A high school diploma is a North American academic school leaving qualification awarded upon high school graduation. The high school diploma is typically obtained after a course of study lasting four years, from grade 9 to grade 12. The diploma is awarded by the school in accordance with the requirements of the local state or provincial government. Requirements for earning the diploma vary by jurisdiction, and there may be different requirements for different streams or levels of high school graduation. Typically they include a combination of selected coursework meeting specified criteria for a particular stream and acceptable passing grades earned on the state exit examination.
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