High School: Online Diploma

Research online high school diploma courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

It's relatively easy to find online high school diploma programs. The different types of online high school diploma programs include general, career-related and college prep. These are short-term programs with fully online coursework, though some programs may require students to take tests under supervision of a proctor. Earning a high school diploma paves the way for higher education and is linked to better employment chances.

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Online High School Diploma

For students who didn't finish high school or those looking for a nontraditional avenue, an online program provides an opportunity to earn a high school diploma. There are different programs tailored to specific needs, such as a general diploma, college prep diploma or career-related diploma for those who wish to enter specific fields, such as healthcare or computers.

An online general diploma curriculum covers all of the subjects a typical high school curriculum would cover. Courses such as Spanish and French as well as advanced placement courses are typically also available.

Program Information and Requirements

Students may graduate in as little as six months if they have transfer credits from another high school, but the length of the program will vary depending upon student needs. Most programs allow adults to start where they left off, no matter what grade. The majority of programs may be completed online through either a Windows or Macintosh computer using the Microsoft Office suite. Some programs require students to take exams under the supervision of a proctor.

List of Common High School Courses

All high school programs include classes that are mandated by the state. However, mathematics, language arts, science and social studies form the core foundation of a high school diploma program.

English I

Explore different styles of literature from myths and fables to novels, drama and biographies. Learn how to use structure, style and vocabulary as well as theme development in fiction writing. Additionally, explore parts of speech, spelling, editing and proofreading.

Algebra I

Algebra I covers whole numbers, prime numbers, word problems and unit multipliers. Additionally, explore algebraic phrases, order of operations and variables while gaining an understanding of algebraic and geometric problem solving.

General Biology

General biology explores relationships between plants and animals at the genetic, physiological, ecological and evolutionary level. Learn about viruses, bacteria and the systems of the human body, such as the endocrine, digestive and nervous system.

General World History

Students learn about the global community and how past events have affected modern societies. Countries around the world are explored, from the United States and Canada to Latin and Central America. Study world events from the United Kingdom to Egypt and more.

Earth Science

Learn about the fundamental principles of Earth science, including oceanography, geology, meteorology and astronomy. The course covers topics such as earthquakes, volcanoes, soil formation and erosion as well as weather, climate change and the solar system.

Career Information for Graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of September 2016, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for those who had less than a high school diploma was 8.5% ( However, for those with a high school diploma, that rate fell to 5.2%. A high school diploma opens the door to further career options as well as pursuit of higher educational achievement.

Continuing Education Information

An online high school diploma from an accredited program is accepted by many prestigious universities and colleges. After completion of the diploma, students may pursue a bachelor's degree or go straight into the workforce.

Online high school diploma programs typically cover the same courses as traditional high schools. These programs can prepare students for college or careers.

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