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Graduation Requirements

Through the classical curriculum and robust Course of Study at St. Ambrose Academy, students are equipped to become leaders and life-long learners who engage with society around them. 

Our Learning Services Department offers an abundance of support and resources for students and our faculty are committed to assisting students both in class and outside of class during study periods, lunch, and even before or after school. To find out more about resources available to students, visit our Learning Services Department page or contact Learning Services Coordinator Angela Hineline.

St. Ambrose Academy grants three types of diplomas: Classics, Standard and Transfer. When students apply for colleges, the School Profile that accompanies student transcripts mentions the requirements for both diplomas. A Classics diploma is a worthy achievement that builds a student’s knowledge and skills, and will strengthen a student’s college application.

Students wishing to transfer to St. Ambrose from other institutions are encouraged to contact Principal Scott Schmiesing regarding the transfer of credits.

The culmination of these efforts is an accomplishment worthy of celebration and we are proud of the many St. Ambrose Academy alumni who are a part of higher education, religious vocations, and the workforce through a diverse array of professions.


A “core course” is a course in English, History, Latin, Math, Religion, or Science. To learn more about our curriculum, visit our Course of Study and Senior High elective courses.


Classics Diploma

To earn a Classics Diploma, a student needs 27 total credits at St. Ambrose Academy or qualified transfer credits. This includes 24 core course credits and 3 elective credits.

*Students who reach the benchmarks in Math or Latin prior to Senior year, and choose to opt-out of the next level offered in Math or Latin, must fulfill the missing core course credit(s) with another approved upper-level core course.

Standard Diploma

To earn a Standard Diploma, a student needs 24 total credits at St. Ambrose Academy, or qualified transfer credits: 20 core course credits and 4 elective credits.

Transfer Diploma

To earn a Transfer Diploma, a student needs 22 total credits: 20 core course credits and 2 elective credits.

Students who transfer into the Academy in their sophomore year or later, whose credits would not fulfill the minimum requirements for the Standard or Classics Diploma, will be offered a “Transfer Diploma” based upon a course of study constructed in coordination with the Dean of Students. 

The transfer of previously earned credits is subject to St. Ambrose Academy leadership approval. It is possible, based upon prior studies and credit approval, for a transfer student to be eligible for the Standard or Classics diploma. Late transfers with no previous religion or Latin credits will be required to take Religion each year of enrollment, and Latin each year they are enrolled at SAA up to a minimum Latin II.

CourseClassics Diploma
(27 credits)
Standard Diploma
(24 credits)
Transfer Diploma
(22 credits)
1 core credit = 1 year
.5 elective credit = 1 year
27 credits: 24 core + 3 elective credits24 credits: 20 core + 4 elective credits22 credits: 20 core + 2 elective credits
Religion441 per year enrolled
MathematicsCompletion of Pre-Calculus33
LatinCompletion of Latin IVCompletion of Latin II with at least 1 credit of Senior High Latin1 per year enrolled or through completion of Latin II
Electives341 per year enrolled unless upperclassman taking 6 core courses

Academic Achievement Awards

Academic achievement awards are earned at graduation according to the following grade ranges:

AwardGPA Range
Cum laude3.4-3.599With distinction
Magna cum laude3.6-3.799With great distinction
Summa cum laude3.8-4.0With highest distinction