0 additional credit in history

3.0
English

REQUIRED: English I, II, and English III or AP Lang and Comp, and 1.0 additional credit in English

4.0
Mathematics

REQUIRED:   Semester 1 and 2 of Algebra I (or higher level math course)

3.0
Science

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:   Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science

3.0
Applied/Fine Arts 1.5
Physical Education

REQUIRED: In compliance with Iowa law, students must be enrolled in physical education at least 1 semester each year while in high school, and must complete CPR certification.

1.0
Electives 7.5
TOTAL 23

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 in 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.