Deer Lakes

School District

State Graduation Requirements

Statewide High School Graduation Requirements

Effective with the graduating class of 2023, Pennsylvania high school students have the option to demonstrate their postsecondary preparedness and meet statewide requirements through one of five Pathways to Graduation.


For the purposes of federal accountability, students enrolled in Commonwealth public schools must participate in the Keystone Exams (end-of-course assessments in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology). Proficiency in all three Keystone Exams was also intended to serve as a statewide requirement for graduation beginning in 2017; however, the legislature enacted a series of moratoriums on the use of Keystone Exam Proficiency as a graduation requirement so that the Department of Education might put forth alternate recommendations which more fully illustrated college, career, and community readiness. Those recommendations formed the basis of legislation that altered the Pennsylvania Public School Code and Title 22 Chapter 4.
Pathways to Graduation

Students who do not demonstrate proficiency or attain a minimum composite score on the three Keystone Exams may demonstrate their proficiency on the Keystone-related content by meeting locally established, grade-based requirements. That demonstration of proficiency, in combination with student artifacts and/or student performance within another program, course, or assessment, may satisfy statewide requirements under the new Pathways to Graduation. In select circumstances, a chief school administrator may choose to waive pathway-specific requirements; however, excessive utilization of this prerogative may subject the local education agency to corrective action. Students with disabilities whose special education programs, by design, do not meet statewide requirements for graduation are granted diplomas for the satisfactory completion of their respective programs.

Access the Pennsylvania High School Graduation Requirements Toolkit for additional guidance and information on technical assistance.

NOTE: Students who have meet statewide requirements (minimally, by qualifying for waiver) but cannot meet local graduation requirements due to education instability may qualify for a Keystone diploma. Access PDE policy on Assisting Students Experiencing Education Instability.