Earning Your High School Diploma - New York

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As home to the oldest educational systems in the nation, New York spends far above the national average per student each year and boasts the best student to teacher ratio. Want to know what it takes to earn your NY diploma? Here's the scoop!
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New York is home to the oldest educational system in the nation, enrolling more students per year than any other state except for California. Perhaps it's no surprise that it focuses great importance on student achievement. According to Encarta Resources Library, Encarta.msn.com, New York spent nearly $12,000 per student in 2001, far beyond the national average of just under $8,000. To top it off, New York's student to teacher ratio was lower, meaning students may have an opportunity for more one-on-one attention.

According to the New York State Education Department, www.emsc.nysed.gov, a student must complete the following coursework before earning a high school diploma:

  • Four years of English
  • Four years of social studies
  • Three years of Science, including one life science, one physical science and one elective
  • Three years of Math
  • One year of visual arts and/or music
  • 1/2 year of health education
  • 2 years of physical education

Please note that school districts can establish requirements beyond what is listed here. This list reflects only minimal expectations.

More advanced students have the opportunity to earn what is called a Regents Diploma. Reagent students must complete the same coursework as regular students, but include foreign language classes and language arts electives as well. They must also pass Regents exams in English, science, social studies and math. Those who average at least 90 percent in each of these exams will earn a New York Regents Diploma with Honors.

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