NYS Regents Exams and HS Graduation Updates

Updated as of 4/22/20

On April 7, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) released updated guidance on canceling June and August 2020 High School Regents exams due to COVID-19 school closures.

Here is a summary of key updates around changes to graduation requirements for high school students working toward diplomas and credentials: 


Regents Exam Exemptions 

  • This NYSED memo and FAQ document detail exemptions for June Regents exams that allow students from 7th to 12th grade to count their missed Regents exam(s) towards diploma requirements. Exemptions apply to all students planning to take Regents exams, including those who needed to take an exam or exams to graduate this school year. Lab requirements for science Regents exams have also been waived. 
  • To qualify for a Regents exam exemption, students need to pass the corresponding class and obtain course credits before September. Students who do not pass the class by the end of June can pass the class after completing summer school. The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) hasn’t yet announced how summer school learning will work, but may use remote learning. 
  • Students who have passed a class and were planning to take or retake a Regents exam will qualify for an exemption. 
  • Exempted exam scores will count as a score of 65 for diploma decisions only. No score will show on a student’s transcript. 
  • Speak to your school if you have any questions about whether you qualify for the Regents exam exemption. If you need further assistance, call INCLUDEnyc’s Help Line at 212-677-4660. 

Effects on Diploma Pathways and Credentials

  • Below is a brief update on diploma pathways and credentials. For more information, speak with your school or refer to INCLUDEnyc’s tip sheets on diploma options and credentials
  • Diploma requirements: NYC students need 44 course credits and specific Regents exam scores to receive a high school diploma. Information on credit requirements needed for a diploma are available on NYCDOE’s Graduation Requirements document. To review NYCDOE’s information on grading during remote learning, speak to your school or visit: https://on.nyc.gov/2Ui8sxU
  • Advanced Regents Diploma: Advanced Regents diploma decisions will be modified and made without considering exempted Regents exams.
  • Regents Diploma: Exempted Regents exams will ‘count’ as a score of 65 and satisfy requirements toward a Regents diploma. 
  • Local Diploma: Local Diplomas allow students with disabilities to obtain a high school diploma with lower Regents exam scores. There are several Local Diploma options. Exempted June 2020 Regents exams will count as a score of 65 and apply to Local Diploma paths, including appeals and safety nets. However, these exempted scores won’t apply to the Compensatory Local Diploma pathway.
  • Career Development and Occupational Skills (CDOS) credential: This work-readiness credential may either serve as a standalone credential or endorse a Regents or local diploma. Students working toward a CDOS in either case will be permanently exempt from Spring 2020 semester CDOS learning and work requirements. Those planning to take a CDOS assessment this spring are exempt. Students planning to obtain a CDOS this spring are eligible to obtain the credential by showing prior mastery of learning standards. If this applies, speak with your school.   
  • High School Equivalency: Students who seek a high school equivalency diploma after exiting high school by completing the TASC exam are eligible for subject area exemptions for June 2020 Regents exams for which they are deemed exempt. For more information, see NYSED FAQ document above.
Learning and School, Navigating NYC schools and applications
Download PDF