Students have a lot of flexibility in planning their path to graduation. Students will meet with their counselors to determine their own Personal Graduation Plan (PGP).

To graduate, all students must complete:

  • at least 22 credits (required by the Foundation High School Program)
  • pass the End-of-Course exams in Algebra I, Biology, English I & II, and U.S. History
  • Complete and submit a post-secondary financial aid application (FAFSA or TASFA)
  • Complete additional requirements such as Speech, Instruction in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and instruction on proper interaction with Peace Officers

This is considered the Foundation High School Program graduation plan. 

To be considered for the top ten percent and automatic admission to Texas public universities, a student must earn a Distinguished Level of Achievement diploma. 

To ensure ALL students are prepared for college, careers and life Garland ISD promotes the Distinguished Level of Achievement High School Program as the default graduation plan for students.

Foundation High School Graduation Programs

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Distinguished Level of Achievement

To earn the Distinguished Level of Achievement students must:

  • meet the requirements of the Foundation High School Program Plus Endorsement graduation plan
  • take Algebra II as one of the required advanced math credits

Completing the Distinguished Level of Achievement program helps students:

  • compete for Top 10% automatic admissions eligibility at any Texas public university
  • prepare for college-level coursework
  • qualify for financial aid options
  • have the foundation to successfully complete an industry workforce credential
  • ensure they are a more competitive applicant at the most selective colleges and universities

Performance Acknowledgements

A performance acknowledgement is recognition on the diploma and transcript for activities and success above the standard requirements.

Students can earn a performance acknowledgement for outstanding performance in a variety of areas. See details below.

Ways to earn performance acknowledgements

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21st Century Scholars

Students receive an academic medal and special designation on their diploma for becoming a 21st Century Scholar. Each campus also recognizes 21st Century Scholars at an awards assembly. To become a 21st Century Scholar students must:

  • complete the at least the Recommended 4x4 graduation plan or the Foundation High School Program Plus Endorsement graduation plan
  • complete either one full credit of the 3rd year (level three) of a language other than English OR one full credit of an advanced course (Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, or International Baccalaureate) not already required.

The 21st Century Scholars program recognizes students who are committed to completing a challenging curriculum plan. These students know that they will be gaining a high level of skills and will be better prepared to enter the job market or begin college.

Alternative graduation option

Do you have all your high school credits from GISD but no diploma due to TAKS or TAAS testing?

If you entered 9th-grade prior to 2011-12 school year, you may be eligible to graduate due to a change in state law.

If you attended a Garland ISD high school and feel this applies to you, please contact the Research, Assessment & Accountability Department.  We will be happy to help find out if you are eligible.

Contact us

For questions about graduation requirements, contact the school counselor: