Students must earn credits in the following subject areas, for a total of 44 academic credits, to be eligible to graduate from Ames High School:
- 8 English Credits
- 6 Mathematics Credits
- 6 Science Credits
- 6 Social Studies Credits
- .5 Health Credit
- 1 Practical Arts Credit (from Business Education, Family & Consumer Science, or Industrial Technology)
- 1 Fine Arts Credit (from Music or Art)
- 2 Physical Education Credits (.25 credits per semester)
Receiving a passing grade for a one-semester course that meets a minimum of five times per week, or the equivalent, earns one credit.
Each student is required to take a minimum of 32 periods of classes (i.e. 6 classes plus PE) each semester.
All ninth grade students are required to take the Personal Wellness course.
Transfer students must meet all credit requirements for graduation. In addition, students transferring in their senior year must earn a minimum of 11 Ames High School credits in order to receive an Ames High School diploma. Mid-year graduates may deduct 5.5 credits from the above requirement.
Early completion and graduation
Students wanting to complete graduation requirements early (at the end of their junior year or the end of the first semester of their senior year) must work with their counselor. Seniors who complete graduation requirements at mid-year are encouraged to participate in the regular spring graduation ceremony. Otherwise, commencement is held at Ames High School. Only those students who have completed the credits required for graduation can participate in the ceremonies.