Piedmont Home Educators Association

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements


Curriculum Requirements for a South Carolina High School Diploma

There are two governmental bodies that can establish regulations regarding education in South Carolina. The first, the Department of Education (DOE) has the responsibility to review the associations each year to make sure they require their members to fulfill the points of the home schooling law. They also make all the requirements for the public schools. The other one, the Commission on Higher Education (CHE), is responsible to regulate the colleges and universities (institutes of higher education or IHE) in the state. One of the things the CHE does is set minimum requirements for admission to state IHEs. An IHE that admits a student that does not meet that set of requirements will lose all state funding including the state scholarships. The CHE also sets the requirements for and administrates the various state scholarships. Home schoolers do NOT have to meet the public school requirements for graduation. However since the CHE minimum requirements for admission to college are essentially the same as the graduation requirements from public school, if a home school student plans on going to college in state, they must be aware of and meet those minimum requirements.

SC public schools require 24 Carnegie units (credits) for graduation. A Carnegie unit is the measure of how credits are earned toward graduation. Home schoolers do not have to meet that requirement but colleges expect that their applicants will have completed that number. A Carnegie unit is considered to be a minimum of 150 hours of study in a subject. (Eg: 1 credit of Biology would be 150 hours of study and lab work.) A half or quarter credit may be given.

The unit requirements are distributed in the Commission on Higher Education College Preparatory Course Prerequisite Requirements For Entering College Freshmen Beginning in Academic Year 2019-20. This is a four page document that shows the current and new course prerequisites for admission to a state IHE. This should be your planning guide as you consider high school courses for your student.

General Information on High School Requirements

As with all of homeschooling, the parent is responsible to pick the curriculum and keep the records. It is not necessary to follow the requirements for public school students but it is recommended that you do a close approximation.

It is also not necessary to do the classes in the order that the public school does them but colleges usually assume that the upper level classes require greater skills and abilities. You can, for example, do American Literature in 9th grade but if you choose to do so, you should require that your student work at a high level.

The wording in the third option law implies that home school families teach the core courses EVERY year. So even though the public school students only have to do 3 histories and 3 sciences, home school students should do English (consisting of grammar/composition and literature), math, science. and history each year. Some families choose to cover government one year and economics another year so that they fulfill the yearly history requirements. We HIGHLY recommend doing the extra class as a dual credit during senior year at a local college if your student is college bound.