Credits are one of the primary methods used to determine and document that students have met academic requirements, generally at the high school level. Credits are awarded after a student completes or passes, academic courses. In the U.S., credits are generally based on a system called, The Carnegie unit. This system requires 120 hours of instructional time in order for a student to successfully complete a course.

High school students must earn an accumulative amount of credits in order to receive a diploma. Moreover, credits are the fundamental factor in the success or failure of a student completing their schooling. The amount of credits, a student must earn in order to receive their diploma, varies from state to state. While credit requirements vary from state to state and school to school, they generally outline minimum requirements in the following subject areas: English language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, health, physical education, technology, and world languages.