What states require a Senior Project?

I’m a senior from Seattle, and I was required to do a Culminating Project in order to graduate, as is every senior in Washington State.

I was talking to a friend from Oregon, and he said the Senior Project was a state requirement there, too.

That made me curious. Which states require a senior project, and which don’t? Do all states require it?

Please tell me if your state requires a senior project, gentle reader, so curiosity doesn’t kill me.


North Carolina does. My friends have to do a Senior Project that is due today. I feel so bad for them. I am so glad we only have FCAT sarcasm to see if we graduate or not. lol

Back when I graduated from H.S. in California, no project was necessary. However, there was the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) to contend with.

Michigan doesn’t require a senior project, and I can’t think of any standardized testing that we have during our senior year either. The last big standardized thing we have is the Michigan Merit Exam (MMEs), which is junior year.

I don’t know if it’s a state requirement (I don’t believe any of the nearby school districts have a similar project, but I could be wrong), but all seniors in Webster, New York are required to complete a project that either betters themselves or the community, complete with a supervising mentor and full documentation of the project.

It’s quite a task, but it is required for graduation, and can really help some student find out a lot about themselves (though many choose an overwhelmingly nonsense task like learning to sew, learning to play guitar, “learning” things they already know how to do. I’m not trying to judge other people’s projects, but it totally defeats the purpose of the project, especially when a number of kids actually have fun or learn from their’s).

Our state didn’t require one, but our school opted to have a Senior Project. It was simply 12 hours of work with a mentor and producing a tangible product. We also had to write a research paper and do a presentation, but it wasn’t too hard.

My school has one. 15 hours minimum field work, most show a ‘learning stretch’, must have a mentor who verifies hours, 6 page research paper done as a project for English class. Formal presentation before a panel of community member judges on a Saturday. Honestly, it’s too easy. 15 hours is nothing. I think they should up it to 20 or 25 at least.

Pennsylvania requires one.
Virginia does not.

Out of curiosity, when did you graduate? Might a senior project have become required later?

What is FCAT? In Washington, the required standardized test is called the HSPE, and it’s pretty much an easier version of the previous Washington standardized test, the WASL. It’s taken sophomore year, and if you pass, you get late start junior and senior years (which I’m taking advantage of right now!).

But does your state require it, or is a decision by your district?

My school requires 20 hours.

So right now, the tally is four states that require it (WA, OR, SC, and PA), four confirmed states that don’t (FL, MI, GA, and VA) and a few maybes. But what about the other states?

CO doesn’t require nor dose my school do one. It used to but since it was given at the beginning of senior year, alot of kids just used robotics or other “educational” extra crits as their project.

on a side note: 2 years ago i had a open hour at school and joined another robotics kid when he turned his in… the school spent half an hour calling ever robotics mentor (which had listed out with contact info for them) to confirm the recorded 1125 hours volunteer labor he had documented (he only documented the meetings he could remember). I heard other robotics seniors (like 15 that year) had to wait through the same thing. That was the last year they had the senior project.

  1. I doubt that CA added one later, but it’s possible. (OTOH, I haven’t heard of anything like that being added.)

But does your state require it, or is a decision by your district?

See above. sanddrag is in CA, and in more of a position to know about it right now.

Texas does not require a senior project, but we do have the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test, that turns into the STAAR test next year and is required for graduation.

Kansas does not require a senior project although it seems like many of the districts in the Kansas City Metro area are adopting them.

I graduated in 2009 which was the first year of the project. This years seniors were the first to complete their full “portfolio”. There are certain writing assignments required every year leading up to your senior year that will be presented to the reviewers. The project just has to be something you are interested in. I did mine on FLL, we were only required to do 20 hours and 4 mentor visits. Since then they have upped the requirements because the project has been sucessful.

How did he get the robots hours to count as community hours? I’m jealous, they don’t count here.

In Ontario each course has a culminating project for each of our classes for each year of school + a standardized math test in Grade 9 and a standardized Literacy test in Grade 10.

Every senior in my school does a senior project although I am unsure if it is a Louisiana state-wide requirement. You put together a portfolio with journal entries, log time with a mentor, write a 2500-word paper, produce a product and give a presentation.

Next year I will be doing mine on a general overview of programming. My mentor is one of my FIRST mentors and my product will be my robot code project from either this year or the next. Call it double-dipping but they told me to pick a topic I’m passionate about, so they really should have seen this coming.

Our team got clever and declared ourselves a non-profit organization. it has multiple benefits including (but not limited to) not having purchases/donations go through the district and allowing our team members to count time as “volunteer hours for a non-profit organization”.

When I was in high school (not quite essays-on-stone-tablets ago, but we did walk there in the snow uphill both ways), the state requirement was to pass their exit exam in your sophomore year. In theory, you could try again the year after that, and the year after that, and so on until they threw you out at 21.

In my district, one could get an Extended Studies Diploma, which had more specific course requirements than the state mandates and a requirement to perform 10 hours of community service each year of high school. (I got one.)

I know that in order to get the special BOE (Board of Education) Diploma in Hawai’i, a senior project is required. However, I am not entirely sure if it is state wide.