Graduation Requirements

  • The Newton School Committee sets requirements for graduation at Newton North and Newton South High Schools. Beginning in 2022-2023 students must earn a minimum of 243 credits in order to graduate. Credits are assigned to courses depending on the frequency of meetings and preparation required.

    3x per week courses 2021-2022 and prior 2022-2023 and beyond
    Full year courses 5.0 credits 12.0 credits
    Semester courses 2.5 credits 6.0 credits
    Non-Wellness quarter courses 1.25 credits 3.0 credits
    Wellness quarter courses 1.0 credits 3.0 credits
    Teach Assistants
    Peer Tutors
    Independent Studies
    (based on length of course)
    (based on length of course)

    All courses, minimum credit, and graduation requirements listed in the Program of Studies reflect the new credit system. Courses that meet fewer than 3 blocks per week will be awarded prorated credit. Students will be required to take a minimum of 72 credits, although juniors and seniors who are committed to extra-curricular activities are allowed to enroll in a minimum of 66 credits with Dean approval. These activities must be supervised by faculty/staff, be connected to the curriculum, and have a definite product or concluding performance. Examples of such activities include interscholastic school sports, school publications, theater (directing, acting or tech crew), science/math teams, Model UN, Mock Trial, speech team, school supervised community service, school supervised tutoring, and summer school. Students should see their guidance counselor for more information about taking 66 credits along with extra-curricular activities.

    Subjects Required For Graduation

    The following are subjects required for graduation. In addition to the subjects listed below, students, especially those planning to continue their formal education after high school, are strongly advised to study world languages.

    • English, 48 credits
    • Science, 24 credits (12 in biological science and 12 in physical science)
    • History and Social Science, 36 credits (including United States history)
    • Mathematics, 24 credits
    • Fine, Performing and Technical Arts (Art, Business, Family and Consumer Science, Media Arts, Music, Drama, Speech, Computer Programming, Journalism, and Technical Education), 12 credits (* symbol on classes)
    • Wellness, 15 credits

    MCAS Graduation Requirement

    In addition to the requirements set by the Newton School Committee, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that students receive passing grades in the English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science portions of the MCAS tests in order to receive a high school diploma. Students who do not pass the tests have several opportunities to retake the tests. Students earning below Proficient on the English Language Arts and/or Mathematics exams are subject to the regulations of an Educational Proficiency Plan. Please see for further information on this state requirement.

    Due to COVID-19 the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education has adjusted competency determination (CD) requirements for the graduating classes of 2022 and 2023. Detailed information
    is available at