OSSD Requirements

OSSD Requirements

18 compulsory credits

12 optional credits

40 hrs. Community placement

English literacy test

Compulsory credits

Students must earn the following 18 compulsory credits to get their Ontario Secondary School Diploma:

  • 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
  • 3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 3 credits for group 1, 2 and 3 courses (1 credit in each group)
  • 2 credits in science
  • 1 credit in Canadian history (Grade 10)
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography (Grade 9)
  • 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

Group 1, 2 and 3 compulsory credits

Of the 18 compulsory credits, students must complete one from each of the following groups:

Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

The following conditions apply to compulsory credit selections from the above three groups:

  • 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, selected from any of the above three groups.

English as a second language (ESL) and English literacy development (ELD)

Students may count a maximum of 3 credits in ESL or ELD towards the 4 compulsory credits in English.

The fourth credit must be for a Grade 12 compulsory English course.

Optional credits

Students must earn 12 optional credits by successfully completing courses offered in their school’s program and course calendar.

Optional credits may include up to 4 credits earned through approved dual credit programs.

Literacy graduation requirement

All students must meet the secondary school literacy graduation requirement to earn their high school diploma.

For most students, this means passing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

For adults this means passing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course.

Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT have other opportunities to meet the literacy graduation requirement. Students can contact their school principal to find out about these options.

This requirement has been waived for students graduating in the 2019-2020 school year.

Community involvement hours

The community involvement requirement is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop awareness and understanding about civic responsibility. Students can actively participate in supporting and strengthening their communities. It also provides the opportunity for students to learn more about themselves and possible career opportunities.

Students can start accumulating the required 40 hours in the summer before entering Grade 9.

Students who are looking for community involvement opportunities should:

Students under 18 years old should consult with their parents to plan and select their community involvement activities, according to ministry guidelines.

This requirement has been waived for students graduating in the 2019-2020 school year.

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