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Correspondence Study High School Diplomas

Prospective students and others frequently ask whether a correspondence study high school diploma is recognized by the Department of Education as a high school diploma.

Pennsylvania’s law allows students to complete their secondary education requirements through a variety of mechanisms which include, but are not limited to, attending and completing the requirements of a residential public high school, religious school, licensed school, accredited school or charter school; achieving a passing score on the General Educational Development (GED) examination; earning thirty credits beyond high-school level, or completing a correspondence school’s high school program.

Current education regulations provide that "An applicant 18 years of age or older shall be issued a Certificate of Preliminary Education upon presentation to the Department [of Education] of evidence of the issuance of a high school diploma by an accredited private correspondence school licensed or approved by the State Board of Private Licensed Schools." 22 Pa. Code § 4.73.

Questions about the general acceptance of a correspondence study diploma cannot be answered summarily since employers, certification associations, licensing agencies, state funding organizations and postsecondary institutions have much discretion in establishing entrance criteria.

If you have additional concerns about correspondence high school programs, please contact our office:

TTY#: (717) 783-8445


For additional information, please contact:

Division of Higher & Career Education |
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street. 12th Fl | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.8228 | Fax: 717.772.3622
ra-pls@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us