Grad Requirements and KS Qualified Admissions

SMS Graduation Requirements

Listed below are the minimum credit requirements to earn a diploma from the Shawnee Mission School District. 

The Shawnee Mission School District as well as the Kansas Board of Regents strongly recommend that to be well-prepared for the academic rigors of post-secondary education students should take additional classes beyond the minimum requirements, particularly in the areas of math and science. 

English  (4 units)

Social Studies (3 units)

  • World Regional Studies (9th grade)
  • Social Studies elective (.5 unit) (taken anytime during grades 10-12)
  • United States History (11th grade)
  • American Government (.5 unit) (12th grade)

Math (3 units)

  • College admissions requirements often require a fourth year of math and/or specific math courses for admissions. Check admissions websites of college and universities for details.

Science (3 units)

  • Biology
  • Physical Science (Physical Science, Chemistry or Physics) 
  • Science elective

Physical Education (1 unit)

  • Students may take any two PE classes to fulfill the 1.0 credit requirement. They repeat any class except the online (virtual) Fitness for Life class, which may be taken only once. 
  • Foundations of PE is no longer a required course, but students may still take it and it will count as one-half credit toward the PE requirement.

Health (.5 unit)

Financial Literacy (.5 unit)

  • May be taken in grades 9-12

Fine Arts (1 unit)

  • See list of approved courses in the Program of Studies

Electives (7.5 units)

Total Units Required:  23.5

Board of Regents — Kansas Scholars Curriculum

This is a state-sponsored scholarship program. Names of students who complete this curriculum are sent to the Board of Regents along with the student’s GPA. The Board determines the State Scholars; these are the students who can apply for the following need-based scholarships: Kansas State Scholar Scholarship, Nursing Scholarship, Teaching Scholarship, Minority Scholarship. These scholarships range from $50–$1,000 and must be used at a Kansas college or university. To be considered as a scholar, this curriculum must be met:

  • 4 credits of English
  • 3 credits of Social Studies
  • 4 credits of Math, must begin with Algebra 1 or higher class
  • 3 credits of Science – must be biology, chemistry, and physics
  • 2 credits of World Language – must be the same language and must be taken while in high school

​Board of Regents — Qualified Admissions Curriculum

Qualified Admissions (QA) are a set of standards used by the six state universities to review applicants for undergraduate admission. The universities using QA are Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Kansas State, Pittsburg State, University of Kansas, and Wichita State. These standards are set by the Kansas Board of Regents, the governing body for the state universities. Students graduating from an accredited Kansas high school and under the age of 21 must:

  • Complete this Qualified Admissions curriculum with at least a 2.0 GPA
  • Achieve one of the following
    • Earn an ACT composite of 21 OR
    • Earn an SAT score of 980 or higher OR
    • Rank in the top one-third of their graduating class
  • Achieve a 2.0 GPA or higher on any college credit taken in high school and students must meet the ACT college readiness math benchmark (22 on ACT math subtest) OR four years of high school math approved units, with one taken in the graduating year.

To qualify for admission to The University of Kansas as freshmen, students graduating from an accredited high school in Kansas must meet the following requirements:

  • 2.0 GPA or higher in the Qualified Admissions curriculum AND
  • 3.0 GPA or higher and 24 or higher on the ACT (1160 or higher on the SAT) OR
  • 3.25 GPA or higher and 21 or higher on the ACT (1060 SAT)
  • If applicable, achieve a 2.0 GPA or higher on any college credit taken in high school.


  • Details of the Qualified Admissions Curriculum
  • English — four approved credits of English, one unit taken each year of high school
  • Natural Science — three approved credits, one unit must be Chemistry or Physics
  • Math — three approved credits
  • Social Science — three approved credits
  • Electives — three approved credits