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 state legislative mandates.

Credits are the units by which academic progress is measured. Full time 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, or P). 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, to earn a Park City High School diploma, students 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)
  • 4.0 units of Social Studies (SS) to include 1.0 unit each of Geography, World History, and U.S. History; and .5 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 subjects 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 lab science requirements 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. Park City School District students typically meet this requirement by taking Exploring Computer Science in 9th grade.  The state has approved the following courses to meet this requirement:
– Exploring Computer Science
– Computer Programming 1 or 2
– Computer Science Principles
– Web Development 1
– Business Office Specialist
– 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:
Utah law requires that all students pass a basic Civics exam for high school graduation. At PCHS, students take the exam in their senior-year U.S. Government class. Seniors can take the exam as many times as needed, and it does not affect GPA. Seniors who take their U.S. Government class online or at a different school, will be required to attend a scheduled sitting of the exam in the spring of their senior year. See the Civics Exam page of our website for more information. (USBE Rule R277-700-8 and UT Code 53E-4-205)

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” average 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. See for information. 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.

Graduation Recognitions:

Seal of Biliteracy for the State of Utah:
The Seal of Biliteracy is an award issued by the state department of education and 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 details.

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 to their Counselor.  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.  This is just a base guide–each student’s graduation plan can be different.

Freshmen–9th Grade:
1.0 Language Arts: 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 req.)
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 Chemistry or other science
0.5 Fitness for Life (PE 10)
0.5 Health
3.0 Electives

Juniors–11th Grade:
1.0 Language Arts: two semester choices or AP Language
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 other science
0.5 Financial Literacy
0.5 Healthy Lifestyles (elective PE) class of student choice
3.0 Electives

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

PCHS Grading Standard

Grades and credits are recorded on our transcript 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 transcript. The GPA is determined by converting letter grades to a numerical grade point value. GPA is rounded to the thousandth (

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 called 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 (  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.

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 approximately one week after final grades are recorded each quarter.  Honor Roll is based on the simple quarter GPA (not weighted).  Honor Roll is 3.50 to 3.69 GPA.  High Honor Roll is 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 national accrediting agency (formerly AdvancED) or ask your Counselor. An official transcript and information from the school must 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 will not accept transcripts from students or parents, unless they are received in an unopened envelope that was signed and sealed by an official at 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. Those letter grades are calculated into the student’s overall GPA using the PCHS Grading Standard grade point values. GPA weight is added for qualifying AP grades only (we do not weight Honors, IB, Pre-AP, or CE courses).

Credit Remediation:

Students who fail any of their core graduation requirement classes (earn an F in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, PE, etc.) must make up those failed grades in order to graduate. PCHS provides 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 FIRST to learn about remediation options.

Grade Replacement Policy:

The Park City Board of Education acknowledges that students in grades 9-12 might desire to or be required to repeat a course for various reasons.  The three primary reasons to repeat a course include: (1) Remediation—for students who failed a course and repeat it to earn passing credit toward graduation requirements, (2) Grade improvement—for students who repeat an entire course to improve their letter grade, and (3) Additional credit—for students enroll in additional units of credit to further their understanding and skills (i.e. band or journalism).  For information and specific requirements, meet with your Counselor and refer to PCSD Policy 10036–Grade Replacement Policy for Grades 9-12.

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:
November: College and Career Ready curriculum
April-May: Individual student-counselor CCR meeting

Junior Timeline:
December: College and Career Ready curriculum
January-March: Individual student-parent-counselor CCR appointments (notices will go out when it’s time to schedule)

Senior Timeline:
September: College and Career Ready curriculum
September-October: Individual student-counselor CCR meeting

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 our secondary school counselors. PCHS students can access Naviance via the PCHS website. Parents will be able register for access via an access code provided during the junior-year CCR meeting.

Academic Pathways:

Pathways charts for 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, the department chair, the CTE Director, or your counselor.

Online Courses (Outside Credits)

***Students and parents should discuss their education 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:

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 (UTSC) is a consortium of Utah public 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.  To be eligible for UTSC courses, students must be enrolled in one of the participating school districts.  Courses are offered by quarter credit and adhere to a term schedule with completion deadlines.  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.

For more information about UTSC, including rules and policies, see the UTSC Student & Parent Handbook.

To sign up for UTSC online courses, see your school counselor.