Earning Your Missouri High School Diploma!

Mar 14, 2018

If you wish to further your education or career, a high school diploma can be an important first step. For adults in Missouri who do not have a high school diploma, the state offers adult education alternatives to help you meet your educational and career goals.

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Graduation Requirements in Missouri

Individuals in the state of Missouri who do not have a high school diploma may pursue adult education programs. These state programs can help you obtain a Missouri high school diploma equivalent.

According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a student must complete 24 credits to graduate from high school in Missouri. These include four units of communication arts, three in social studies, three in math, three in science, one of fine arts, one of practical arts, one of physical education, a half a unit of health education, and a half unit of personal finance. The remaining seven credits may be electives.

High School Diploma Alternatives

If you did not earn your diploma in a traditional high school, Missouri's Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) programs may assist you with your educational goals. These programs work to improve literacy skills and provide the training necessary for employment and self-sufficiency. They also help individuals pursue educational development in a secondary school education.

The HiSET Credential

The AEL offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as well as the HiSET credential, which is a widely accepted high school diploma equivalent and the only high school diploma option available to adults in the state. You can find your local adult education center on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website (

The HiSET credential is earned by successfully completing a series of five exams designed to test basic skills. The HiSET is accepted by most colleges and employers. The exams test the following subject areas: reading, writing, social studies, science, and math.

Test Score Requirements

Missouri requires a score of at least 8 on each of the five tests and a total score of at least 45. Students also need to score 2 out of 6 on the essay portion of the test. The application and additional information on the HiSET testing process can be found on the state's education department website or at the American Council on Education (ACE) website (

The ACE created the HiSET exam and each state administers it. In Missouri, individuals need to be at least age 17 to take the HiSET. Students age 16 may take it with additional documentation. Test takers must have a Missouri mailing address to prove state residency.

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