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Grades & Other Academic Information

Scroll through the sections below to learn more about the University High School grading scale, graduation requirements, awards and honors presented at Prize Day and at graduation, and membership requirements of National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, and the Cum Laude Society.

Other academic information is available in our 2023-24 Course Guide.


Download the 2023-24 Course Guide

View the course guide for more information on graduation requirements, academic honors, and the courses that will be offered in the 2023-24 school year.

University High School Grading Scale

Grades are determined on a semester basis. January Term classes count as a semester class. Any grade lower than a “C-” is recorded as an “F.” Each class uses the following grade scale (in percentages) and for the purpose of GPA calculation are given the associated numerical values:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C-
99-100% 93-98% 90-92% 87-89% 83-86% 80-82% 77-79% 73-76% 70-72%
4.3 pt. 4.0 pt. 3.7 pt. 3.3 pt. 3.0 pt. 2.7 pt. 2.3 pt. 2.0 pt. 1.7 pt.


Any grade lower than a C- is recorded as an F and earns 0 points toward the GPA.

University High School Graduation Requirements

Students at University High School must earn at least 48 credits to graduate. Because our educational program is designed to be a four-year commitment (though accommodations are made for students who transfer in from other high schools), all students must take at least six classes per semester and one January Term course each year at University High School. Additionally, students should understand that these are minimum requirements; we expect students to push themselves above these requirements.


Graduation Requirements (By Subject Area)

English/Language Arts

8 credits
2 credits: Language & Literature
2 credits: Great Books
4 credits (1 per semester) of advanced coursework in the junior and senior years.


6 credits
2 credits: Algebra I
2 credits: Geometry
2 credits: Algebra II
Note: a minimum of 4 credits must be taken at a high school. Additional credits may be taken in Precalculus, AP Precalculus, AP Calculus, Trigonometry and Finite Math, AP Statistics, or an equally challenging course. Students are required to take a math or quantitative reasoning course each year in high school.


6 credits
2 credits: Biology
2 credits: Chemistry
2 credits: Additional credits from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Space Science or an equally challenging course.

World Languages

6 credits
2 credits: Level I
2 credits: Level II
2 credits: Level III
Note: a minimum of 4 credits must be taken at a high school.

Social Studies

8 credits
2 credits: World History (AP or regular)
2 credits: U.S. History (AP or regular)
4 credits: Additional credits from social studies elective courses.

Fine & Performing Arts

4 credits
It is highly recommended that at least two of these credits be earned by the end of the 10th grade year and at least one more of these credits be earned by the end of the 11th grade year.

Phys. Ed. / Health

3 credits
Students must pass one semester of Health, one semester of Physical Education, and one additional semester of either Health or Physical Education. The additional semester can be replaced with successful participation in a full season on an athletic team.


At least enough to meet the minimum total credit requirement.


Advanced Placement Courses

University High School offers 22 Advanced Placement (AP) courses in every subject from art to science. While some courses (such as AP Chemistry) are not offered each year, generally students will have at least two opportunities to take a course during their four-year high school career. For more information about each course and about AP course requirements, download our 2023-24 Course Guide. AP courses offered at University High School are as follows:

Arts AP Courses
AP Art History
AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
AP Studio Art: Drawing

English AP Courses
AP English Language & Composition
AP English Literature & Composition

History & Social Studies AP Courses
AP European History
AP U.S. Government & Politics
AP U.S. History
AP World History

Mathematics & Computer Science AP Courses
AP Precalculus
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Computer Science A
AP Statistics

Science AP Courses
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism
AP Physics C: Mechanics

World Languages & Culture AP Courses
AP French Language & Culture
AP Spanish Language & Culture
AP Spanish Literature & Culture

Awards & Honors at University High School

University High School has several awards and honors that we distribute each spring at the school’s annual Prize Day or at graduation.

The Schmidt Award
Jeff Lewis, a founding trustee of the school and the current chairman of the board, and his wife Paula initiated the Schmidt Award to honor a University High School junior who demonstrates extraordinary service. This community service award was founded to honor Mrs. Lewis’s father, who was a lifelong high school educator with a particular dedication to community service. The Schmidt Award winner receives a plaque and a check for $250. The faculty chooses the recipient at the end of the academic year, and the winner is announced on Prize Day.

Scott Ray Memorial Scholarship
Scott L. Ray was a lifelong research scientist and statistician. He served on the University High School Board of Trustees for 12 years and is the father of alumni Abby (’07) and Jim (’10). Scott was a champion of education from a young age, particularly in science and mathematics. He relished educating others almost as much as he enjoyed the subjects themselves, and he was known to be a kind and encouraging mentor. Scott met people where they were and gave them the confidence to grow as students and human beings. This $10,000 scholarship will honor a student who values the subjects of science and mathematics as well as the teaching of them, just as Scott did. A selection committee and the Ray family chooses the recipient at the end of the academic year, and the winner is announced on Prize Day. 

Kyle Suico Curiosity Scholarship
Kyle Suico (’19) was driven by his curiosity, exploring topics ranging from bitcoin and economic policy to artificial intelligence. His curiosity was infectious, expanding the knowledge that others around him had of the topics he focused on. This scholarship was founded by the family of Kyle’s friend, Christian Moore (’19), and it is awarded annually to a University High School senior who, like Kyle, is driven by curiosity and has succeeded while having learning differences. The scholarship winner receives a $500 award to be used toward education expenses. A selection committee and the Moore family chooses the recipient at the end of the academic year, and the winner is announced on Prize Day.

Audrey Lupton Community Award
Audrey Lupton (’17) was dedicated to her community. Strong communities are more than a group of people who share a common space. Communities are filled with people who deliberately, who intentionally guide and teach and nurture. They cheer for us, they cajole us, they hassle us, sometimes they even scold us into being better versions of ourselves. They understand that by making experience, making life for some else a little better, making them a little happier, they make everyone a little better and a little happier.  The Audrey Lupton Community Award celebrates a person or group who demonstrates extraordinary dedication to community. A selection committee and the Lupton family chooses the recipient at the end of the academic year, and the winner is announced on Prize Day. 

University High School Departmental Awards
Departmental Awards will be given to the top senior student in English, social studies, mathematics, science, world languages, technology, fine arts, performing arts, and wellness. The teachers in the respective departments choose the awardees (typically one for each department). Each teacher who teaches at least one section within the department takes part in the selection. Each award recipient is a senior student with high grades in that department, though they do not necessarily have to be the highest. Teachers take additional factors into account, such as performance in departmental classes or special projects/work done. These awards are announced on Prize Day.

University High School Core Values Awards
The Core Values Awards are given to the six seniors who best exemplify the school’s six core values. The award recepients are selected by the faculty, and the awards are announced on Prize Day.

Career Academic Awards
Career Academic Awards are awarded upon graduation: with highest honors (given to graduating seniors who earned high honor roll status all eight semesters of high school), with high honors (given to graduating seniors who earned either high honor roll or honor roll status for all eight semesters of high school), and with honors (given to graduating seniors who earned either high honor roll or honor roll status for six or seven semesters of high school). For consideration at any level, students must have passed all classes, including January Term classes. These awards will be determined at the end of the student’s eighth semester. There is no maximum or minimum number of students who are honored with these awards each year. Transfer students’ grades are taken at face value for career awards.

National Honor Society (SNHS)

National Honor Society is a nationally recognized service organization that encourages scholarship, volunteerism, and building community. The priorities of the National Honor Society complement well the core values of University High School. One does not need to be in NHS to celebrate and pursue those characteristics; however, NHS strives to provide opportunities to continue excelling in those areas.

Requirements for NHS Membership at UHS

To become a member of the UHS National Honor Society, students must:

  • Have at least a 3.5 GPA overall
  • Participate in at least ten hours of volunteer service each semester
  • Attend a minimum of one meeting per semester

Science National Honor Society (SNHS)

University High School is the only school in Central Indiana with a chapter of the Science National Honor Society. Many University High School juniors and seniors are inducted into this prestigious society each spring.

Requirements for SNHS Membership at UHS

To become a member of the UHS Science National Honor Society, students must:

  • Have at least a 3.5 GPA overall and a B+ (3.3) average in their science classes;
  • Be enrolled in at least one science class in each of their four years at University High School, including at least one AP science class;
  • Participate in at least four hours of science department sponsored activities or volunteer work in both the junior and senior year.

About the Science National Honor Society

The goals of the Science National Honor Society are to encourage and recognize scientific and intellectual thought; advance the students’ knowledge of classical and modern science; communicate with the scientific community; aid the civic community with its comprehension of science; and encourage students to participate in community service and in turn encourage a dedication to the pursuit of scientific knowledge that benefits all humankind.

Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (SHH)

The Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (SHH) is an honor society for high school students enrolled in Spanish and/or Portuguese, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). At present there are more than 2,900 national and international chapters of the SHH. University High School’s chapter was established in 2019, and our chapter’s name is “Los Pioneros,” which means “The Trailblazers.” Our chapter believes in the values of academic curiosity, determination, honesty, and unity, and we live by these values.

Requirements for SHH Membership at UHS

  • Student must be in 10th grade or higher
  • Have earned top grades in the study of Spanish for a minimum of three years

Cum Laude Society at University High School

University High School is a chapter of the Cum Laude Society. Modeled on the Phi Beta Kappa Society at colleges and universities, the purpose of the Cum Laude Society is to recognize superior scholastic achievement of high school students. Only schools of superior academic quality are considered for a chapter and membership. There are 370 Cum Laude Society chapters across the U.S. and in England, France, Spain, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

Cum Laude Society Mission

The Cum Laude Society recognizes academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence (Areté), justice (Diké) and honor (Timé).