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High School Computer Science Requirement

From the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

G.S.115C-12(9d). Computer Science amends G.S.115C-12(9d) to require the State Board of Education to include instruction in Computer Science in the standard course of study for middle and high school students. G.S.115C-12(9d) was adopted by the North Carolina Legislature on September 21, 2023, and was signed into law on September 29, 2023. The following is a highlight of the requirements of G.S.115C-12(9d). Computer Science:

  • All students entering the ninth grade beginning in the 2024-2025 school year will be required to take a one-credit high school computer science course
    • This does not increase the number of credits a student needs to graduate but instead replaces one of the elective credits.
  • All Public School Units will be required to offer high school students at least one Computer Science course by the 2026-2027 school year so they may be able to meet the requirement.
    • Select high school courses can be offered at the middle school level for students to fulfill the high school requirement.
  • All Public School Units will also be required to offer an elective middle school-level computer science course by the 2025-2026 school year
  • The Computer Science Requirement also mandates that the courses be conducted in person when practicable

Students Exempted from the Graduation Requirement

Two exemptions exist for the Computer Science Graduation Requirement:

  • Students entering high school after completing the eleventh grade are exempt from the requirement
  • Students on an individualized education program (IEP) may be exempt if their disability would prevent them from completing the course

Local Implementation Delay Waiver Requests

Public School Units may submit a signed notification to NCDPI for the 2024-2025 or 2025-2026 school year stating that a computer science course that fulfills the high school graduation requirement was not available to students. PSUs may also submit a signed notification stating that a middle school elective was not available to students for the 2025-2026 school year.