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New Jersey
412,848 high school students

State Profile
As states work to raise their academic standards, several national high school reform initiatives are assisting them in their efforts to strengthen their high schools so that they provide students with a 21st century education and skills.

Through the profile provided here, the National High School Center offers (a) a snapshot of the state’s graduation requirements and college entrance requirements (see table below) and (b) summaries of national reform initiatives active in the state (see list below table).

High School and College Alignment in the State
The following table shows the state’s alignment between high school graduation requirements and minimum state college entrance requirements, providing a quick source for determining whether there is a gap between what students must know to graduate and what they are expected to have mastered in order to enter college.

  High School Graduation Requirements* College Admission Requirements**

English Units

aligned to grade nine through 12 standards


Mathematics Units




including Algebra I and Geometry, or the content equivalent

Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II

Social Studies Units




including 5 credits in world history; and the integration of civics, economics, geography and global content in all course offerings

Science Units

including at least 5 credits in lab biology/life science or the content equivalent and 1 additional lab/inquiry-based science including chemistry, environmental science, or physics


Foreign Language Units


in same language

Art Units



Additional Units

Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy - 2.5
Health, safety, and physical education - 3.75
21st Century Life and Careers, OR CTE
- 5
Electives - 33.75

Electives – 5

Total Units







New Jersey Department of Education

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

* School districts may establish course and/or credit requirements which exceed the State minimums.
** Admissions requirements for Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

National High School Improvement Initiatives at Work in the State
As states work to ready high school students for postsecondary success, many are partnering with national organizations to undertake high school improvement efforts. The following list includes national improvement initiatives at work in the state. National initiatives are defined as significant programs, projects, technical assistance, or key information clearinghouses dedicated to high school improvement. For information about and related to research on these initiatives, please click on the name of the initiative to link to a synthesis:

New Jersey State High School Improvement Initiatives
For information on high school improvement initiatives launched at the state level visit New Jersey’s Secondary School Redesign Web page.

New Jersey ARRA Information
For information on New Jersey's ARRA efforts as it relates to education, please visit the state Web page.