Ohio High School Graduation Requirements

It’s always good to begin planning high school early (no, not 2nd grade) since some classes can count toward high school during junior high. Listed below are the minimum requirements for students enrolled in public schools and graduating in 2014 and beyond that the Ohio State Board of Education has set forth.

Tips: I made a spread sheet for all 4 years of high school and used the graduation requirements as a framework. I adjusted as needed each year and added classes that I thought were necessary for my scholars’ education. We also planned some classes that were fun and of interest to the guys. It was easy to design and relieved me of the stress I had wondering if we completed the needed courses. Plan  your student’s courses as though they are going to college since it is much easier for them to complete the work and requirements when they are in high school as opposed to doing it at a later date. I have had several parents tell me that their child changed their mind and decided to go to college a few years after graduating. They were so glad they had them follow a college prep schedule.

Are you not sure which college your academian would like to attend? Check several college websites to see what the requirements are for entrants. Educationbug has a listing of colleges categorized by state.  Note: although foreign language is listed as an elective in the requirements below, most college require a minimum of two years.  Check to see if the colleges you are interested in have that listed as a requirement. Also be aware that each college is a bit different in handling admissions for home educated students. This is important to know as well so be sure and see what these requirements are so you are ensured that the required classes/credits have been fulfilled. This is not legal advice. Please contact a local or state home school organization for further details concerning requirements.  

Curriculum Requirements Class of 2014 and beyond


English language arts 4 units
Health 1/2 unit
Mathematics 4 units (See 1 below)
Physical education 1/2unit (See 2 below)
Science 3 units (See 3 below)
Social studies 3 units (See 4 below)
Electives 5 units (See 5 below)
Other requirements (See 6 below)
Economics and financial literacy (See 6 below)
Fine arts (See 6 below)

1 Mathematics units must include 1 unit of algebra II or the equivalent of algebra II.

2 The Ohio Core allows school districts to adopt a policy that would exempt students who participate in interscholastic athletics, band or cheerleading for two full seasons from the physical education requirement. Students must take another course of at least 60 contact hours in its place.

3 Science units must include 1 unit of physical sciences, 1 unit of life sciences and 1 unit advanced study in one or more of the following sciences: chemistry, physics, or other physical science; advanced biology or other life science; astronomy, physical geology, or other earth or space science.

4 Social studies units must include 1/2 unit of American history and 1/2 unit of American government.

5 Electives units must include one or any combination of foreign language, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, agricultural education or English language arts, mathematics, science or social studies courses not otherwise required.

6 All students must receive instruction in economics and financial literacy during grades 9-12 and must complete at least two semesters of fine arts taken any time in grades 7-12. Students following a career-technical pathway are exempted from the fine arts requirement.

** Graduation requirements for the classes through 2013 can be viewed by going to the Ohio Department of Education. Note: Home schooled students are not required to take the OGT since they have been excused from compulsory attendance and are not enrolled as public school students. This is not legal advice. Please contact a local or state home school organization for further details concerning requirements.  

6 thoughts on “Ohio High School Graduation Requirements

  1. I’ve recently heard that Latin can’t count toward the foreign language requirement in order to graduate in Ohio. Do you have any information on that?


    • Hi Suzanne,
      I don’t know anything about that, but I would think that it does since my son just took 2 years of Latin in college. It is also a foreign language and it helps with those who are planning on going into the medical profession. I will check that out for you.


    • Hi Suzanne,
      I went and checked it out. here is what the Ohio Department of Education’s website said: “Latin is accepted based upon the Ohio Department of Education’s Ohio’s Plan for World Languages. Here is one of their goals that are listed: We envision creating more opportunities to learn languages that have always held importance for Ohio, such as French, Spanish, German,Latin and American Sign Language, while building capacity in languages critical for economic and strategic importance, such as Chinese,Japanese and Arabic.”

      I also saw that The Ohio State accepts Latin as a foreign language for high school graduates. I didn’t look at any other colleges, but I would think that it is accepted by other higher learning institutions.


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