Graduation Requirements and Planning

Graduation Requirements

Read the full Park City School District Policy 9080—Graduation Requirements for greater detail.  All promotion and graduation requirements are subject to PCSD Board of Education review and legislative mandates.

Credits are the units by which academic progress is measured. Students have the opportunity to earn 8 credits toward graduation each year of grades 9 through 12, for a potential grand total of 32 credits. Students earn 0.25 credit per quarter for each successfully completed class (letter grade of D- or better). Courses that award credit toward high school graduation are indicated in the course catalog by the department codes noted below in parentheses. Courses designated as no credit (NC) do not award graduation credit.

Beginning with the Class of 2019, Park City High School graduates must successfully complete a total of 28 units of credit in grades 9 through 12.

28 Total Credits – Distribution Requirements:

  • 4.0 units of English/Language Arts (E) –see Page 9 of the course catalog for detail on new ELA category requirements beginning in 2019-20
  • 4.0 units of Social Studies (SS) to include 1.0 unit each of Geography, World History, and U.S. History; and .5 unit each of Government and a social studies elective
  • 3.0 units of Mathematics (M) to include Secondary Math 1, 2, and 3 –to be College & Career Ready, see the mathematics competency requirements below
  • 3.0 units of Science[1] (S) to include at least one physical science and one life/biological science
  • 2.0 units of Healthy Lifestyles (HL) to include 1.0 unit of Physical Education, 0.5 unit of Health, and 0.5 unit of Healthy Lifestyles elective[2]
  • 0.5 unit of General Financial Literacy (FIN)
  • 0.5 unit of Digital Studies (CT) –see below
  • 1.0 unit of Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • 1.5 units of Fine Arts (FA)
  • 8.5 units of Electives – all credit-earning courses in all departments can count toward Electives, including those coded Elective (EL) and World Language[3] (FL)

[1] Most colleges require 2-3 lab sciences for admission. Courses that meet the lab sciences requirement vary by college.

[2] Eleventh and twelfth grade students may choose to fulfill the required 0.5 HL elective credit by participation in Park City High School varsity athletic teams for two sport seasons.

[3] World Language courses are not required for graduation, but colleges may require up to a level 2 or 3 for admissions.


Digital Studies Requirement:
Utah’s Digital Studies graduation requirement is intended to advance students from being computer users to being computationally literate creators.  The state has approved the following courses to meet this requirement: Exploring Computer Science (offered at TMJH/PCHS), Computer Programming 1 or 2 (PCHS), Computer Science Principles (PCHS), Web Development 1 (PCHS), Business Office Specialist, or Digital Business Applications.  NOTE: Computer Technology meets the requirement only if completed before or during 2017-18. (USBE Rule R277-700-6)

Civics Exam Requirement:
The State of Utah requires that all students pass a basic Civics exam for high school graduation. Park City High School students will be tested in their senior year U.S. Government class. Students opting to take U.S. Government online, or those who transfer in from other schools, will be required to attend a scheduled sitting of the exam in the spring of their senior year. (USBE Rule R277-700-8).

College and Career Readiness Mathematics Competency:
To be considered College and Career Ready, a student pursuing a college degree after graduation shall show math competency, which includes completion of Secondary Math 1, 2, and 3, and at least one of the following:
– a score of 26+ on the math portion of the ACT exam;
– a score of 640+ on the math portion of the SAT exam;
– a score of 3+ on an AP Calculus or AP Statistics exam;
– a score of 5+ on an IB higher level math exam;
– a “C” grade in a concurrent enrollment math course that satisfies a state system of higher education quantitative literacy requirement (Math 1030, 1040, 1050, or 1060); or
– take a full year math course during senior year of high school.
(USBE Rule R277-700-9)

Attention Athletes! – NCAA Eligibility:
If you plan to participate in NCAA Division I, II, or III athletics in college, you must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse. Your Counselor or the PCHS Athletic Director can provide you with information pertinent to eligibility requirements, including eligible core courses, but it is ultimately your responsibility to be certain you meet all the requirements. See NCAA.org for information.

Graduation Recognitions:

Seal of Biliteracy for the State of Utah:
The Seal of Biliteracy is an award issued by the state department of education or local school district to recognize a student who has attained proficiency in English and one or more other World Languages as indicated through approved assessments such as ACT, AP, AAPPL, WIDA, etc.  The Seal is a statement of accomplishment that helps to signal evidence of a student’s readiness for college and career and for engagement as a global citizen.  The biliteracy recognition is noted on the student’s high school transcript.  See the Seal of Biliteracy Application for info.

Academic Seal of Distinction:
All PCHS graduates will be eligible for a Board of Education Silver or Gold Academic Seal of Distinction on their diploma.  Students must meet additional eligibility requirements in grades 9-12 to qualify.  Interested students must submit an initial Academic Seal Intent to Qualify Form and annual Verification of Community Service Forms.  For full qualification requirements, see section IV (Board Recognition) of PCSD Policy 9080–Graduation Requirements.  Contact your Counselor if you have questions.

Graduation Subject Requirements by Grade:

Below is a typical student’s pathway to graduation, based on a full schedule of 8.0 credits per year.

Freshmen–9th Grade:
1.0 Language Arts:  English 9 or Honors English 9
1.0 Social Studies:  Geography or AP Geography
1.0 Math:  Secondary Math 1 or Honors Secondary Math 1
1.0 Science:  Earth Science or Biology
0.5 Participation Skills and Techniques (PE 9)
0.5 Exploring Computer Science (Digital Studies)
3.0 Electives

Sophomores–10th Grade:
1.0 Language Arts:  Sophomore Academy (.5) + choice (.5)
1.0 Social Studies:  World History or AP World History
1.0 Math:  Secondary Math 2 or Honors Secondary Math 2
1.0 Science:  Biology or student choice
0.5 Fitness for Life (PE 10)
0.5 Health
3.0 Electives

Juniors–11th Grade:
1.0 Language Arts:  two semester choices, AP available
1.0 Social Studies:  U.S. History 2 or AP U.S. History
1.0 Math:  Secondary Math 3 or Honors Secondary Math 3
1.0 Science:  Chemistry or student choice
0.5 Financial Literacy
0.5 Healthy Lifestyles class of student choice
3.0 Electives

Seniors–12th Grade:
1.0 Language Arts:  two semester choices, AP available, or English 12 CE
1.0 Social Studies: U.S. Government (.5) + choice of Sociology, Psychology, or Economics (.5)
6.0 Electives
Civics Exam (in U.S. Government class or a test session in the spring)
A Math class for College & Career Readiness

College and Career Ready (CCR) Plan

Park City High School Counselors implement a yearly College and Career Ready (CCR) Program in which they counsel and map out each student’s high school graduation plan, based on their post-secondary goals and ambitions.

Sophomore Timeline:
December: Classroom CCR presentation in Social Studies
April-May: Individual CCR meeting with student and counselor

Junior Timeline:
December: Classroom CCR presentation in Social Studies
January-March: Individual CCR meeting with student, parents and counselor (notice will go out to parents when it’s time to schedule these appointments)

Senior Timeline:
September: Classroom CCR presentation in English classes
September-October: Individual CCR meeting with student and counselor

Naviance and Family Connection:

Naviance Student is a college and career readiness platform that helps connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals.  The program will help guide our students’ academic and career choices, as well as provide opportunities of self-exploration, college research, resume building, and more.  Students will use Naviance Student as part of the College and Career Readiness curriculum provided by the school counselors in grades 8-12.  PCHS students can access Naviance via the PCHS website using their current district login.  Parents will be able register for access via an access code provided by their Counselor during their junior year CCR meeting.

Academic Pathways:

Academic pathways charts for ELA, Math, Science, and CTE are included on the PCHS Course Catalog page.  If you have questions or want course recommendations for future planning, consult your teacher, academic department chair, or counselor.

PCHS Grading Standard

PCHS records grades quarterly. The student’s official grade point average (GPA) is calculated on a quarterly basis, after final quarter grades are recorded on the student’s permanent transcript. The GPA is determined by converting letter grades to a numerical Grade Point value.

A  = 4.0
A-  = 3.7
B+  = 3.3
B  = 3.0
B-  = 2.7
C+  = 2.3
C  = 2.0
C-  = 1.7
D+  = 1.3
D  = 1.0
D-  = 0.7
F  = 0.0

Advanced Placement (AP) courses earning a letter grade of C- or better are awarded additional GPA weight of +.0125 per course, per quarter, added to the student’s cumulative GPA. This is the Weighted Cumulative GPA. AP Labs and Honors courses are not weighted.

Not all courses earn a letter grade.  The following grade designations are excluded from the GPA calculation:  Pass (P), No Grade (NG), No Credit (NC), Incomplete (I), Withdraw-Pass (WP) and Withdraw-Fail (WF).

How to Calculate GPA:

GPA can be calculated by quarter, by grade level, and cumulatively.  Convert your letter grades (A-F) to their numerical grade point values.  Add the grade points together.  Divide the grade point total by the total number of letter grades.  GPA is rounded to the thousandth (x.xxx).  Examples:

Student earns 8 letter grades:  3.7 + 4.0 + 3.7 + 3.3 + 3.0 + 3.0 + 3.0 + 3.3 = 27.0 total / 8 letter grades = 3.375 GPA

Student earns 7 letter grades and one Pass (P):  3.7 + 4.0 + 3.7 + 3.3 + 3.0 + 3.0 + 3.0 = 23.7 total / 7 letter grades = 3.386 GPA. P’s do not count in GPA.

Student earns 8 letter grades, including one quarter AP grade of B+: 3.7 + 4.0 + 3.7 + 3.3 + 3.0 + 3.0 + 3.0 + 3.3 = 27.0 total / 8 letter grades = 3.375 GPA + .0125 for AP = 3.388 Weighted GPA.  Note: AP weight is only added to the cumulative GPA, not the quarter or grade-level GPA.

Overall cumulative GPA is calculated by totaling the grade points for all letter grades earned in grades 9-12, then divide by the total number of letter grades earned in grades 9-12.

PCHS Honor Roll:

Honor Roll is calculated one week after final grades are recorded each quarter.  Honor Roll is based on the simple quarter GPA (not weighted).
Honor Roll = 3.50 to 3.69 GPA
High Honor Roll = 3.70 to 4.00+ GPA

Transfer Grades and Outside Credits:

Park City High School is obligated to accept high school credits from other educational institutions reflecting the appropriate accreditation.  When in doubt, verify with AdvancED (advanc-ed.org) or your Counselor.  An official transcript or information from the school should reflect the accrediting agency.  Park City High School reserves the right to deny credits that have not been properly approved.

IMPORTANT!  Park City High School must receive an official signed and sealed transcript directly from the other school.  We cannot accept transcripts from students or parents, unless they are received in an unopened envelope that was signed and sealed by the sending school.

Grades and credits from other accredited schools are added to the student’s Park City High School Official Transcript under the year and term in which they were completed and with the letter grade and/or percent as awarded by the other school, using their grade scale.  Those letter grades are calculated into the student’s overall GPA using the PCHS Grading Standard grade point values.  Park City High School adds GPA weight for qualifying AP course grades only (we do not weight Honors, IB, Pre-AP, or CE courses).

Credit Remediation:

Students who fail (earn an F, 0 credit) any of their core graduation requirement classes (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, etc.) must make up those failed grades in order to graduate. Park City High School and the Learning Center provide opportunities for credit remediation during the school year, and may provide opportunities during the summer break. Students may also remediate credits through accredited online courses. Students should meet with their Counselor to learn about their remediation options.

Grade Replacement Policy:

The Park City Board of Education acknowledges that students in grades 9-12 might desire or be required to repeat a course for various reasons.  The three primary reasons to repeat a course include: students who have previously failed a course and repeat it to earn credit (remediation); students who enroll in additional units of credit to further their understanding and skills (i.e. band or journalism); and students who repeat an entire course to improve their grade.  For information and specific requirements, speak with your Counselor and refer to PCSD Policy 10036–Grade Replacement Policy for Grades 9-12.

Online Courses (Outside Credits)

***Students and parents should discuss their plans and outside credit options with their Counselor BEFORE taking ANY online/outside courses for credit.

There are a lot of options for online learning these days, and there are many important factors to consider, so make sure you are choosing the right online program.  Your Counselor can help you find the right program for your needs, but ultimately, all decisions regarding the selection and completion of outside credit courses are the responsibility of the student and parents.

“I’ve heard that online classes are easier than regular classes.”  Actually, online classes can be more difficult to complete than live classes.  There is more responsibility on the student to perform as the teacher is not in regular proximity to provide live encouragement.  Successful online students need to be motivated and self-disciplined.

Attention Athletes!  If you plan to participate in NCAA Division I, II, or III athletics in college, it is your responsibility to make sure the online classes you choose meet NCAA eligibility requirements.  Talk directly to the online program and see the NCAA website: NCAA.org.

How are online courses added to your PCHS official transcript?  Park City High School is obligated to accept high school credits from other educational institutions reflecting the appropriate accreditation.  See the “Transfer Grades and Outside Credits” section for important information on accreditation and how online classes are transcribed on the Park City High School transcript.  Park City High School must receive an official signed and sealed transcript directly from the other school.  We cannot accept transcripts from students or parents, unless they are received in an unopened envelope that was signed and sealed by the sending school.  Park City High School reserves the right to deny credits that have not been properly accredited or approved.

Utah Students Connect:

Utah Students Connect (USC) is a consortium of Utah School Districts that provides innovative, quality online curriculum that was developed by highly qualified Utah teachers who also teach the course, and is written to the Utah Core.  Available to students in grades 9-12, you must be enrolled in one of the participating school districts to register for a course through USC.  Courses are offered by quarter credit and adhere to a term schedule.  Students can enroll for original credit or credit recovery.  There’s no cost for original credit during the school year, but fees do apply for summer term and credit recovery.  Visit utahstudentsconnect.org for information, and see your Counselor to register for USC online courses.