The number of course credits required for high school graduation is designated in the Guidelines for the Course of Study. 《→Gakushu shido yoryo 学習指導要領 Guidelines for the Course of Study》 A total of over 80 credits (over 74 credits from 2003) must be obtained from a combination of regular and integrated-course subjects. 《→sogo gakka 総合学科 integrated programs》 《→tan'isei koko 単位制高校 credit-based high school》
Completion of a full year (35 weeks) of 50-minute lessons in a single subject is equivalent to one credit. Each school determines its curriculum on the basis of the standard number of credits outlined in the Guidelines for the Course of Study for each of the required subjects. These subjects are Japanese (language, modern literature, classic literature, etc.) 《→kokugo 国語 Japanese》, geography and history (world history, Japanese history, geography) 《→chiri rekishi 地理歴史 geography and history》, civics (modern society, ethics, politics and economics) 《→komin 公民 civics》, mathematics 《→sugaku 数学 mathematics》, science (physics, chemistry, biology, geography) 《→rika 理科 science》, health and physical education 《→hoken taiiku 保険体育 health and physical education》, arts (music, art, handicrafts, calligraphy) 《→geijutsu 芸術 arts》, foreign languages (English, etc.) 《→eigo gaikokugo 英語・外国語English, foreign languages》, home economics 《→kateika 家庭科 home economics》, and information science 《→joho 情報 information science》. In order to graduate, students must earn all the credits necessary in the required subjects, required elective subjects and elective subjects. Some schools also establish their own original courses that take advantage of the school's unique character and require credits in these courses for graduation.