Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

General Requirements

  • In order to graduate at the end of the first semester of the senior year, students must complete all graduation requirements with the exception of the final semester of physical education. Application for early graduation must be filed by October 1 of the senior year.
  • All students are required to take a minimum of 6 academic credits, or the equivalent, each semester in senior high school. Exceptions must be approved by the principal.
  • A maximum of 10 credits may be transferred from alternative education schools/programs, such as Cedar Falls Alternative High School, Hawkeye Success Center, or Kirkwood Community College.
  • Transfer students in good standing at their previous school must assume the requirements at Cedar Falls High School, effective at the time of their transfer. However, all students must meet the state requirements in U. S. History and American Government.
  • After the thirty-fifth day of a semester, a student dropping a course will receive a grade of “F” for the semester.
  • Students must be enrolled in Cedar Falls High School during their final semester in school to meet the requirements for graduation.
  • All exceptional or unusual circumstances concerning graduation must be evaluated by the high school principal and superintendent of schools.
  • Credits earned by junior high students for successfully completing High School world language and core courses apply to graduation requirements. Grades will be included in calculating grade point average.

Credits Required

A credit is defined as the successful completion of one semester of an academic subject.

45 in grades 9 through 12

Courses Required

Department Credits
Physical Education

Unless approved exemption

4 credits

See list of qualifying courses

0.5 credits
6 semesters
6 semesters

All speech courses except for Beginning Acting will count as an English credit.

8 semesters
Social Studies

To include at least 1 semester of U. S. History II, 1 semester of American Government, and 1 semester of an elective course from the World Studies courses.

6 semesters
Personal Economics

See list of qualifying courses.

1 semester in grades 9 through 12
Fine Arts and/or Practical Arts

See list of qualifying courses.

2 semester credits
misc. credits

World Studies Electives

These courses satisfy the World Studies elective requirements.

  • World Geography
  • Eastern Civilization
  • Western Civilization
  • Developing Nations

Personal Economics

These courses satisfy the Personal Economics requirements.

  • Consumer Economics (9th Grade)
  • Adult Living I or II
  • Personal Finance
  • Business Law
  • Economics
  • Introduction to Business
  • Mathematics for Daily Living
  • Vocational Cooperative Programs

Health Courses

These courses satisfy the Health requirements.

  • Health
  • Adult Living I
  • Adult Living II

Fine or Practical Arts

Students must obtain 2 credits in courses qualifying either as fine arts or practical arts. Music courses, other than Music Behind the Scenes, earn .5 credits per semester in grade 9.

Fine Arts Courses
9th Grade
  • Band
  • Orchestra
  • Chorus
  • Music Behind the Scenes (Peet only)(1 credit per semester)
  • Art
  • Crafts
Senior High

Courses from the following departments qualify:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Speech
Practical Arts Courses
9th Grade
  • Manufacturing Systems
  • Construction Systems
  • Communications Systems (Holmes only)
  • Hands-On Technology (Peet only)
  • Home Improvement and Repair (Peet only)
  • Foods and Interior Design
  • Fashion and Child Development
  • Consumer Economics
  • Electronic Technology and Learning (Peet only)
  • Peer Helpers
Senior High

Courses from the following departments qualify:

  • Business Education
  • Industrial Technology
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Cadet Teaching

General Administrative Requirements

  • A student must have accumulated at least six credits in core areas (English, science, social studies and math) in the ninth grade before enrolling in the tenth grade.
  • Any student deficient in the number of accumulated credits will be required to take a full schedule of six academic classes and physical education.
  • In certain circumstances, students may repeat a course for the purpose of raising a grade but not for additional credit.

Mid-year Graduation

Any Senior who plans to graduate at the end of their 1st semester must meet all of the Cedar Falls High School graduation requirements and turn in the appropriate paperwork with parent and administration approval by the October 1st deadline. The Administration and Counseling Department strongly encourage students to attend school for the normal eight semesters. Students should consult their counselor if they have any questions.

Transfer Credits

Students transferring into the Cedar Falls District must meet all established requirements to receive a diploma from Cedar Falls High School. The district retains the right to determine grade level placement and whether or not to accept credits earned from a student’s previous educational setting.

Transfer students in good standing at their previous school will be required to assume the course requirements of Cedar Falls High School, effective at the time of their transfer. However, all transfer students must meet the state requirements in U. S. History and American Government.

  • Only credits earned in a high school or high school program accredited by their state department of education will be accepted towards meeting the graduation requirements for Cedar Falls High School. Exceptions may be granted only through approval of the superintendent of schools or designee. In the event credit is accepted from a non-accredited educational program, neither numerical or letter grades received will be recorded on the student’s permanent transcript.
  • A student who transfers from a non-accredited educational program will only be eligible for honors and awards for the actual period of time enrolled at Cedar Falls High School.

Students currently enrolled in the Cedar Falls District wanting to take courses offered by another district or post-secondary institution must obtain pre-approval for the course from the high school principal in order for the credit to be accepted towards meeting graduation requirements.