While high school graduation requirements vary by state and sometimes by school district, general graduation requirements include completion of four English, three math, three science, three social studies and enough elective units to total 20 to 24 units for all courses. In this context, each unit equals one year.
Some states also require units of art, physical education or foreign language, which may include a world language or computer studies.
California, for example, requires only three years of English and two each of science and math. One science course must be a biological science and the other, a physical science. Algebra must be one of the math courses. The three years of social studies must include one year of U.S. history and geography, one year of world history and geography, and one semester each of government and economics.
Other California graduation requirements are one course in visual or performing arts, foreign language or career education, as well as two years of physical education. Local education agencies may add further requirements.