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.04 Credit Requirements.

A. To be awarded a diploma, a student shall be enrolled in a Maryland public school system and shall have earned a minimum of 21 credits that include the following specified core credits:

(1) English—four credits of organized instruction in listening and speaking, reading and literature, and written composition and use of language, of which one credit shall be aligned with the Maryland High School Assessment for English;

(2) Fine arts—one credit in visual arts, music, theater, or dance, or a combination of these;

(3) Mathematics—three credits, including one with instruction in algebra aligned with the Maryland High School Assessment for algebra/data analysis or one or more credits in subsequent mathematics courses for which Algebra I is a prerequisite, and one with instruction in geometry aligned with the content standards for geometry;

(4) Physical education—one-half credit;

(5) Health education—one-half credit;

(6) Science—three credits of which one shall be in biology aligned with the Maryland High School Assessment for biology and two from the earth, life, environmental science, or physical sciences, or all of the above, in which laboratory experiences are an integral component;

(7) Social studies—three credits including one credit in United States history, one credit in world history, and one credit in local, State, and national government aligned with the Maryland High School Assessment for government;

(8) Technology education—one credit that includes the application of knowledge, tools, and skills to solve practical problems and extend human capabilities; and

(9) Earn one of the following:

(a) Two credits of world language or two credits of American Sign Language;

(b) Two credits of advanced technology education; or

(c) Successfully complete a State-approved career and technology program.

B. Elective programs and instruction shall be developed at the discretion of the local school system, open to enrollment for all students, and shall focus on in-depth study in required subject areas, exploration, or application and integration of what has been learned.

C. Beginning with students entering high school in 2011—2012, all students must complete a locally designed high school program of environmental literacy as set forth in COMAR 13A.04.17 that is approved by the State Superintendent of Schools.