The US High School Diploma

Unlock your true potential with an American high school qualification

The curriculum of US high school diplomas

The US High School Diploma follows an American-style curriculum that offers flexibility and breadth of subject options. This American qualification opens the doors to universities anywhere in North America and is widely recognized by international universities worldwide. Students build their own schedule from a range of required and elective courses. Courses are available at different difficulty levels, and your Pathway Manager will help you make a selection that match your learning level and interests.


At EF Academy, university advising and preparation for the SAT, ACT, TOEFL and IELTS are built into the US High School Diploma program. On successful completion of this program, graduates are awarded a US High School Diploma accredited by the State Department of Education.

The US High School Diploma is for you if:

  • You are interested in studying a wide range of subjects

  • You are most interested in attending university in the United States

  • You learn best when you have more flexibility to customize your courses

Build your own American high school diploma

Building your own schedule is a great way to customize your degree. Below is a sample of the courses available to US High School Diploma students at EF Academy. Download our curriculum to see the full list of courses on offer this year.

Customize your high school diploma in the US

The IB Diploma core components challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills beyond their courses of study.

Find the right program for you

US High School Diploma + AP Courses

Complement your US High School Diploma by taking your favorite subjects at a higher level. EF Academy Pasadena offers a selection of Advanced Placement (AP) Courses that can earn students US college credits and stand out in university applications

US High School Diploma + IB Courses

Students who wish to demonstrate a keen interest in certain subjects can add IB Courses to the US High School Diploma at EF Academy New York. With this combination, students receive IB certificates for each course completed and do not need to complete the IB Core.

Enrichment curriculum

The US High School Diploma curriculum encompasses co-curricular learning as well as academic courses in order to educate the whole student.

High school diploma experiences at EF Academy's US schools

FAQ - US High School Diploma

The graduation requirements for the US High School Diploma are based on achieving enough credits across a range of subject groups to graduate from high school. Each course you take counts towards credits, which you earn when you pass the course. In total, you need 22 pass credits to obtain your diploma. There are specifications on the number of credits that must come from each subject group. Your Pathway Manager will be able to explain the specific requirements for your grade level before you begin your program.

The US High School Diploma is an excellent high school qualification that provides students with a well-rounded and solid knowledge base in a wide range of subjects. The program is a great option if you want flexibility in choosing your courses and want a high school program that you can adapt to cater to your academic interests. As the standard American high school qualification, the US High School Diploma is also popular for students who want to apply to North American and international universities. All students at EF Academy follow the US High School Diploma program and graduate with this American high school qualification. IB Course certificates and the IB Diploma are two programs that students can pursue in addition to the US High School Diploma that they already pursue simply by attending EF Academy.

As the standard American high school qualification, the US High School Diploma is recognized by all universities in the United States. The program is considered by many to be the ideal preparation for applying to American universities. The degree's popularity as a quality high school qualification means that many international universities also recognize the diploma.

The vast majority of American universities are currently test optional, giving students the choice whether to submit a strong test score to supplement their transcript, which is the most important element of a university application. 

There is no limit to the number of AP or IB Courses students can take in addition to pursuing the US High School Diploma. Every student receives support from their Pathway Manager to craft a high school program with the right subject focus and level of academic rigour for them.

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