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Maryland Service-Learning Graduation Requirement

​Maryland is the first state in the nation to require high school students to engage in service-learning experiences as a condition of graduation as noted in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR 13A.03.02.05).

Frederick County students create ceramic containers to sell as part of their Empty Bowls Project which raises awareness and funds to combat hunger and homelessness.

Each of the 24 school systems in Maryland (link to LSS page) implements the service-learning graduation requirement differently so they can most effectively tailor the program to the unique needs of their students, schools, and community.

Students create a buffer zone for a nearby stream.

Maryland Service-Learning Graduation Requirement Implementation Data


Service-learning is not the same as...

Volunteers engage in service for a variety of personal reasons. They do not necessarily link their service to academic studies nor do they receive academic credit for their efforts.

Community Service:
People engaging in community service do so for a variety of reasons. This is a broad term that can encompass court ordered, stipended or volunteer service. It also does not necessarily link to academic studies.

Work Study Internship:
Student interns frequently work at for-profit business to benefit the financial standing of that business. They are not necessarily working to improve their communities through these internship experiences. There can be overlap between work study internships and service-learning. Students are engaged in service-learning if through their internship experiences they work to improve the health or welfare of their community while linking this to their academic studies.

What does a
service-learning project
look like?