Core Diploma

Academic Pathways:  Core Diploma

Des Moines Public Schools is committed to providing a core diploma graduation pathway for students to acknowledge the life circumstances and obstacles they face in accessing their postsecondary goals.  The DMPS Core Diploma Option promotes rigorous academic, career, and technical pursuits for high school students by meeting the Iowa Department of Education Graduation Requirements.

Please contact your Counselor, Flex Academy teacher, Success Case Manager, or Special Education Consultant for more information.

 Required Credits for DMPS Core Diploma Graduation

Social Studies

REQUIRED: US History, Government, Personal Finance, and 1.0 additional history credit




REQUIRED: English I, II, English III or AP Lang and Comp, and 1.0 additional English credit




REQUIRED: Semester 1 and 2 of Algebra I (or higher-level math course)




HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science



Physical Education

REQUIRED: Students must be enrolled in physical education at least 1 semester each year while in high school, and must complete CPR training




REQUIRED: Technology Literacy, Finance Literacy (SF475), Health Literacy, and Employability Skills plus 1.5 Fine Arts credits



 TOTAL  18.0


Iowa Department of Education Requirements
Chapter 12 Matrix  Each school or school district must require the following as part of its graduation requirements: 1) one-half unit of United States government, 2) one unit of American History, and 3) student participation in physical education for one-eighth unit in each semester of enrollment in high school.
Iowa Code section 256.7 (26) The requirements for high school graduation for students in school districts and accredited nonpublic schools shall include four years of English and language arts, three years of mathematics, three years of science, and three years of social scienceAny additional graduation credits or units are locally determined. 
Financial Literacy – SF 475 requires all students, beginning with the graduating class of 2020, to complete one-half unit of financial literacy as a high school graduation requirement. 
281 IAC Chapter 49  The school district shall report annually to each student enrolled in grades 9 through 12, and, if the student is under the age of 18, to each student’s parent or guardian, the student’s progress toward meeting the goal of successfully completing the core curriculum and high school graduation requirements adopted by the state board of education pursuant to 281—Chapter 12 and toward achieving the goals of the student’s career and academic plan. 

Des Moines Public Schools Core Diploma Philosophy

“The Core Diploma option allows students with particularly challenging life circumstances the opportunity to advance their academic and career goals without reducing the level of rigor expected of all students.” – Dr. Thomas Ahart