Graduation Planning

Grade Levels

Grade Level Classifications

Melissa High School students are organized into grade levels based on the number of course credits (i.e. grade points) they have earned according to the GRADE LEVEL CLASSIFICATIONS CHART.

State Requirements for Graduation

Earning Your High School Diploma

Students in Texas earn their high school diploma by 1) accumulating credit for courses taken in specific subject areas, and 2) passing the related state-mandated assessments.

Course Credit

State-Mandated Assessments

Please be advised that the following courses are considered "local credits" which means that they that do not count toward state graduation requirements or overall grade point average (GPA): Office Aide, Library Aide, and any Student Leadership courses taken for a second year and beyond.
In accordance with TEC §74.38, students in Texas are required to receive instruction in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Per TEC §74.39, students who entered 9th grade for the 2018-2019 school year or later will also receive instruction in proper interaction with peace officers.

Course & Credit Requirements for Graduation

Students and parents/guardians should take time to review the OVERVIEW OF COURSE & CREDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION to understand the program requirements for the two Melissa High School graduation track options: "Foundation Plus Endorsement" and "Distinguished Level of Achievement". For each graduation track, there are standard requirements and expectations, organized by subject area.

Per the ACADEMIC ADVISING EXPECTATIONS, Melissa ISD encourages students to pursue the "Distinguished Level of Achievement" graduation track. We believe this coursework will provide the most secure foundation for postsecondary success.

Top 10% Eligibility

Eligibility for recognition in the top 10 percent (top 10%) of the graduating class requires that the student graduate with the "Distinguished Level of Achievement" credential.

Performance Acknowledgements 

In addition to the Endorsement requirement, students may be eligible to receive a performance acknowledgement for strong achievement in the following areas: Advanced Coursework, Bilingualism, Advanced Examinations, College Readiness Examinations, and/or Workforce Readiness Examinations. Contact your counselor for more information.

Early Graduation

Students who are interested in early graduation must apply no later than the spring of their junior year of high school. Parent/guardian and principal approval are required.

Automatic Admission Eligibility

Students who graduate on the "Foundation Plus Endorsement" track without taking Algebra II are not eligible for automatic admission into a Texas public college or university and may not be eligible for certain forms of financial aid. For more information from the state, visit this link: TEA GRADUATION INFORMATION.

Summer Programs

The district may offer additional programs in the summer 2023 based on student needs.

Endorsements & Career Pathways

What is an Endorsement?

In order to address college-readiness, career-readiness, and postsecondary planning, students are required to take courses that are connected by an Endorsement area and follow a "career pathway" for a "program of study" within the Endorsement area. The Endorsement requirement applies to both the "Foundation Plus Endorsement" and "Distinguished Level of Achievement" graduation tracks.

Endorsement Areas

Career & Technical Education (CTE):

General (Non-CTE):

Career Pathways

The resources below have been created to assist students and parents/guardians in choosing an Endorsement area and planning postsecondary goals.


For all CTE Endorsement areas, Melissa ISD has developed sample graduation plans, known as career pathways within each , designed by career and college options.

Please take some time to review the course offerings within each Endorsement area during course registration. CTE course offerings can be found in the "Course Offerings" section of this website. Career pathways are linked within each program of study.

Arts & Humanities

Students may earn an Arts & Humanities Endorsement by earning credits one of the following ways: 

Multidisciplinary Studies

Students may earn a Multidisciplinary Studies Endorsement by earning credits one of the following ways: 


Students may earn a Non-CTE STEM Endorsement in either Math or Science by earning credits one of the following ways:

TEA Graduation Toolkit

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) offers a graduation toolkit designed to guide students and families through the benefits of each Endorsement area, in order to increase the likelihood of preparation and success in college and in the workforce. This graduation toolkit also includes information on various workforce resources provided through the Texas Workforce Commission.

Transfer Students

Transcript Evaluation Guidelines

When a transcript is received by Melissa High School from an accredited school within the United States, transfer credit will be awarded for any course recognized by the state of Texas.

Transcripts from Non-Public Schools

Students who enroll in Melissa ISD with credits earned in non-public schools may only transfer credit if the non-public school was accredited. Information about the accreditation of non-public schools in Texas as well as a list of approved accreditation bodies is maintained by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC). TEPSAC reviews and certifies organizations as meeting the requirements made by the Commissioner of Education and as having standards comparable to 19 TAC Chapter 97.

International Transcripts

Transcripts that require a translation to English will not receive a letter grade or numerical equivalency. A “P” for passing will be assigned to designate that credit was earned. The maximum number of transcribed courses per year is eight.

Accredited international schools that deliver the majority of the instruction in English or utilize an American-based curriculum, in addition to Department of Defense schools, will be reviewed in the same manner as transcripts received from accredited non-public schools from within the United States.

Scholarships & Financial Aid


Melissa Education Foundation

The Melissa Education Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit education foundation created to centralize, simplify, and enhance the process of raising money for and awarding scholarships to deserving graduates in Melissa ISD. To learn more, VISIT THE MEF WEBSITE.

Scholarships Website

Melissa High School maintains a list of scholarship opportunities that is updated throughout the school year. For more information, visit WWW.MELISSAISD.ORG/SCHOLARSHIPS.

Financial Aid

It is important for students to apply for financial aid early in their senior year. Priority deadlines may be as early as mid-December.


Per state law, students are now required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal and state financial aid, or fill out a waiver exempting them from completing the FAFSA prior to graduation. For ore information and to complete the FAFSA online, visit FAFSA.GOV.

State Aid

Online Resources

This list of online resources is provided as a service to Melissa ISD students and families. There is no intent on the part of Melissa ISD to endorse the organizations and web resources listed below, nor is this list inclusive of all possible resources. The student and family are free to obtain information from any other source. For more information and resources, visit the COUNSELING WEBSITE.

Your Experience

Considerations for Each Year of High School

Freshman Year (9th Grade)

Explore your interests and graduation requirements and confirm your Personal Graduation Plan:

Master organization and study skills:

Get connected to the life of the school:

Sophomore Year (10th Grade)

Push yourself to do your best:

Narrow your interests and revise your planning:

Seek leadership roles in your activities or unique ways to contribute to your community:

Junior Year (11th Grade)

Take on challenges:

Prepare for standardized testing:

Gather and organize your information:

Senior Year (12th Grade)

Start the year with a strong plan for your studies and activities:

Stay active:

Pursue your plan: