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Graduation Requirements


Min Required Credit

Description of Additional Requirements

English 4  
Fine Arts 1  
World Languages 3 Completion of three (3) consecutive years of the same world language, beginning with the freshman year, is required. The administration must approve any waiver of the three-year language requirement, or a change in the language studied. The World Languages  Department grants permission for the fourth year of world language study.
Health 1/2 One (1) semester course during the freshman year
Mathematics 4 4th credit may be waived at the recommendation of the Department
Physical Education 1/2 One (1) semester course during the freshman year
Religious Studies 4 See Retreats below
Science 3 A minimum of one (1) science credit must be earned by the completion of the l0th grade, typically Biology
Social Studies 3 U.S. History is required
Community Service 60 Hours
(No Credit)
See Academics - Community Service section of this Handbook.
Senior Project Required
(No Credit)
Passing grade awarded upon successful completion of project requirements.
Retreats Required
(No Credit)
Four (4) year retreat program is a mandatory graduation requirement
Total Minimum Number of Credits Required for Graduation 24 Definition of Unit of Credit: Semester courses earn _ credit; Year courses earn 1 credit

Diploma with Distinction

The John Carroll School Diploma with Distinction acknowledges students who have selected a rigorous, four-year academic program. Significant success in these courses is needed as reflected in the requirement that a high “B” average must be maintained. To further encourage students to select demanding courses, participation in AP courses during the senior year is a part of the Diploma formula. John Carroll also offers two subject-specific Diplomas with Distinction--one in the Fine Arts and another in Science. Students who are interested in this challenging program may inquire about it in the Counseling Office.

Academic Diploma with Distinction Criteria:

  • A yearly GPA of 3.5 for each of the first 3 years and a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the 1st semester of senior year;

  • No final course grade below 75;

  • Earned 24 credits in Religion, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages; and

  • Each AP course taken in the senior year will contribute an additional 1/2 credit toward Academic Diploma with Distinction.

Diploma with Distinction in Science

This diploma is awarded to the highly motivated science student who meets the following criteria below:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above;

  • No final course grades below a 75 in a science class;

  • Complete five credits in science;

  • Receive a passing grade on a Senior Project, that focuses on a science them; and

  • Complete at least one of the following:

    1. An intern experience 

    2. Summer science enrichment course 

    3. Shadow three different scientists/engineers for at least one day each and summarize each experience.

Students will be monitored during their senior year. After the first quarter, their Senior Projects must be approved by the Science Department Chair. Students must have completed either their internship or enrichment or one shadowing experience by this time. After the second quarter, students must be passing their Senior Project class. Students must complete an application indicating their interest in working toward a Science Diploma with Distinction no later than the end of their first semester in the student’s junior year. This deadline is to ensure that the student fulfills the necessary requirements.

Diploma with Distinction in Fine Arts

Fine Arts Diploma with Distinction Criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above;

  • No final course grade below 80 in all applicable fine arts courses;

  • Earn 3 credits in Fine Arts electives in grades 10-12; and

  • Receive a passing grade on a senior project that focuses on a fine arts theme; or

  • Complete at least one of the following:

    1. An intern experience

    2. Summer fine arts internship/approved fieldwork and/or shadow (2 professionals/written response)