Graduation Requirements

In Mississippi, there are no graduation requirements for homeschoolers except that they are 17 years of age before September 1st of their graduation school year. That’s right! You decide if they have completed enough subjects, and which subjects to complete in order to graduate. It is recommended that you keep a transcript of what you taught them or what they studied.

You could reference what the state requires for public school graduation if you choose, but if your child is going on to college, the smarter outlook is what colleges require for admission. Plan your high school years around that and you will be in better shape for college acceptance. You will need to go to various college websites that your child may be interested in attending and look up their admissions requirements. Make a summary of what they each require and also look at potential majors for your child. Their junior and senior years are an opportunity to take some dual enrollment classes to knock out some of those requirements.

Below is a list of what most colleges require in general.

  • 4 credits of English Language Arts including 4 semesters of writing and 4 semesters of Literature.
  • 4 credits of Mathematics including Algebra 1 and 3 higher maths
  • 4 credits of Social Science including MS History, US History, World History, World Geography, 1 semester of Economics, and 1 semester of Government
  • 4 credits of Natural Science including Biology and 3 higher sciences
  • 2 credits of the same foreign language (if a student is bi-lingual or fluent in another language, they can claim this credit without curriculum
  • half a credit or 1 semester of a technology class (if a student is tech savvy and can use word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software readily, they can claim this credit without curriculum )
  • 1 credit or a full year of a fine art (years of music lessons or choir participation or art lessons can easily fulfill this)
  • half a credit of health or nutrition studies or Physical Education
  • 4 credits of interest electives

A minimum of 24 credits is required by most colleges for admissions.

A transcript will be needed to record all of these credit. In Mississippi, that transcript must be notarized and contain specific information including the graduation date. Transcripts are never received by colleges before the graduation date. You may create your own transcript and get it notarized or you may use our transcript and notary services from this website.


You can create or get someone to create a diploma for your student. All you really need is a template that you can edit. There are plenty of services out there that will create and print an official looking diploma to frame or keep if you do not choose to make your own. In fact you can purchase a diploma for your child’s graduation ceremony through this website. Click this link or go to Resources/High School Diploma in the above menu.

Is a Parent-Issued Diploma Good Enough? 

In short, absolutely! Home education programs have equal standing as public and private school programs of education. A diploma simply indicates that a person has completed a program of study and has met all requirements for that program of study. As homeschooling families, we obviously set the “standards” in most cases. Because of this, a parent-issued high school diploma is a perfectly acceptable way to graduate your child. Not only are they acceptable, but they’re also legally binding. This is wonderful news for homeschoolers because it means that a parent-issued diploma is enough to qualify a student to apply for federal financial aid. 

What Should We Include on a Homeschool Diploma? 

In the majority of cases, the “administrator” of the home education program will be the parent(s). Therefore, parents need to be the ones signing the official diploma. But what should go on that diploma? 

  • Your homeschool name (this would be the “institution” issuing the diploma)
  • Your student’s name
  • The city and state in which the student graduated
  • The date the diploma was issued
  • Some type of language that indicates that the student has been issued a high school diploma
  • At least one signature from an “administrator” (parent)

Overall, your student’s diploma will signify the completion of your home education program as prescribed by you. It is critical that you include the fact that it’s a high school diploma for the times your student will need to show a copy of the diploma.