Diploma Options for Maryland Homeschoolers

Maryland does not allow homeschoolers (or private school students) to receive state-issued diplomas once they finish high school. This may sound frightening to many new homeschooling families, but don’t despair!

In reality, a state-issued diploma is only one document that proves a student is a high school graduate. We break down the different types of homeschool diploma options available to Maryland families.

As a legally recognized educational alternative to public schools, homeschoolers can determine their own graduation requirements and issue a certificate stating their child has officially completed their high school course of study. While you cannot legally call your certificate of completion a “Maryland High School Diploma”, you can label it a “Maryland Homeschool Diploma”.

NOTE: Colleges, military recruiters, vocational schools, and some employers may ask to see a transcript and a portfolio of documentation, rather than a homeschool diploma. These auxiliary documents will help to verify a parent-issued diploma represents a similar course of study to what is offered in public schools.

Homeschool umbrellas are registered entities that provide homeschool oversight in lieu of county homeschool liaisons. Most umbrellas are run as education ministries through an officially recognized religious organization, such as a church, mosque, or synagogue; or as a church-exempt school. These umbrellas are not regulated by the state of Maryland and have no state-approved diploma-granting authority. Diplomas issued by these two types of umbrellas hold the same value as a diploma issued by a homeschool parent.

Umbrellas run by nonpublic schools that hold a certificate of approval from MSDE are subject to regulatory review by the state. They may also be accredited by a national organization. These nonpublic schools grant diplomas to their brick and mortar students. The generally held assumption is that a homeschool diploma from such an umbrella will have resulted from more closely monitored homeschool oversight.

On occasion, a family will want or need an official Maryland state diploma. While you cannot get one for simply homeschooling, you can get one if you take and pass the GED. In an effort to destigmatize the GED, the diploma you receive will say: “Maryland High School Diploma”, instead of “General Equivalency Diploma”. The only way to know the diploma was earned through the GED is that it will not include a specific school name.

Last modified on September 13, 2019