Diploma Requirements

There are 4 diploma choices for students in Indiana: the General Diploma, the Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors or Core 40 with Technical Honors.  See also Graduation.


There are 4 choices for students in Indiana: the General Diploma, the Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors or Core 40 with Technical Honors.  See also Graduation.


  • Each diploma type has specific coursework that must be completed.
  • The requirements often change and the Indiana Department of Education is the best source for up-to-date information (see below).


  • Course requirements (Indiana) – Quantitative Reasoning Courses Update 2021 IDOE memo
  • The guidance below explains waivers for Graduation Pathways. This can be found in the Graduation Pathways Guidance Policy.Graduation Pathways are mandatory for students graduating in 2023, though students graduating prior to then can opt in to satisfy his or her graduation requirements. It is important to note that if a student opts into Graduation Pathways prior to 2023, this student is not earning a waiver for the graduation qualifying exam, but rather satisfying different graduation requirements necessary to earn a diploma. With regards to the waiver for graduation requirements, the current Evidence-based and Work-readiness waivers are effective until June 30, 2022. Effective July 1, 2018, a student may receive a waiver for the Postsecondary-Readiness Competency requirements, but not the diploma criteria or employability skills requirements. Those two components are still required for the student to graduate. To qualify for a waiver from the postsecondary-readiness competencies, a student will have been unsuccessful in completing a postsecondary-readiness competency requirements by the conclusion of his/her senior year. This includes:
    1. A student who was in the process of completing a competency at one school that was not offered by the school to which the student transferred; and
    2. A student who has attempted to achieve at least three separate postsecondary-readiness competencies.

    Each attempt must be done in good faith and as a true potential demonstration of achievement.

    If a student transfers from a non-accredited public school, a school out of state, or a school out of the country during his/her senior year, that student must demonstrate at least one unsuccessful attempt of a Postsecondary-Readiness Competency to qualify for a waiver.  For a student to receive a waiver, the student must:

    (1) Maintain at least a “C” average, or its equivalent, throughout the student’s high school career in courses comprising credits required for the student to graduate;

    (2) Maintain a school attendance rate of at least 95% with excused absences not counting against the student’s attendance;

    (3) Satisfy all other state and local graduation requirements beyond the postsecondary-readiness competency requirements, including all diploma and employability skills requirements; and

    (4) Demonstrate postsecondary planning, including:

    (A) College acceptance;

    (B) Acceptance in an occupational training program;

    (C) Workforce entry; or

    (D) Military enlistment.

    Satisfying the waiver conditions will be approved by the principal of the student’s school.

  • Indiana high schools must administer naturalization exam as provided by US Citizenship and Immigration Services in a US government credit awarded course (includes AP Government and any Dual Credit Government).  Passing the naturalization exam is not required to pass the US Government course (or for graduation).
  • Q: Do we have to put a student’s legal name on their high school diploma? I
    • A: It seems like the majority of people said it’s a legal document, therefore the name on the diploma has to match their legal name. No one knows of any document or anything that states this though.  One said they’ve run into the problem where they allowed a student to use a different name, and that student had difficulty enrolling in college and a new diploma had to be made. Others have run into that problem with students going into the military, too.
  • 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 <aculhan@doe.in.gov> 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 <aculhan@doe.in.gov> 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.
  • From Counselortalk August 2018- Question: I am working with a student who was supposed to graduate in 2007 and now wants to earn his diploma.  Do I follow current diploma requirements or previous?  If I can use his previous requirements, can anyone tell me what those were? Answer: You can find requirements from the past in the attached document (Graduation Requirements Through the years II.) The student would need to meet any requirements from that time, plus local requirements, and would need to have passed a graduation exam then or now – or qualify for a waiver. (Amanda Culhan, School Counseling Specialist, Indiana Department of Education)
  • From Counselortalk January 2020-Can a former student who is trans-gender have their name changed on their diploma? January 2020 transgender diploma responses
  • From Counselortalk January 2020-What to do when a student fails Algebra 1: January 2020 Algebra 1 credit recovery


If you have suggestions, feedback, or resources, please email counselor1stop@inspiresuccess.org and let us know.