Credits and Course Requirements

A semester course at the Overlake School is equivalent to .5 credit. A minimum of 23 credits successfully completed during grades 9-12 is required for graduation. This total may include high school transfer or summer school credit. The normal and suggested course load is 6 classes each semester. Students may take no fewer than 5 classes in a given semester and no more than seven classes in a given semester without permission from the Upper School Head. In addition, all senior students are required to take a minimum of four academic courses each semester. Academic courses refer to those offered in English, Languages, Social Studies, Science and/or Mathematics.

Credit Requirements for Graduation

Each student is responsible for completing all requirements for graduation. All students must complete the departmental distribution requirements as described on page 20 in this handbook. In addition each year all students must complete a project week activity, and at least fifteen hours of community service. All students must also meet the co-curricular and outdoor education requirements. All seniors are required to participate in a project in May of their senior year. The Registrar issues at least one notice to each student and his or her advisor regarding the completion of graduation requirements, usually two semesters before anticipated graduation.

Transfer Credits

All approved course work completed at another high school or other accredited institutions will be counted in the student’s total earned credits and will show on the student’s Overlake transcript. These transfer credits WILL NOT be calculated into the student’s Overlake yearly or cumulative GPA/Percent Average. The student is responsible for requesting the official transcript from the attended school be sent to the registrar in order for the transfer credits to be included.

Credits Earned in Middle School

Credits for Upper School courses taken in the Middle School will not be reflected on the student’s Upper School transcript, nor will these credits count toward the student’s graduation requirements. All credits for graduation must be earned while the student is matriculating in the Upper School.

Change/Waiver of Requirements

A student may request a change in the course requirements for graduation by submitting a petition to the department chair of the course in question and to the chair of the Academic Council. If the student disagrees with the decision made by the department and the Academic Council, the student may appeal to the Head of School. That decision will stand.

The request shall be made no later than October 1 of the student’s senior year (or at least eight months before the student’s scheduled graduation).

Participation in Graduation Ceremony

All requirements for graduation are to be completed and the student is to be in good standing on the Friday before Commencement, which is the final day of Senior Project presentations, at 4:00 p.m. Any student who fails or neglects to complete the requirements and to submit the required documents validating these requirements, by this date and time will not be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Graduation requirements include the following:

  • All academic credits required for graduation
  • All service learning hours, and documentation thereof
  • All co-curricular credits, and documentation thereof
  • Outdoor Education requirement
  • Project Week
  • Senior Project

Students who have materials outstanding will be allowed to participate in the ceremony, but they will be charged for these if they are not returned or paid for by the above due date. These may include textbooks, library books/fees, athletic uniforms, borrowed equipment, or the like. Transcripts for these students will not be released until all financial obligations are met.

Students who need extra time beyond their senior year to fulfill their graduation requirements will be allowed to participate in the commencement exercise of the following year.

Double Counting

A course cannot be used to fulfill more than one graduation requirement.

Summer School Credit

Any student wishing to take a course during the summer must obtain prior approval from the appropriate department chair and the Upper School Head in order to ensure that credit toward graduation can be granted for the work. Credit is not guaranteed for courses not receiving prior approval. Exceptions must be approved by the Academic Council.



Alisa Steinhilber


425-868-6191 x638