Noble and Greenough School is a rigorous academic community dedicated to inspiring leadership for the public good. Through mentoring relationships, we motivate students to achieve their highest potential and to lead lives characterized by service to others.

Nobles Diploma Standards

Credit Requirements

One credit is awarded for the successful completion of a full-credit, semester-length course or its equivalent. A minimum course load for the final four years requires the accumulation of forty and one-half academic credits: eleven credits-with a minimum of five and one-half credits each semester-in the Class IV year and five full-credit courses taken in each remaining semester until the final semester in which at least four full-credit courses and one half-credit course are required. Any course above the required five (or five and one-half in Class IV and four and one-half in the final semester), which does not fulfill a graduation requirement, may be taken on a Pass/No Record basis.

Independent Courses

Students may pursue an independent course of study outside of their formal Nobles curriculum. Credit is granted for an independent course when a student and teacher propose a course of study that is approved by the department chair and the Head of the Upper School. Courses may be for full or half credit and may be a semester or a year in length. Independent courses may not fulfill graduation or distribution requirements and are intended to allow students more advanced study in an area of particular interest to them. In submitting a request for independent study the student and teacher must include a course description, specifying the number and duration of meeting times, the scope and sequence of the work (syllabus), and the type and frequency of assessment. Also included, if appropriate, should be an outline of the final product of the course and whether or not any independent research project will be involved. Independent course requests must be submitted within the first three days of each term.


Course Distribution Credits

To earn the stipulated credit, a student must successfully complete the number of full credit courses or level per discipline as indicated below:


  • 8 credits (at least one each semester)

History and Social Science

  • 4 credits (History of the Human Community and U.S. History)


  • 6 credits (through Class II year or through Algebra II, whichever comes later)

Foreign language

  • Completion of Level III


  • 4 credits (Biology and either Physics or Chemistry)

Performing Arts

  • 1 (at least 1 credit)

Visual Arts

  • 1 (at least 1 credit)

Community Service

  • 80 hours of an approved project or projects

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