Advanced Studies Diploma


The requirements for a student to earn a diploma shall be those in effect when the student enters the 9th grade for the first time. The following applies to 9th grade students who enter high school in 2013-2014 and beyond.

To graduate from high school with an Advanced Studies Diploma, students shall meet the minimum requirements as outlined below which include 26 credits, 5 of which must be verified credits. A standard credit is earned when a student passes a course. A verified credit is earned when a student passes a course and the associated end-of-course SOL test. In some cases, students may utilize substitute tests or certifications to earn verified credits. State guidelines prescribe the number of verified credits required for graduation for students entering a Virginia public high school for the first time during tenth grade or after. Consult your school counselor for specific information.

Students receive credit toward graduation for high school courses taken and passed in middle school. These courses count toward credits in the required sequences as well as toward the total number of credits required for graduation and calculation of the grade point average (GPA). Middle school parents may request that grades for any high school credit-bearing course taken in the middle school be removed from the student’s high school transcript, and therefore the student will not earn high school credit for the course. In addition, the student will not be eligible for a verified credit in any course which has been removed from the transcript. The request to remove a course from the transcript must be made in writing to the middle or high school the student will attend the following year prior to the end of the first nine weeks.

Advanced Studies Diploma Course Requirements (8 VAC 20-131-50)

Subject Area Standard Credits Verified Credits Jefferson Diploma
English 4 2 4
Mathematics 1 4 1 7
Laboratory Science 2 4 1 4
History and Social Studies 3 4 1 8
World Language* 3   9
Health and Physical Education 2   2
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education 1   10
Economics and Personal Finance 1   1
Electives 3   11
Student Selected Test 5   1  
Total Credits 26 5 26


*Foreign Language is designated World Language in Fairfax County Public Schools.

  1. Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include at least three different course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of Algebra II. The Board of Education shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.
  2. Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least three different science disciplines from among: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics or completion of the sequence of science courses required for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The Board shall approve courses to satisfy this requirement.
  3. Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and World History/Geography I and World History/Geography II. AP World History satisfies the requirement for World History/Geography II.
  4. Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include three years of one language or two years of two languages.
  5. A student may utilize additional tests for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, career or technical education, economics, or other areas as prescribed by the Board in 8 VAC 20-131-110.
  6. Students shall successfully complete one virtual course, which may be a noncredit-bearing course, or may be a course required to earn this diploma that is offered online.
  7. Does not include Algebra 1 which is required for application/admission. Math sequence must terminate in at least AP Calculus (AB or BC) Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geosystems are required courses for all students.
  8. World History & Geography 2, US/VA History, US/VA Government. The 4th Social Studies requirement can be acquired by any non-AP social studies credit available at TJHSST.
  9. Must have three consecutive years of the same language – Footnote #4 does not apply for the TJ Diploma
  10. The credit is earned via Design & Technology required for all matriculating students.
  11. Computer Science, Senior Research/Mentorship, & an additional credit in Math, Science, Technology, Fine Arts, or a fourth consecutive credit in a world language must be taken to fulfill these ‘elective’ credits.