NOTE: Due to the complexity of the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma requirements, all results should be manually verified for accuracy.



The Golden State Seal Merit Diploma screen will allow you to identify the 12th grade students that may qualify or do qualify for this award.  It is available while logged in at the School level. At the end of the school year the form can be used to add Activities and Awards (ACT) records for the students that qualified. The ACT records are used in the CALPADS collection of Golden State Seal Merit Diploma recipients.


The report can also be generated for any grade level to determine the remaining requirements that must be met in order for a student to qualify.


The screen has been updated to use the February 2, 2018 Procedures for Awarding the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma. Below is a summary of the qualifications. We highly recommend that everyone involved in the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma data collection and implementation become familiar with all requirements and procedures. More information can be found on the California Department of Education’s Golden State Seal Merit Diploma page at:   https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/meritdiploma.asp.



To be eligible for the GSSMD, students must be eligible to receive a high school diploma, and must have demonstrated the mastery of the curriculum in at least six subject areas, as follows:


  1. English language arts/literacy (ELA) - students must have earned one of any of the following:
    1. A grade of B+ or above (or numerical equivalent) in a single course (each semester) completed in grade nine or ten or eleven
    2. An achievement level of “Standard Met” or above for the high school Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment
  2. Mathematics - students must have earned one of any of the following:
    1. A grade of B+ or above (or numeric equivalent) in a single course (each semester) completed in grade nine or ten or eleven
    2. An achievement level of “Standard Met” or above for the high school Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment
  3. Science - students must have earned one of any of the following:
    1. A grade of B+ or above (or numeric equivalent) in a single course (each semester) completed in grade nine or ten or eleven
    2. A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of the subject as determined by the LEA for an examination produced by a private provider or the LEA
  4. U.S. history - students must have earned one of any of the following:
    1. A grade of B or above (or numerical equivalent) upon completion of the required U.S. history course (each semester)
    2. A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of the subject as determined by the LEA for an examination produced by a private provider or the LEA
  5. Two additional subject areas - students may choose from any of the following:
    1. Any additional qualifying grade or score listed above, earned for the subject of ELA, mathematics, science, or U.S. history not already used to meet eligibility
    2. A grade of B or above (or numerical equivalent) upon the completion of high school courses in other subjects
    3. A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of other subjects, as determined by the LEA, for an examination produced by a private provider or the LEA

Note: The previously eligible California Standards Tests (CSTs) have been removed from the list. The class of 2018 would not have taken any of the approved CSTs in the last administration of those tests, which was in 2013. The CST for Science, previously taken in grade ten, was never approved for use toward GSSMD eligibility.




NOTE: Due to the complexity of the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma requirements, all results should be manually verified for accuracy. LEAs are responsible for the proper setup, calculation and verification based on the criteria described in the Requirements tab.