Earning Your Mississippi High School Diploma!

Earning a high school diploma is usually the first step toward finding a good job or enrolling in college to continue your education. While Mississippi has rigorous requirements for high school graduates, there are also other options for students and adult learners pursuing a high school diploma.

Mississippi High School Graduation Requirements

In Mississippi, students generally must earn 24 credits to graduate from high school with a traditional diploma. Some school districts require 21 credits for graduation and students in a career and technical education program need 21 credits including 4 CTE credits. As of 2015, students no longer have to pass the four tests in algebra, English, biology and U.S. history that were previously required to graduate. Instead they will need a combined minimum score on all four tests, or proof they have mastered the four subjects. Starting with the class of 2017, the four required exams will count as 25 percent of a student's final grade in those subjects.

Mississippi's GED program

If you did not finish high school, you can earn a State of Mississippi High School Equivalency Diploma by passing the General Education Development or GED exam. The GED is a comprehensive exam with four separate tests in language arts, math, science and social studies.

The GED is taken on computer at test centers located at Mississippi's community colleges. You can take the entire seven-and-a half hour exam in one day, or you can take the following test sections, one at a time, in any order:

  • Mathematical Reasoning - This is a 115-minute test with questions and problems in arithmetic, algebra and geometry. The test includes questions that involve percents, fractions, ratios, decimals, linear equations and inequalities, polynomials, graphs, and the area, perimeter and volume of geometric figures. You are allowed to use a formula sheet and a calculator for most of the test.
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts - Question on this 150-minute test require you to analyze reading selections and identify themes, explain implications and draw conclusions. There are also questions that ask you to revise written selections and correct errors in grammar, word use, punctuation, capitalization and spelling. This test section also requires an essay that you will have 45 minutes to write.
  • Social Studies - For this test, you will interpret information presented in reading passages, charts, maps and illustrations. Questions cover topics in civics, geography, U.S. history and economics. The test is 90 minutes and includes a requirement for a short essay.
  • Science - The science test uses reading selections, charts, graphs, tables and diagrams as the basis for questions about life sciences, physical science and astronomy. This 90-minute test assesses your ability to read, understand and apply scientific information, principles and concepts.

You can find information about GED testing centers on the Mississippi Community College Board wensite, www.mccb.edu. Community colleges also offer GED preparation classes as well as other adult learning programs, such as English as a second language (ESL) classes or life skills workshops.

University of Mississippi Online High School

The University of Mississippi offers an online high school diploma program for both high school students and adults learners. To earn a University of Mississippi High School Diploma, you need to earn 23 credits based on state and regional graduation requirements. You can transfer high school credits you've already earned and apply as many as 20 and a half credits toward your UMHS diploma. Class work and assignments are completed online, but any required assessment tests must be taken at an approved test center in your area. Adult diploma candidates need to submit the name and qualifications of a person who can supervise their course work. You can learn more about UMHS at www.outreach.olemiss.edu/hsathome/.

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