GraduateJump to:

Graduation Requirements

The first step to ensuring you are ready for college is graduating from high school! It is essential that you understand exactly what you need to do in order to graduate from high school on time.  Check your transcript regularly and speak with your school counselor annually to ensure that you are on the right track! Xello can also help track graduation requirements, log on to see how many credits you have left to take! 

How many credits do I need to earn a diploma from MMSD?

Typically, students need somewhere between 22 and 26 credits to earn an MMSD diploma: The exact number of credits needed depends on the type of schedule at your high school (i.e., 7-period, 4-block) and whether you only attend high school in MMSD or transfer into MMSD, sometime during your high school experience, from another school district.

Below you will find the number of credits you need for graduation.

9th-12th grade at East, West, Memorial or Shabazz (all have a 7-period day schedule).

22 credits

LaFollette Students (due to recent changes in the LHS schedule)

11th grade (class of 2021) - 24 credits

10th grade (class of 2022) - 23 credits

9th grade (class of 2023) - 22 credits

9th - 12th grade having spent 2-3 years at La Follette and the remainder at East, West or Memorial

24-26 credits (see your counselor)

9th - 12th grade at Capital

Graduation by portfolio

12th grade at an MMSD high school but spent some time in 9th-12th grade at a school outside of MMSD

Credits needed vary (see your school counselor)

What Specific Courses Do I Need to Earn my MMSD diploma?grad.jpg

Because of recent revisions to our graduation requirements (Summer 2016), the specific courses that you need to earn a diploma from MMSD varies depending on your grade level. Some variation may also exist for students receiving Special Education services based on their Individualized Education Plan. Please see the information below for more details.

Class of 2021 and beyond

  • English - 4 credits (Including successful completion of English 1 & 2)

  • Math - 3 credits (Including coursework in algebraic and geometric concepts)

  • Science - 3 credits (Including coursework in biological and physical sciences)
  • Social Studies - 3 credits (Including successful completion of US History and a semester of Modern US History)
  • Additional Requirements - 1.5 credits PE, .5 credit Health, Civics Exam (65% or higher), 1 credit of Humanities (e.g., Art, Theater, Music, World Language, etc.), .5 credit Financial Literacy

How do I know if I am on track to graduate on time?  

It is essential that you monitor your credits to ensure that you are on track to graduate on time. You can do this by viewing your unofficial transcript in Infinite Campus (under Reports). It is recommended that you audit your transcript after each semester to ensure that it is accurate. This Reviewing Your High School Transcript tip sheet will help you know what to look for. Your school counselor is an excellent resource for additional support.

Selecting the Right Coursesimg_0144.jpg

Your school counselor, your parents and your teachers are your best resource when it comes to selecting the right courses for you. Each student is traveling a different path so talk to those who know to help you make the best decisions. Below are a few things to keep in mind. 

  • Challenge yourself - don't take the easy way out (not even your senior year!)  Consider taking Career and Technical Education Courses (CTE).  These courses are available to EVERYONE!
  • Explore - high school is a time to try new things. Check out that coding course, or that small engines class to help you discover your interests and talents. 
  • Develop your passion- are you passionate about engineering, health sciences or another topic? Consider taking multiple courses in this area throughout your high school career to build your knowledge. 
  • Meet requirements - make sure the courses you take meet the graduation requirements listed above. 


Industry Certifications

MMSD offers opportunities for students to work toward and/or earn professional Industry Certifications through Career and Technical Education and other courses. These certifications provide evidence of learning and skill development as students transition to post-secondary education and future careers. Examples include: Wisconsin Employability Skills Certificate, Wisconsin Youth Leadership Certificate, NATEF (National Automotives Technicians Education Foundation), SP/2 (Safety and Pollution Prevention), ProStart (National Restaurant Association), Certified Nursing Assistant, ACCT (Assistant Child Care Teacher), Youth Apprenticeship Program. 

Dual Credit 

There are several opportunities for students to earn college credit and high school credit (Dual Credit) at the same time while in MMSD. Some of those our outlined on our College Planning website. Below are opportunities for for our students interested gaining valuable hands on experience as they earn college credits. 

Start College Now  - Allows high school students the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. Students interested in taking courses in the fall semester must turn in the application to their high school counselor by March 1 of year year. For spring semester courses, students should submit the application to their school counselor by October 1.

Transcripted Credit Courses - Most of our high schools offer courses for transcripted credit (TC) to Madison College (these credits may transfer to other colleges). See your school's course guidebook or speak to your school counselor for a full listing of these classes. These courses are open to any student, no application is required. 

Career and Technical Student Organizations

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) support and enhance both school-based and work-based learning opportunities. CTSOs enable students to achieve both academic and occupational competencies, and to build the individual student's confidence and self-esteem. The Madison Metropolitan School District has active chapters in FBLA, DECA, FCCLA, HOSA, and SkillsUSA. 

Academic and Career Planning

Madison has a goal for all our students to graduate with the skills and abilities to be successful in college, career and community. This goal was developed with feedback from more than 2500 students, teachers and community members. You can see these skills above in what we call the MMSD Graduate Vision. Teachers support student development of Graduate Vision skills as part of the Academic and Career Planning process.

Through Academic & Career Planning students are beginning to answer these questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I going?
  • How will I get there?
  • Who are we together?

Career Planning Conversation Starters

The Career Conversations questions are based on ecosystems theory, counseling theory and an extensive review of counseling and career counseling literature. The questions can be used to work with individuals and groups of students, parents and community members.