GCPS Graduation Requirements
In order to earn a traditional Gwinnett County high school diploma, students who entered high school AFTER 07/2011 must earn the required 23 credits (see table) AND pass the Gwinnett's High School Science and Social Studies Gateway Writing Assessment. Students must pass BOTH Gateway exams to be eligible for graduation.
Grade promotion is based on the number of Carnegie Unit Credits that a student earns year year. Students earn .5 credits per class, per semester. Norcross High School students take six classes during the day and have the opportunity to earn 3 credits a semester, or 6 credits a year.
For more detailed information on graduation requirements, please review the
GCPS Testing Requirements
Gateway is a writing assessment that measures a student's knowledge and skills related to the Areas of Focus within World History, Biology, Chemistry, and Language Arts.
In order to earn a GCPS diploma, students must earn a passing score on both the Science and Social Studies Gateway exams.
For additional information on the Gateway exams offered at the NHS Testing page.
Additional resources such as the testing calendar, areas of focus, and study guides can be found on the GCPS Gateway website.
Community Service Recognition
Community Service hours are not a requirement for graduation, however students can earn recognition for their community service:
50 Hours: Seal
150 Hours: Seal & Cord
300 Hours: Seal, Cord, and Recognition at Honors Night
Note: Students are responsible for keeping track of their hours until their senior year in which the counseling office will collect them in March/April.
Tips & Tricks
- Join a club at NHS. Many of our clubs participate in community service projects. Even though you are doing this as part of your membership, you should still let scholarship committees know about those experiences!
- Look for opportunities in your community. You can create a profile at Volunteer Match or Hands On Atlanta to help you connect with volunteer opportunities that may be of interest to you. These sites will help you see what organizations exist and how you can help them.
- Discover your passion. Volunteering will be fun and fulfilling if you are giving to a cause in which you are passionate. Ask yourself what that is, and look for ways to give back and help people associated with that particular cause.
- Create your own volunteer opportunity! Often times, we feel strongly about something, but don't know how to help. You can start small by creating a club at Norcross High School, or start big by creating an opportunity for the community with a trusted adult's help.
- Start early and stay dedicated. Scholarship committees will be able to see if you began volunteering your Senior year in high school. (But if you are a Senior who has little volunteer experience, don't let that stop you!) Start as early as you can and continue to offer your help to those organizations in need.
Alternate School Options
Gwinnett County Public Schools offers a variety of school options to provide students with many opportunities for success:
GIVE West Hope
West Hope is a special program at GIVE West to help students earn extra credits by taking additional classes or attend a modified school day.
Graduate Gwinnett @ GOC
The Graduate Gwinnett Program is an innovative approach offering flexibility for students to complete the required course work for graduation. Students enter a unique and individualized online learning environment with face-to-face support as needed.
- Students must be residents of Gwinnett County
- Students must be 16 years old
- Students must have already earned 18 or more high school credits to enroll
- Transcripts are evaluated to determine the courses needed to meet graduation requirements
- Students take all standardized tests required by the district and state
Grayson Technical Program @ Grayson High School
Grayson Tech serves Juniors and Seniors from all Gwinnett County high schools. Grayson Tech is a state-of-the-art technical education facility that offers 11 career pathway programs to explore.
Gwinnett Online Campus
Gwinnett County Public Schools offers a blended/online learning environment through Gwinnett Online Campus! Since 1999, Gwinnett Online Campus has been helping students meet educational requirements by offering supplemental courses during both the regular school year and summer school. Gwinnett Online Campus is a full-time school option for students in grades 4 – 12 across the district.
Maxwell High School
Maxwell High School of Technology serves students from all Gwinnett County high schools. Maxwell High School offers 17 technical education programs that provide students with training and hands on experience.
Phoenix High School
Phoenix High School is a GCPS school that provides flexible hours for students who need to catch up on credits. Students can enroll full time or as a "seventh period student", enrolling for an additional course after their NHS school day.
Phoenix HS @ Sugarloaf Mills
Phoenix High School at Sugarloaf Mills is a unique program designed to serve students who are committed to finishing their education but need additional support and are interested in working while they go to school.