Graduation Requirements

The standard course load at Commonwealth is five or five and a half academic courses and one or two art courses per year. All classes, whether they are full- or half-credit courses, run for the entire year. You must be enrolled in at least four academic courses and one art course each year to remain in good standing. Our minimal graduation requirement is sixteen credits.

Progress Through the Curriculum

Because new students come to Commonwealth from many different types of schools, their training and levels of preparation for our courses vary. We use placement testing and conversations with the Director of Studies and teachers to help us design a first-year schedule suited specifically to your needs and interests. In subsequent years, your advisor (in consultation with the faculty) will help you to shape your program.

The sequence below shows a typical five-subject schedule. Bold type indicates graduation requirements.

9th Grade

  • English 9
  • Ancient History
  • Biology 1
  • Geometry or Geometry Advanced
  • Language Level 1
  • One arts course or more
  • Language and Ethics*
  • City of Boston*
  • Health and Community*
*A trio of special courses which are taken in consecutive 10-week session.

10th Grade

  • English 10
  • Medieval World History
  • Chemistry 1 or Chemistry 1 Advanced
  • Algebra 2 / Precalculus or Algebra 2 / Precalculus Advanced
  • Language Level 2
  • One arts course or more

11th Grade

  • English 11
  • U.S. History
  • Physics 1 or Physics 1 Advanced
  • Calculus 1 or Statistics
  • Language Level 3
  • One arts course or more

12th Grade

  • English 12 or English 12 Reasons for Writing
  • Readings in Ethics
  • One arts course or more
  • Modern European History or other history elective
  • Advanced science elective(s)
  • Theoretical Calculus or other math elective(s)
  • Language Level 4