Ohio Graduation Guidelines and College Readiness Standards

By this point, you probably know that in order to graduate from high school, you have to take certain classes. These classes are designed to give you a baseline of knowledge in many different fields, especially the core subjects of English, math, history and science. You should familiarize yourself with the requirements set forth by your high school to make sure you keep up your eligibility for graduation. 

On the other hand, your entire schedule will not be dictated by the requirements set forth by your high school or state. First, use your elective space to take courses that meet the college readiness standards. This may mean you need to take an additional science and history course, along with a couple years of foreign language. Consider checking out the college of your choice’s admission page to determine what exactly they are looking for, and then use our tables below to provide a more general guideline. 

Even with meeting Ohio graduation requirements and college readiness standards, you will likely still have free time in your day. Use your elective spaces to take classes that interest you. Make sure you are still challenging yourself, both as a person and an academic. 

Each subject area has a certain number of credits you must meet. Remember that the selection of these subjects was not arbitrarily made. Each type is designed to help you become a productive member of society. The table listed below explains some of the generic skill sets you can get out of each subject.  

English Helps develop your writing skills, reading comprehension and expands your vocabulary. Improves your quality of life
Math Helps develop problem-solving skills. Also necessary to help you succeed on college entrance exams and in college classes.
Science Teaches you how to think analytically and how theories apply to reality.
History Improves your understanding of both historical and current events. Helps you study the cultures that shaped the world. Prepares you to be a part of democracy.
Foreign Language Increases communication skills. Shows colleges you are willing to go beyond the basics.
Arts Helps you think creatively and critically. Improves your quality of life.

Here’s the good news: the Ohio high school graduation requirements closely align with college readiness standards. Remember that college readiness standards are guidelines, and individual schools may have different requirements. You can talk to a college’s admission office to get more information on what they look for. 

Also remember that you how you perform in some specific areas can help improve your odds of being admitted to a school. Colleges typically look for strong grades in science, math, and foreign language courses as indicators of your ability to succeed in school. They also look to see if you took rigorous, challenging courses. A B in an upper-level class will likely give you a better advantage than only taking courses you knew would be an easy A. You can also consider AP courses or participating in College Credit Plus. Take to your counselor for more information on either of these programs. 

Ohio Graduation Requirements and College Readiness Standards
English 4 credits 4 credits  
Math 4 credits 4 credits Must include courses up to Algebra 2
Science 3 credits 4 credits Including 1 Life and 1 Physical science course, colleges will prefer courses that also had a lab component
History 3 credits 4 credits 1/2 credit in American history, 1/2 credit in Government
Foreign Language   2-3 credits Check with your high school to determine if a foreign language is necessary for graduation. For college readiness, usually all credits must be in the same language.
Economics and Financial Literacy 1/4 credit    
Fine Arts 1/4 credit    
Health 1/2 credit    
Physical Education 1/2 credit    
Electives 5 credits    

Information adapted from http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-Graduation-Requirements
Information adapted from https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/your-high-school-record/high-school-classes-colleges-look-for