What classes do you need to graduate high school?

Learn more about High School Graduation Requirements in Arizona. 

An important part of high school is planning out the classes you want and need to take to make sure you graduate on time. Whether you are just starting high school or you’re getting ready to finish, it’s worth taking the time to look over your graduation plan to make sure you have all the right classes in order. 

The basic subject areas in high school are English, Social Studies, Math, Science, and Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education.

What classes do you need to graduate high school in Arizona?

In Arizona, high school students must take and pass a minimum of 22 credits to graduate. Check out the list below that outlines these classes. Make sure to check with your principal about the classes specifically required at your high school.

English or English as a Second Language

4 credits

Social Studies

3 credits


4 credits


3 credits

Fine Arts or CTE

1 credit

Additional Courses

7 credits


22 credits

The exact name of the core classes that you take in high school vary from school to school. 

For example, if you attend high school at one of the Rose Academies schools, your four credits of Mathematics would include Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and one additional credit of significant math content. 

Another example is your three social studies requirements. At Rose Academies in Tucson, your social studies credits will consist of one credit of American History, one credit of World History and Geography, half a credit of Government and half a credit of Economics.

These guidelines are especially important to understand if you are moving from one state to another during your high school years. Make sure to check with your new school to make sure you will have all the required classes to graduate on time.

Although your basic classes are mapped out by your school, there are opportunities to take other classes that you choose yourself!

What are electives?

You may notice the list of what classes you need to graduate high school includes “additional courses”? What does this mean? 

During high school you have some freedom to choose what types of classes you want to take – these are called electives. Every school has the opportunity to offer certain additional classes to their students – sometimes these are topics your school thinks are important to learn about, others might be 

For example, Rose Academies offers elective classes like Journalism/Yearbook, PE, Art History, Music Theory, and a hundred other Career and Technical Education classes to choose from!

What are you interested in learning about? It is important to ask your principal what types of elective classes are available at your school and include these in your plan of which classes you will take during high school. Electives are flexible but they are still classes you need to take and pass to graduate high school. 

Now that we’ve answered your questions about what classes do you need to graduate high school, you can get signed up for classes knowing that you’re on track to graduate. 

If you’re looking for a school to attend in Tucson, check out the five Rose Academies schools located around Tucson. The Rose Academies offer self-paced learning, access to one-on-one instruction, both small group classes and online coursework, and three sessions to choose from including morning, afternoon and evening. Click here to learn more about how to register for high school!

People Also Ask

What are the subject areas in high school?

The subject areas in high school are English, Social Studies, Math, Science, and Fine Arts or CTE. In addition to your basic classes, you will have elective classes to take to graduate with your high school diploma.

What grade do you need to pass high school?

As a general rule, you need to pass every class before you can graduate. In Arizona, the minimum passing grade for each class is a D or 60%. Some schools, like Rose Academies, use a mastery grading system so the minimum passing grade for each class is a C.

How many credits do you need to graduate high school?

Students in Arizona need to have 22 credits to graduate high school, unless their high school requires more. Rose Academies in Tucson requires 22 credits to graduate, we will  make sure you have the correct credits in each required area!