How to Earn a High School Diploma or Regents Diploma in New York (NY)

Oct 20, 2021

High School Diplomas: NY

High school students in the state of New York may graduate with one of the three types of diplomas: Regents diploma, advanced Regents diploma, or a local diploma. Students must complete a set number of credits, and diploma types are based on a student's completion of tests and test scores.

Graduating and receiving your high school diploma in NY can be done in three ways.

Regents Diploma

The state of New York offers a Regents diploma to high school students who complete a minimum of 22 credits during their 4 years of school, including 4 of English language arts, 4 of social studies, 3 of science, 3 of mathematics, 1 of the arts, 0.5 of health, 1-3 of foreign language and 2 of physical education. Elective courses can round out the 22. Additionally, students must receive a score of at least 65 on all five of the required exams: English language arts, global history, U.S. history, science, and algebra. In New York City credits are counted somewhat differently, and students are required to complete 44 credits in the same areas.

Students who complete a career and technical education program through their high school may receive a Regents diploma with a career and technical education endorsement.

Advanced Regents Diploma

Students who earn scores of 90 or better on their exams will receive an honors Regents diploma, and those who take additional tests in math, science, and a foreign language can receive a Regents diploma with advanced designation.

Local Diploma

Students will need to complete 22 credits to graduate high school in NY during their 4 years of school. For students having lower test scores, they can still earn a local diploma and they can also appeal to a maximum of two test scores.

Students will need to complete 22 credits to graduate high school in NY

Alternative Diploma Programs

For adults who did not earn a local diploma or Regents diploma while they were in high school, the state of New York offers three alternatives: the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) credential, the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) and an Operations Recognition program.


New York adopted the TASC exam in 2014. The five-subject timed test is available in both English and Spanish and can be taken in either a paper- or computer-based format. NY residents age 19 or older can sit for the exam. Individuals between 16 and 19 may also be eligible for the TASC exam if they meet certain criteria. The TASC consists of multiple-choice questions, reading tasks, constructed responses, and technology-enhanced items (computer-based). Each subtest is scored out of 800 points. Passing the TASC requires a minimum score of 500 on each of the five subject area tests and at least a 2 out of 8 on the writing section's essay.


The NEDP is a distance-learning, performance-based assessment program that allows adults to earn a high school diploma once they can demonstrate certain competencies. It is administered through Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS). Participants meet weekly with an assessor. Upon successful evaluation of their abilities in 65 areas of transferable skills, a high school diploma may be awarded.

The NEPD program allows New York students to continue their education in the comfort of their own homes.

NY Operation Recognition Program: Requirements

Veterans who left school in order to enlist in the military and serve during the time periods that included World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War can receive a high school diploma for free through Operation Recognition if certain criteria are met. Requirements include qualified service between established start and end dates, honorable discharge from military service, and New York State residency. Veterans with a high school diploma equivalent are still eligible to receive this diploma, which may be issued by any high school in the state that already confers diplomas.

Our beloved veterans may be able to pursue their high school education in New York through the Operation Recognition Program.

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