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Graduation Requirements

The Texas Legislature changed high school graduation requirements beginning with students entering ninth grade during the 2014-15 school year. These changes allow more flexibility for high school students to pursue either higher education or a career pathway.

The Texas Legislature has created one graduation plan, the Foundation High School Program or Foundation Plan. In addition, students have the opportunity to earn Endorsements, Distinguished Achievement and Performance Acknowledgements.

Course Selection Handbook


2023 - 2024 Course Selection Handbook
2023-24 Course Selection Handbook


Foundation Plan

The Foundation Plan replaces the previous Minimum, Recommended and Distinguished Plans and is the plan under which students entering high school in 2015-16 will graduate. Students who were enrolled in grades 9-11 before 2014-15 may also graduate under the Foundation Plan if they choose.

The Foundation Plan expands the availability of career and technical education courses and encourages students to select a personal pathway of study, called an endorsement. All ninth-graders will be required to select an endorsement pathway.

The Foundation Plan requires a total of 22 credits:
  • 4 English Language Arts
  • 3 Math (Algebra I, Geometry and Advanced Math)
  • 3 Social Studies (World Geography or World History, U.S. History, Government and Economics)
  • 3 Science (Biology and 2 additional sciences -- IPC or advanced)
  • 2 Languages other than English
  • 1 Fine Arts
  • 1 Physical Education
  • 5 Electives

Students must successfully complete coursework and pass all required end-of-course exams to earn their diploma. Graduation under the Foundation Plan with endorsements totals 26 credits. To be considered for the top 10 percent, students must graduate with an endorsement and successfully complete Algebra 2.


The Foundation Plan offers students the choice of an endorsement, or targeted area of study -- like picking a major in college. To graduate, students may earn 26 total credits (a combination of core requirements and endorsement electives) in the targeted area.

The five options for students when selecting an endorsement are:
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Business and Industry
  • Public Service
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math)
  • Multidisciplinary 

After students select an endorsement as part of their high school graduation plan, they and their parents will be advised of the plan's benefits. Endorsements can be changed at any time, but written parent consent and a parent meeting are required when a student chooses to graduate on the Foundation Plan without endorsements. These meetings are held during the student's ninth-grade year.

For more information, please contact your campus counselor.