High School
Diploma (HSD) Program

The HSD Program is designed to provide offenders with an opportunity to fulfill current graduation requirements of the State of California, Department of Education, and secure a HSD. Based upon an analysis of the transcript, the student receives instruction in credits needed for graduation.


The requirements for high school graduation and issuance of a HSD are in keeping with State requirements and include the successful completion of 180 semester credits as follows:

70 Semester Credits: Electives
30 Semester Credits: English
20 Semester Credits: Mathematics, including 10 semester credits for Algebra or higher
10 Semester Credits: Life Science
10 Semester Credits: Physical Science
10 Semester Credits: United States History
10 Semester Credits: World History or World Geography and Culture
10 Semester Credits: Arts and/or Foreign Language and/or CTE (shop-based)
5 Semester Credits: United States Government or Civics
5 Semester Credits: Economics

In order to qualify for a HSD through California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Correctional Education, students must complete a minimum of 10 semester credits within a CDCR school to meet the residency requirement.

Click [ HERE ] for printable information on HD.


All institutions


Program length will vary based on the student's credits needed for graduation.


Eligible offenders must meet the following criteria:

  • The offender must not possess a High School Equivalency (HSE), such as a GED, HiSET, or an HSD.
  • Be within 40 semester credits of earning their HSD. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Have sufficient time remaining prior to their release date to be considered for the HSD program.
  • Have a TABE reading score of 7.9 or higher.


The HSD Program may be available as a component of either the Voluntary Education Program (VEP) or the Alternative Program (AP).

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Rehabilitative programs are the best way for an offender to be prepared for success upon release. The link below explains this process with an easy-to-follow diagram

See Rehabilitative Process

See Technology Solutions for more information.

Technology has opened the door to more educational opportunities while simultaneously reducing government spending. Below is a list of technology initiatives at CDCR.