High School Diploma Endorsements

Students in North Carolina public schools and public charter schools may earn one or more endorsements on their high school diploma. These endorsements indicate that students have completed specific course concentrations preparing them to be ready for careers and/or college.

Students may earn more than one diploma endorsement. Students are not required to earn an endorsement in order to receive a diploma.

Based on State Board of Education policy (GRAD-007), the implementation of the diploma endorsements is required for all Local Education Agency high schools. This policy is optional for charter school boards of directors.

High School Diploma Endorsements

Overview of Diploma Endorsements

Overview of Diploma Endorsements

The five diploma endorsements available to NC public school graduates are:

  • Career Endorsement indicating completion of a rigorous course of study that includes a Career Technical Education concentration; Contact: Mary Elmer, Career and Technical Education
     
  • College Endorsement indicating readiness for entry into NC Community Colleges; Contact: Isaac Lake, Advanced Learning & Gifted Education
     
  • College/UNC Endorsement indicating readiness for entry into a four-year university in the University of North Carolina system; Contact: Isaac Lake, Advanced Learning & Gifted Education
     
  • NC Academic Scholars Endorsement indicating that students have completed a balanced and academically rigorous high school program preparing them for post-secondary education. Contact: Isaac Lake, Advanced Learning & Gifted Education
     
  • Global Languages Endorsement indicating proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English. Contact: Ann Marie Guther or Ivanna Mann Thrower Anderson, K-12 Standards, Curriculum, & Instruction
Career Endorsement

Career Endorsement

  1. Except as limited by N.C.G.S. §115C-81(b), the student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math I, II, III or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the student’s post-secondary plans.  Acceptable fourth math courses for the Career Endorsement include any math course that may be used to meet NC high school graduation requirements, including applied math courses found in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) domain; 
  2. The student shall complete a CTE concentration in one of the approved CTE  Career Pathways; 
  3. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6; 
  4. The student shall earn at least one industry-recognized credential. Earned credentials can include Career Readiness Certificates (CRC) at the Silver level or above from WorkKeys assessments or another appropriate industry credential/certification; and
  5. The student shall earn at least the benchmark reading score established by a nationally norm-referenced college admissions test.  The student may retake the nationally norm-references test as many times as necessary to achieve the required benchmark score.
College Endorsement

College Endorsement

  1. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math I, II, III or Integrated Math I, II, III; and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the students post-secondary plans.  The fourth math course must meet University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements or be acceptable for earning placement in a credit-bearing college math class under the North Carolina Community College System’s Multiple Measures Placement policy;
  2. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6; and
  3. The student shall earn at least the benchmark reading score established by a nationally norm-referenced college admissions test.  The student may retake the nationally norm-references test as many times as necessary to achieve the required benchmark score.
College/UNC Endorsement

College/UNC Endorsement

  1. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math I, II, III  or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements that include a mathematics course with either Algebra II, Math III or Integrated Mathematics III as a pre-requisite;
  2. The student shall complete three units of science including at least one physical science with a lab, one life science and  one additional science course;
  3. The student shall complete U.S. History or equivalent coursework;
  4. The student shall complete two units of a world language (other than English);
  5. Students shall earn a weighted grade point average of at least 2.5; and
  6. The student shall earn at least the benchmark reading score established by a nationally norm-referenced college admissions test.  The student may retake the nationally norm-references test as many times as necessary to achieve the required benchmark score.
NC Academic Scholars Endorsement

NC Academic Scholars Endorsement

  1. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III; Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II; or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth-level mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Course Requirements that include a mathematics course with either Math III, Algebra II, or Integrated Mathematics III as a pre-requisite;
  2. The student shall complete three course credits of science including an Earth/Environmental science course, Biology, and at least one physical science course that must include either physics or chemistry;
  3. For students entering ninth grade in 2012-13 or later, the student shall complete four course credits of social studies;
  4. The student shall complete two course credits of a world language (other than English);
  5. The student shall complete four elective course credits in any one subject area, such as Career and Technical Education (CTE), JROTC, Arts Education, World Languages, or in another content area;
  6. The student shall have completed at least three higher-level courses during junior and/or senior years which carry quality points such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Dual Enrollment courses; Advanced CTE and CTE credentialing courses; honors level courses, or Project Lead the Way courses; and
  7. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 3.50.
Global Languages Endorsement

Global Languages Endorsement

1. The student shall earn a combined unweighted 2.5 GPA or above for the four English Language Arts courses required for graduation;

2. The student shall establish proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English, using one of the options outlined below and in accordance with the guidelines developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; and

  • Establish “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the ACTFL proficiency scale using the Credit by Demonstrated Mastery SBE policy.
  • Complete a four-course sequence of study in the same world language, earning an overall unweighted GPA of 2.5 or above in those courses.
  • Pass an external exam approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction establishing “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scale.

3. English Learner students shall complete all the requirements of sections 1 and 2 above and reach “Developing” proficiency per the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) proficiency scale in all four domains on the most recent state identified English language proficiency test.

For Schools: Ordering Information for Seals

For Schools: Ordering Information for Seals

Diploma Endorsement Seals

LEAs may purchase diploma endorsement seals from the NCDPI Publication Department. If LEAs may print their own diploma endorsement seals, but must follow the Diploma Seals Specifications. Endorsement seal files can be downloaded below: