Graduation Requirements & Pathways

Students demonstrate their readiness to enter a postsecondary career or attend college by completing one the eight required graduation pathways, which align to their High School and Beyond Plan:

Smarter Balanced Assessments

Meet or exceed the graduation scores in the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.

Dual Credit

Earn at least one high school credit in one ELA and at least one high school credit in math in dual credit courses (Running Start, College in the High School, and Career and Technical Education dual credit courses).


For both ELA and math, earn a 3 or higher on certain Advanced Placement (AP) exams or a 4 or higher on certain International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.


Meet or exceed the graduation scores set by SBE in the math and ELA portions of the SAT or ACT.

Transition Course

Pass a transition course in ELA and math (for example, a Bridge to College course, which is a senior course for students who earned a Level 2 on the SBA) which allows a student to place directly into a credit-bearing college level course. 


Meet any combination of at least ELA and one math option of those listed above.


Meet standard on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) by scoring at least the minimum established by the military for eligibility to serve in a branch of the armed services.

CTE Sequence

Complete a sequence of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses: two or more high school credits of CTE courses in a progression tailored to the student’s goals and relevant to the postsecondary pathway(s) outlined in the student’s High School and Beyond Plan. The sequence may be comprised of courses within the same CTE program area or courses within more than one CTE program area.

*Note: The armed services test and the CTE course sequence are new graduation pathways; the other pathways have been alternative assessments. Students who pursue these pathways (ASVAB or CTE) do not need to meet English and math requirements separately. English and math content are embedded in both pathways—and both pathways meet the purpose of a high school diploma: to declare that a student is ready for success in postsecondary education, gainful employment, and citizenship, and is equipped with the skills to be a lifelong learner (RCW 28A.230.090). A student who meets either the ASVAB standard or the CTE pathway requirements has met the graduation pathway requirement.