Course Credit

Understanding the Carnegie Unit and Course Credit

The American system of education uses Carnegie units. A Carnegie Unit is a measure of time in which a student studies a subject during the course of a school year. A set number of credits are required in specific subject areas in grades 9 through 12 to fulfill requirements for graduation and the American high school diploma.

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Students transferring from non-English speaking schools, or systems that do not use the credit system, will receive credit accordingly. One unit of credit is given for successful completion of a course that is normally scheduled for a 45-minute class period which meets five times a week for the duration of a 36-week school year.

Credit is awarded for the satisfactory completion of courses on the following basis:

  • Full-year courses which meet 5 periods per week receive 1.0 credit.
  • Semester courses which meet 5 periods per week receive 0.5 credit.
  • A course must be taken in its entirety for credit to be awarded.