Academic

This page includes:

  • Graduation Requirements
  • Facts about GPA
  • Study Tips/Links/Resources

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate high school, a student must complete 26 total credits.

Students have the opportunity to take up to 32 total credits during 4 years of high school.

26 credits is the absolute minimum to graduate from high school.

It is highly recommended that students hoping to attend a 4-year college aim for 32 credits.

‚ÄčTo receive 26 credits, students must pass 26 classes.


Included in those 26 credits, students must additionally complete 16 core courses as mandated by the state of North Carolina.

  • English 1, English 2, English 3, English 4
  • Math 1, Math 2, Math 3, a 4th Math
  • World History, American History 1, American History 2, Civics & Economics
  • Earth & Environmental Science, Biology, a Physical Science
  • Health & PE
  • 2 credits of the SAME foreign language are NOT required for graduation, but ARE required for application to most 4-year universities/colleges.

*Math 3 may be replaced with substitute course for students exempted by principal
*4th Math Options: Discrete Math, Pre-Calculus, Advanced Functions & Modeling, Essentials of College Math, AP Stats, AP Calculus, OR any qualifying substitute depending on student's post-secondary plans
*AP US History may count as both American History 1 and American History 2, but student will be required to earn 1 additional history credit to satisfy graduation requirement.

Note: ‚ÄčThese are the minimum required courses for high school graduation. SWA also requires that ALL students complete a Senior Internship (1 credit).

Fulfilling these minimum requirements ensures a high school diploma and also enables students to pursue further education through a community college,

Most 4-year colleges/universities like to see students go beyond the minimum required courses for high school graduation by taking other rigorous courses.

Grading Scale & GPA

Your Grade Point Average (GPA) is a number that summarizes your overall performance in your high school courses. For each final course grade you earn (end of semester grade), you earn a certain number of quality points. Your GPA is the average of those quality points.

Programs, opportunities, colleges and employers may use your GPA to infer things about your abilities and work habits, so attaining a GPA that accurately reflects you is important.

Knowing how to calculate your high school GPA is important. Use the tools below to help you learn how to calculate your GPA and then set appropriate goals for continually improving your GPA.

When it comes to GPA, start strong and stay strong!

Facts about GPA:

  • It is cumulative and reflects all of the classes you take in high school!
  • Honors & AP level classes help you to earn extra quality points, which can enhance your GPA.
  • GPA can play an important role in opportunities offered to you in and after high school.
  • Typically, the higher your GPA, the more choices you will have for college, scholarships, etc.
  • The GPA you have in 9th & 10th grades are critical as they set the foundation for what follows.
  • It can be quite difficult to bring up your GPA in 11th & 12th grades if you did not start out strong in 9th & 10th grades.

How to calculate GPA:

Your GPA is the average of the quality points you've earned for each final course grade taken in high school. It's fairly simple to calculate.

All you need is a copy of your transcript or record of all grades accumulated so far in high school. When trying to improve your GPA, it is a good idea to set a GPA goal for yourself and calculate what grades you need to obtain in order to meet that goal.