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Graduation Requirements

The North Allegheny School District Program of Studies for grades 9 - 12 outlines the scheduling process, provides background information related to academic issues, and describes the specific courses available for students. The depth and breadth of course offerings available at the North Allegheny School District contributes to its recognition as one of the top public school districts in both Pennsylvania and the United States.  Students have the opportunity to both explore a variety of subject matter and/or gain in-depth knowledge of a particular strand by completing a majority of courses with a particular department.


Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this rich Program of Studies by scheduling at least 7.0 credits (9th - 12th grade) each year. With eight instructional periods available at the high school level, students should be able to far exceed the minimum credits required through this policy. The selection of a broad spectrum of courses will help students deepen their knowledge and better determine areas of interest for the future.
Graduation Requirements for the Classes of 2015 and 2016

Subject Area

Credits required

English -


Social Studies




Science (includes Biology)


S.T.E.M. *


Physical Education (.5 credit /year)


Health Education


Arts & Humanities Electives


Other Electives


Total Credits



- The English credits also includes the culminating project as detailed in the North Allegheny School District Strategic Plan.

* S.T.E.M. refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The Program of Studies outlines specific courses that meet the S.T.E.M. designation.


In addition to the 21.5 credit requirement, students must demonstrate mastery of the Pennsylvania Academic Stands on the culminating 11th grade Pennsylvania Sate System of Assessment (PSSA).  Mastery shall be deemed as attaining a score of Proficient or higher on the 11th grade PSSA or 12th grade PSSA Retest, attaining passing grade(s) on a local assessment aligned to the PA Academic Standards as designed or selected by the District, or fulfilling requirements of a graduation plan on a student’s IEP.


Students in the Classes of 2015 and beyond must demonstrate proficiency of the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and Eligible Content for the Keystone Exams in the areas of Algebra I, Biology, Composition, and Literature. These four end-of-course Keystone Exams will serve as a stand-alone proficiency requirement for North Allegheny students. These specific Keystone Exams will be administered at the direction of the District according to published guidelines by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) when a child has completed that particular course.


Pending approval by the United States Department of Education, PDE is proposing that these four Keystone Exams (i.e., Algebra I, Biology, Composition, and Literature) replace the 11th grade PSSAs as the required tests to comply with federal legislation. If this occurs, 6.11 will supersede 6.10 within this Policy; 8.0 will also supersede 7.0 within this Policy. Until that occurs, students in the Classes of 2015 and beyond would need to meet both requirements.

The entire High School Graduation Requirements are contained in North Allegheny Board Policy #3241.