U.S. High School Diploma for International Students
Although you’re not living in the United States, did you know that you can earn your U.S. high school diploma online from Silicon Valley High School? It doesn’t matter where you live, so long as you have access to the Internet. Our high school diploma program is entirely online. It’s video-based, self-paced and teacher-supported.
SVHS accredited by AdvancED, the largest community of education professionals in the world. AdvancED is the trusted partner to 34,000 educational institutions—employing more than four million educators and enrolling more than 20 million students—across the United States and 70 other nations.
AdvancED, was established in 2006 when the Board of Directors of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and the Board of Trustees of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) made a unanimous decision to unify their respective organizations. The National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE) also joined the unification. In 2012, the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) joined AdvancED as the third accreditation division.
in 2018, Silicon Valley High School was approved by NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Relationship with the University of California
The University of California accepts SVHS courses for credit under its A-G Program and recognizes SVHS transcripts. Silicon Valley High School courses have been approved by the University of California and listed on the UCOP Portal website. Please see the U.S. College Admissions section below for information on admissions into the University of California system and other U.S. colleges.
Video-Based Online Courses
Many students prefer watching videos to reading textbooks and we use video wherever we can in our courses. The videos are sometimes fun to watch. If you’re taking a course like English, you’re going to have to read a book, but each unit of each course usually includes a video, a quiz, some reading material, and an assignment. We do try to make the assignments as well as the videos as interesting and entertaining as possible.
Self-Paced Online Courses
Because our courses are all self-paced, it means you can study when it suits you. You set your own schedule. If you want to work out in the morning, you can do your studying in the afternoon or the evening.
As you can see from our statistics (where blue means students are taking courses, and darker blue means more students), we see that students choose to study at all hours of the day or night. Some students are night owls and others are early birds. They certainly don’t all work traditional school hours. By setting your own study schedule, your courses don’t have to interfere too much with your sports activities.
In fact, if you have a laptop, or tablet, or any device with a web browser that you can carry around, you aren’t restricted from studying at your desk. You could study from your home, your hotel room, your private jet (OK, maybe not quite yet) or wherever you learn best.
The self-paced arrangement means that you can take the course as quickly or as slowly as you like. If you want to finish the course asap, you can commit the study hours and complete most courses in as little as 30 days. If you want to spread your studying out, or take multiple courses at the same time, you have up to 12 months to complete a course (and can request an extension if you need more time).
Teacher-Supported Online Courses
When you enroll in a course, you’ll get a message from your teacher. Your teacher is not a bot or some artificial intelligence machine—it’s a real-life person, a credentialed teacher, who, like you is working on a computer. You can ask a question at any time, by submitting an online form. The teacher receives an email with your question and responds quickly, usually within 24 hours (can take longer at weekends and holidays).
When you submit your assignment, it is graded by the teacher. Together with your grade, the teacher gives you some positive feedback and guidance.
With this arrangement, it’s not necessary to be online at the same time as the teacher, and that’s how we can make our courses entirely self-paced. Having said that, for some language courses, like Spanish, where you occasionally have to actually speak to a teacher through video-conference, you’ll need to coordinate your schedule with the teachers’—to make sure you’re both able to meet up online.
Simple Step-by-Step Flow
We made our courses very simple to follow. You start at unit 1, watch a video, take a quiz, do some reading and submit an assignment, then you move on to unit 2, which follows the same process. When you’ve completed all the units, your final appears and you’re then able to take the final exam. Many students that have taken online courses elsewhere have told us they really appreciate this simple step-by-step flow. It’s not difficult to see where you are and what you need to do next—once you’ve completed a step, you can see that it’s been checked off.
As a school registered with the State of California, SVHS has to comply with various state regulations. Some of these regulations dictate some of the courses that students have to complete in order to earn a high school diploma.
Consistent with requirements of the California Department of Education, in order for an overseas student to graduate and receive a diploma from Silicon Valley High School, students must complete a minimum of 210 credits with SVHS and earn a passing score in the following courses:
- 3 years of English
b. 2 years of Math, at least 1 year of Algebra 1 or higher
c. 2 years of science, including a life science and a physical science
d. 1 year of World History
e. 1 year of US History
f. 1 semester of Government
g. 1 semester of Economics
h. 2 years of Physical Education
i. 1 year of either: VAPA: Visual Performing Arts, LOTE: Language Other Than English, or CTE: Career Technical Education
j. Money Math
k. Additional Electives
Recommended Course of Study
The following recommended course of study is meant to provide guidance for a student towards successful completion of the requirements for graduation with a Diploma from SVHS:
- English 9
- Algebra 1 or Integrated Math 1
- Astronomy (or other science or elective course)
- Physical Education
- Spanish 1 (or other elective)
- English 10
- Geometry or Integrated Math 2
- Biology (or other science or elective course)
- World History
- Physical Education
- Spanish 2 (or other elective)
- English 11
- Algebra 2 or Integrated Math 3
- Chemistry (or other science or elective course)
- US History
- Intro to Programming (or other elective)
- English 12
- Money Math
- American Government
- College and Career Exploration (or other elective)
- Health (or other elective)
- Environmental Science (or other elective)
The cost of earning your high school diploma from SVHS are as follows:
- Registration Fee—$250.
- Semester Tuition Fee—$1,000. Up to 8 courses.
- Graduation Fee—$300.
There’s an Enrollment Fee of $250, which covers the cost of transferring credits from your previous high school and setting up your records and accounts with SVHS, then there’s the $1,000 per semester tuition fees (for each of the spring and fall semesters), and finally, the graduation fee is $300, which covers the cost of verifying that you have completed all the required courses and completing the graduation process. All our courses are supported by experienced, credentialed teachers who answer questions, grade assignments and provide guidance and feedback online.
For the Chemistry course you will need to buy a laboratory kit, which will be mailed to you by a third-party vendor. The cost will be around $200.
The total cost of earning your high school diploma depends on how quickly, or slowly, you complete your courses. If you complete the maximum of 8 courses a semester, then you will minimize the number of semesters you need, hence minimize the costs, as each semester is $1000.
Fair, Flexible Terms
You’re not required to pay for the whole diploma program when you register with Silicon Valley High School. You can cancel any time. Registration fees are not refundable after we have started the registration process, however semester tuition fees are refundable if you cancel before the courses have been started.
If you start the program, and you would like to stop, for whatever reason, you are free to suspend your enrollment and you will not incur any additional fees beyond those you have already paid. If you wish to pause your studies, that’s fine as well. Your courses, and the progress you have made through each of them, will be saved so you can restart when you’re ready.
No Age Limit
There are no restrictions on what age a student can earn a high school diploma in the United States. In 1990, a child prodigy called Michael Kearney graduated San Marin High School in California at the age of 6. Camilla Jean Woodward graduated from the adult high school program at Wilson Community College in North Carolina at the age of 80. Joan Deebank graduated at age 92, but that was in Canada. Anyhow, so long as you pass all the required courses, you can earn your diploma at any age.
U.S. College Admissions
Colleges adopt their own admissions requirements and procedures. For example, here’s the admissions portal for the University of California. Colleges generally want to see your transcript, to see what courses you have taken and the grades you have achieved. SVHS will provide you with an official transcripts that can be shared with the colleges you’re applying to. In addition to having a high school diploma and official transcript, colleges often require that you take an SAT standardized test administered by the College Board. The SAT is separate and independent from your high school diploma. SVHS and other high schools are not part of the SAT testing process.
Many students hire specialist private consultants to help them with the college application process, and help them make sure they understand and satisfy the college admissions requirements. Here’s a link to a the Independent Education Consultants Association and a Princeton Review article on how to choose a college admissions counselor. College Coach is an example of an admissions counseling service.
As you don’t need to visit the United States to study online with Silicon Valley High School, you don’t need a visa to enroll in our diploma program and earn your high school diploma. However, if you wish to come to college in the U.S. after you complete your studies at SVHS, you will need a student visa. Here’s a link to the U.S. Department of State explaining how the student visa program works and providing you with the required application forms.
Registration is Open
Contact us to inquire about registration. There’s a short, simple registration agreement that basically confirms the information you have read on this page.
You can register at any time.
Certificates of Course Completion
When you complete a course with a passing score, you will be provided with a signed digital certificate of completion. You can print this certificate, frame it, and provide a copy to a prospective employer.
High School Diploma Graduation
To be eligible to graduate and receive your diploma, you must have completed all the required courses listed above. The process starts with you paying the $300 fee to petition to graduate. SVHS staff then check that you have successfully completed all the required courses and when that has been confirmed, you will receive your graduation certificate in the mail. Congratulations!
When you apply to college, or you transfer to another school, SVHS will provide official transcripts of the courses you have taken and the grades you achieved. As an accredited school, SVHS has a college board code of 051067 which will be provided on the official transcripts. There will be a small fee to cover the cost of producing and shipping the transcripts to the schools or colleges you nominate.
Click the FAQ (frequently asked questions) link at the bottom of the web page, or chat with us using the chat box at the bottom right of your browser window.