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Earning Your Montana High School Diploma
The state of Montana is responsible for graduation requirements for its high schools and offers programs to adults who do not have a high school diploma but want to earn one. The state allows its school districts to set their own requirements for graduation, as long as those standards meet the state's minimum graduation requirements. You'll need to check with the Montana school district you are residing in to obtain information about the requirements needed to receive your diploma.
The Montana Department of Education (MDOE) requires that every student completes at least 20 credits and meets content and performance standards to receive a high school diploma. The MDOE has determined that 13 of the 20 credits must comply with the following to graduate:
- Four units of English language arts
- Two units of mathematics
- Two units of social studies
- Two units of science
- One unit of health enhancement, with 0.5 units each year for two years
- One unit of arts
- One unit of career and technical education
Individual school districts may have additional requirements. The state allows students to graduate from high school with less than four years of enrollment if all requirements are met. It also allows credits earned in any Montana high school accredited by the Board of Public Education to be accepted by all Montana high schools. More information on these courses can be found on the Montana Office of Public Instruction website.
Adult Education Options
Adult Montana residents seeking basic education may consider the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program. The ABLE programs offer assistance and training in basic and workplace literacy, family literacy, high school equivalency testing, English as a Second Language and other services for adults and youths who are not attending high school. These programs are also designed to enhance personal skills, improve parenting and help individuals become more hirable and self-sufficient. There are more than 10 ABLE education centers across the state.
If you are taking the High School Equivalency Test, or HiSET, you need to score at least an 8 on each of the five sections, and score 45 on all of the sections combined. You also need to score 2 out of 6 on the essay test. Pretest options are available if you need them.
Why Get Your High School Diploma in Montana?
In Montana in 2016, of the approximately 10,300 students with a high school diploma or equivalent, more than 1,000 people received their HiSET. Montana residents with a high school diploma or equivalent earned almost $9,000 per year more than those without a diploma in 2010. It pays to earn your high school diploma.