Core 40 Diploma (Indiana)

Indiana's Core 40 is considered the minimum academic foundation all students need to succeed in college, apprenticeship programs, military training and the workforce.


Indiana’s Core 40 is considered the minimum academic foundation all students need to succeed in college, apprenticeship programs, military training and the workforce. A Core 40 diploma indicates a student has taken the required 40 credits in language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health and electives including world languages, career/technical, and fine arts. Core 40 became Indiana’s required high school curriculum in fall 2007. Students entering high school since 2007 have been expected to complete Core 40 as a graduation requirement. To graduate with less than Core 40, a student must complete a formal opt-out process involving parental consent.


  • The Core 40 diploma is designed to prepare you for many college programs and careers.
  • There are 40 total state credits required, however some schools may have additional local graduation requirements that apply to all students.
  • 5 credits are required to be world languages, fine arts or career and technical education courses.
  • To succeed in college-level work, students need to complete Core 40 in high school. Anything less may mean taking remedial (high school) coursework in college
  • Core 40 is a college admissions requirement in Indiana: Starting in fall 2011, students were unable to start at a four-year public Indiana college without Core 40 (or a documented equivalent). Most private colleges require students to have at least this level of high school academic preparation.
  • The Core 40 diploma can help you earn money for college. Indiana students who complete a Core 40 diploma and meet other financial aid and grade requirements can receive up to 90 percent of approved tuition and fees at eligible colleges.


  • IDOE Memo: Science for Core 40 Curriculum Model (June 2022): Following recent changes to Career and Technical Education (CTE) coursework and the launch
    of the Next Level Programs of Study (NLPS), the course options have been expanded to satisfy the third science course required to earn the Core 40 diploma.
  • IDOE memo regarding what counts toward Core40 science credits (April 2019)
  • With the State Board approval of the 2019-2020 Course Titles and Descriptions (December 2018), I can confirm that the new AP World History: Modern course will satisfy the Core 40 requirement.  Jennifer Jensen, Assistant Director for Curriculum & Instruction, IDOE
  • Original Question (Part 1): If ST does not meet C40 requirements but has enough credits for gen diploma. Is there a point where we, as a school, can graduate the student because they met General diploma reqs. Or do we have to allow them the opportunity to finish the C40?Answer: On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM Culhan, Amanda <> wrote:  If the student can earn the General now (at the end of her senior year), it’s up to your school if you want to allow her to stay into a 5th year. You aren’t required to allow her to do so since she has met requirements for a diploma. Typically schools will present the student with the summer option (meeting requirements by the last day of September), as you have done.Follow up Question (Part 2): Thank you – they do not have to agree to an opt out then right?Answer: On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 11:35 AM Culhan, Amanda <> wrote:  No, if it’s beyond the 4 years and they’ve met requirements for the General Diploma, they wouldn’t have to agree to the opt-out. I think a good alternative would be to allow them the option to continue to work towards meeting requirements before the end of September.



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