The Governor's School for Science and Mathematics awards both State of South Carolina and Governor's School diplomas. Students are required to arrive at GSSM with at least 10.5 credits (including Algebra I & II, Geometry, English I & II, a social studies and a lab science course) and must complete a minimum of 13.5 units during the fall and spring semesters of their two years at GSSM. For more about GSSM's academic requirements and course offerings, check out our course catalog

State of South Carolina High School Graduation Requirements

Lab Science 3 credits
Mathematics 4 credits
Comp. Science (incl. keyboarding) 1 credit
English/Language Arts 4 credits
Foreign Language 1 credit
US History 1 credit
US Government .5 credit
Economics .5 credit
Other Social Studies 1 credit
P.E./ROTC 1 credit
Electives 7 credits
TOTAL 24 credits

To earn a GSSM diploma, students must complete a minimum of 13.5 units during their two years at GSSM consisting of the following:

  • six units of courses each year (some students will need to take more than the minimum to meet state and/or GSSM graduation requirements)
  • one unit of January interim courses (0.5 units for each January interim course)
  • 0.5 units for the summer part of the mentored summer research conducted between the junior and senior year (the other 0.5 units for the research is one of the six minimum courses taken during the fall of the senior year)

The table below outlines the minimum number of units that must be completed at GSSM for a GSSM diploma. Students may have to complete more courses in a subject area than the minimum in order to meet requirements explained in the notes.

Subject Area Min. Units at GSSM Notes in order to receive a GSSM diploma
Lab Science 2 One credit each in core biology, chemistry, and physics courses. The third course will count as one of the two credits required in the area of STEM and Economics electives below.  Credits in all three areas are required while at GSSM unless a student has a prior AP credit in one of the classes.  Four total lab science credits are required during a student’s four years of high school to graduate with a GSSM diploma.
Mathematics 1.5 Must work toward one unit of calculus.  Must be enrolled in a math course each semester.  The fourth semester of math (0.5 credit) will count towards a student’s General Elective requirement below.
Computer Science 0.5 Students who have a prior AP Computer Science credit can take a computer science course above CSC 101 to fulfill this requirement.
STEM and Economics electives 2 Any science, math, computer science, engineering or economics course beyond the required courses above will count toward these electives. The 2.0 credits can be taken in multiple disciplines. Only 1.0 credit can be taken in economics to fulfill this requirement.
Mentored Summer Research 1 Required for all students (0.5 units during the summer and 0.5 units during the fall of the senior year).
English 2 Must complete GSSM Junior and Senior English.
Foreign Language 0 Must complete through Level 3 in a foreign language. May be waived if Level 2 is completed and GSSM does not offer Level 3.
Social Studies 0.5 Students who have not taken U.S. History to satisfy the state requirement must take AP U.S. History (HIS 101) during the Junior year at GSSM. Students who have not taken Government and Economics to satisfy the state requirement must take the one semester Gov/Econ (HIS 201) class at GSSM, which satisfies the state requirement by itself, or take AP Government (HIS 202) and either AP Microeconomics (EFI 310) or AP Macroeconomics (EFI 320) to satisfy the state requirement.
January Interim 1 Required for all students.
General Electives 3 These credits will often times be used to complete GSSM or SC graduation requirements in one or more of the areas above.  In cases when students have met the GSSM and SC graduation requirements, these electives must be used to take additional courses at GSSM in order for students to have a minimum of six courses per semester.
TOTAL Credits 13.5  

Additional Graduation Requirements

Junior Seminar Series: One-hour per week per seminar:

Life Leisure (Fall), Academic Success (Fall), and College Planning Seminar I (Spring) and additional seminar in the Spring during the junior year

Required for all Juniors to attend and pass.

Senior Seminar Series: One-hour per week per seminar:

College Planning Seminar II (Fall) during the senior year

Required for all Seniors to attend and pass.
Community Engagement All students must participate based on outlined expectations
Wellness Initiatives Required for students who do not enroll with PE credit