Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

Academic Requirements

All students at Hsinchu County American School (HCAS) must fulfill the following requirements in order to graduate.  HCAS conforms to the minimum graduation requirements of high schools in California, U.S.A.

Credit Requirements
  1. A passing grade in a one-semester course earns 0.5 credits.
  2. Passing both semesters of a full-year course earns one credit.
  3. Students must earn a minimum of 24 credits based on the table below in order to graduate.  Students are encouraged to choose as many courses as their ability and time dictate.
  4. Students in Grade 9 and 10 must take a minimum of 8 courses a year.  Freshmen and Sophomores do not have free blocks.
  5. Students in Grade 11 must choose 7 courses.  Students in Grade 12 must enroll in 6 courses in order to be considered full-time students.
Required Credits for Grade Level Status
  1. Grade 10: Students are placed in the 10th grade when they have completed at least six credits in teacher-taught high school level courses.
  2. Grade 11: Students are placed in the 11th grade when they have completed at least 12 credits in teacher-taught high school level courses.
  3. Grade 12: Students are placed in the 12th grade when they have completed at least 18 credits in teacher-taught high school level courses.
Credits for Graduation

Listed in the chart below are the requirements for earning an HCAS diploma.  While these are minimum requirements, HCAS encourages students to take courses beyond the minimum in order to complete a well-rounded, rigorous academic program.

Independent Study and Research (Course numbers between 900 and 930)

Students may take a course as an independent study or independent research under exceptional circumstances.  A contract will be drafted which outlines the requirements and workload for the course.  This contract must be agreed upon by the student, parent, college counselor, and supervising teacher.  As a rule, independent study or research is not permitted if the course is already offered at HCAS.  Independent study and research courses are graded on a Pass/Fail basis and are not included in HCAS Grade Point Average (GPA) calculations.

Transfer of Credits

Students may receive credit towards graduation at HCAS for high school courses the student passed at other schools.  A maximum of eight credits per school year will be awarded for work completed at other schools.  Since grading criteria and systems vary from one school to another, grades earned at other schools are not included in the HCAS GPA calculations.

Summer School Courses

Students may apply for summer courses towards credit for HCAS only for the purpose of credit recovery, under the following conditions only:

  1. The course must be pre-approved for HCAS credit by the Principal prior to starting the summer course.
  2. Upon completion of the course, official transcripts must be submitted to the Academic Affairs office, verifying successful completion.


Subject Credits Notes
English 6 Students must take one English literature course each year.
Social Studies 3 Two of the three credits should be history courses.
Four years recommended for college.
Mathematics 3 Four years recommended for college.
Science 3 Four years recommended for college.
Foreign Languages 2 Four years recommended for college.
Music/Art/Drama 2 Two years recommended for college.
Computer Science 1 Two years recommended for college.
PE/Health 2 One year recommended for college.
Electives 2 All courses beyond the required distribution listed above earn elective credit.
Total 24