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Seconday School Graduation Requirements

Introduction

Starting high school is an exciting time--you'll have many new opportunities and new challenges. Throughout high school, you'll be working with your parents and teachers to help you make your course selections. Based on your interests and career aspirations, you will choose the courses that you need to progress towards your diploma and your future goals.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

What do you need to graduate? (PDF)

18 compulsory credits

Students must earn the following compulsory credits to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma:

  • 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)*
  • 3 credits in mathematics (1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits in science
  • 1 credit in Canadian history
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography
  • 1 credit in the arts
  • 1 credit in health and physical education
  • 1 credit in French as a second language
  • 0.5 credit in career studies
  • 0.5 credit in civics

Plus one credit from each of the following groups:

  • New 1 additional credit (group 1): additional credit in English, or French as a second language,** or a Native language, or a classical or an international language, or social sciences and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies, or guidance and career education, or cooperative education***
  • New 1 additional credit (group 2): additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or French as a second language,** or cooperative education***
  • New 1 additional credit (group 3): additional credit in science (Grade 11 or 12), or technological education, or French as a second language,** or computer studies, or cooperative education***

In addition to the compulsory credits, students must complete:

  • 12 optional credits†
  • 40 hours of community involvement activities
  • the provincial literacy requirement
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    * A maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD) may be counted towards the 4 compulsory credits in English, but the fourth must be a credit earned for a Grade 12 compulsory English course.

    ** In groups 1, 2, and 3, a maximum of 2 credits in French as a second language can count as compulsory credits, one from group 1 and one from either group 2 or group 3.

    ***A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can count as compulsory credits.
    † The 12 optional credits may include up to 4 credits earned through approved dual credit courses.

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)

The Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted on request to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, provided that they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed as follows:

  • 7 compulsory credits (see below)
  • 7 additional optional credits by successfully completing courses that they have selected from the courses listed as available in the school course calendar.

COMPULSORY CREDIT REQUIREMENT

  • 2 English
  • 1 Canadian Geography or Canadian History
  • 1 Mathematics
  • 1 Science
  • 1 Health and physical education
  • 1 Arts or Technological Education

Certificate of Accomplishment

Students who leave school before fulfilling the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma or the Ontario Secondary School Certificate may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. The Certificate of Accomplishment may be a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to take certain vocational programs or other kinds of further training, or who plan to find employment after leaving school.