Following the passage of legislation last month, North Carolina public schools are now required to add computer science as part of the Standard Course of Study for all students entering high school in the 2026-27 school year.

“Computer science has permeated every facet of society,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. “By adding computer science to our graduation requirements, we are ensuring that students gain first-hand experience in this ever-growing discipline so that they can be better prepared to pursue the postsecondary plan of their choice.”

Schools must have their proposed computer science courses approved by the Computer Science Division of the Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education before implementation. The state suggested that schools could offer courses in multimedia and webpage and game design, data analytics, robotics, programming, and engineering.

In addition to the high school computer science requirements, the state will also put emphasis on computer science exploratory options in middle school at an introductory level.

“We haven’t added a content area to the graduation requirements for North Carolina students in a century,” Deputy Superintendent Michael Maher said. “This is an important addition that will keep North Carolina graduates competitive upon graduation and entry into the workforce. Furthermore, computer science is not just course offered to students – it’s a content area that will position students for success no matter the path they choose.”

The legislation, House Bill 8, received bipartisan support from North Carolina lawmakers.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs