Graduation Requirements


Graduation from the Boston Public Schools is accomplished through Pathways and Course Requirements. All students must adhere to one of the three following course “Pathways,” each of which is designed to provide every student with an academically challenging and vocationally relevant curriculum. The district also offers an alternative route to graduation through Pathway III. This pathway allows a school to develop its own unique sequence of courses, mindful of the state standards and comparability in rigor to Pathway I and II courses. The BPS Teaching and Learning Office will approve these courses. Course explanation documents will be developed for colleges by each school. Students in this Pathway also must take and pass the Grade 10 ELA and Math MCAS exams.  


Graduation requirements

In order to graduate from Excel High School, students must pass all of the following classes with a grade of “D-” or higher:

  • 4 years of English Language Arts
  • 4 years of Mathematics
  • 3 years of History
  • 3 years of Science
  • 2 years of the same Foreign Language (Spanish or French)
  • 2 years of Technology (Computers)
  • 1 year of Wellness / Health/ Physical Education
  • 1 year of Art (Creative writing, African American Music)


BPS offers Advanced Placement courses or their equivalent (e.g., enrollment in college courses) in a Science, Math, and Humanities subject. All schools developing their own courses have access to district curricular materials, in addition to materials they develop or acquire from other sources. Students can progress toward graduation in each Pathway without grade level identification. Students must pass the Grade 10 ELA and Math Massachusetts Comprehensive State Assessment (MCAS) tests, which they will take initially during their second year in high school. Time in high school will be determined by the rate of students’ progress in meeting course requirements and passing MCAS.