Library High School

Earn Your High School Diploma for Free

Library High School offers adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online.


Applying is easy and you can start the process online.

1. Readiness Survey

Complete an online readiness survey.

2. Prerequisite Course

Enroll in a prerequisite course to determine if you are ready for online learning. You must finish the course within two weeks of your enrollment date.

3. Orientation

Participate in an orientation with library staff to discuss next steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information & Enrollment

  • Library High School allows adults to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online. The program is free and fully online, meaning you can work at your own pace.

  • To speak to Library High School staff, please call 858-495-5563 or email To speak to a representative from the school district Smart Horizons, call 855-203-7516.

  • Library High School is open to San Diego County residents 19 years of age or older.

    We serve students from unincorporated San Diego County and the cities served by San Diego County Library: Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, and Vista.

    San Diego County Library also has agreements to serve students from Chula Vista, Escondido, and National City.

    Students who live within the City of San Diego, Oceanside, or Carlsbad may apply for the Career Online High School program at those city libraries.

  • It is free to participate in the Library High School program thanks to funding from the California State Library and the San Diego County Library.

  • No, a library card is not required to enroll in the program. If you are interested in getting a library card, you can obtain one for free at your nearest San Diego County Library branch or email to request a temporary library card number.

    1. Complete the online readiness survey.
    2. Enroll in a prerequisite course and pass by scoring 70% or higher. You are required to finish the prerequisite within two weeks of your enrollment in the course.
    3. After you complete the prerequisite course, you will be invited to an orientation with library staff to finalize your enrollment.
    4. Once you are admitted to the full program, you must successfully complete two courses within the first 30 days of your enrollment.
  • You will have up to 18 months to finish the program, which consists of 18 credits.

    Click here to view our Program Timeline.

  • It is possible to earn your diploma in as little as five months if you are eligible to transfer credits.

    You can transfer up to 14 credits from your former high school or from high school equivalency test sections you have passed (such as the GED test or the HiSET test). A minimum of 4 full credit courses must be taken through Smart Horizons Career Online Education in order to be eligible for a high school diploma.

    Career Online High School can only accept official transcripts sent directly from your school or the testing company. Transcripts will not be reviewed until after a student completes an orientation with library staff. Sending transcripts early or sending unofficial copies may delay the student evaluation process.

    To request credit from previous high schools: Download the Transcript Request Form and submit it to any past schools you attended (after you have attended an orientation).
    To request credit for the GED: Go to the GED website and request your GED transcript.
    To request credit for the HiSET test: Go to the HiSET website and request your HiSET transcript.

  • We recommend looking into this after you have successfully completed the Part 1 prerequisite. Students who have earned high school credits in a foreign country may complete a 'Course by Course' evaluation through the NACES accredited agency of their choice. Once the evaluation is completed, the student can request to have the transcript sent by email, fax, or mail. Email: | Fax: (866) 390-6331 | Mail: Smart Horizons Career Online Education, ATTN: Student Services, 1280 SW 36th Ave, Suite 104, Pompano Beach, FL. 33069

  • Students enrolled in this program must be able to read, speak, and write in English. All students may attempt the prerequisite Part 1 to see if the program will meet their needs. If you would like to improve your English skills, please call 2-1-1 to find a free adult school near you. 

Two-Week Prerequisite Course

  • A prerequisite is something you are required to complete before enrolling in a full program. The Library High School prerequisite class is designed to help you determine if you will be successful in an online learning environment. You are required to pass the prerequisite course with a score of 70% or better, and you must complete the prerequisite course within 2 weeks after enrolling.

  • You must finish the prerequisite course within two weeks of your enrollment date to be eligible for entry in the full diploma program. If you do not finish within two weeks, you may take the class again, but you will have to start over from the beginning. You can retake the prerequisite course by reenrolling as a returning student using the initial email.

Technology Help

  • First, test your device to make sure it meets our system requirements. If your issues persist, contact technical support at 855-203-7516 or

  • Yes, San Diego County Library has a limited supply of laptop and hotspot sets available to borrow through the Tech Connect program. Email if you would like to request a set and schedule pick-up at a library branch or Library Headquarters.

  • Everyone On is a website where you can search by zip code for discounted internet or computer offers that may be available to you. You may be eligible for discounted internet access through the Affordable Connectivity Program from the Federal Communications Commission.

Available Courses & Career Electives

  • You must successfully complete a total of 18 credits in the following areas:

    • English (4 credits)
    • Social Studies (3 credits)
    • Math (3 credits)
    • Science (3 credits)
    • Health/PE (1 credit)
    • Career Elective Courses (4 credits)

    To learn more about the courses offered in this program, read the core course list.

  • In addition to the core courses, you will have to complete four career elective courses. Click here to read about the career electives.

    When you start the program, you will choose an emphasis from one of the following options:

    • Child Care and Education
    • Food and Hospitality
    • General Career Preparation
    • Home Care Professional
    • Hospitality and Leisure
    • Introduction to Commercial Driving
    • Introduction to Manufacturing
    • Office Management
    • Retail Customer Service
    • Security Professional
  • A career certificate provides you with proof of course hours that can be used to apply for a future credential in your career elective field.

  • Once you are enrolled in the full program, you will be matched with an online academic coach. Your coach will provide you with progress reports, ongoing support and helpful resources.

About Library High School

  • Library High School is also known as Career Online High School. SDCL has renamed the program on our website and marketing materials to highlight this as a new service offered at the library. Library High School is operated by Smart Horizons Career Online High School. COHS is offered at several public libraries throughout the state of California.

Library High School is offered free of charge to students thanks to funding from San Diego County Library and the California State Library. The program is operated by Smart Horizons Career Online High School, an accredited, private national online school district. Graduates of the program will receive a quality education from a nationally recognized entity. We are so glad you are here and look forward to helping you achieve your educational goals.

Thank you to our partners:

855-203-7516 •

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