Ontario Secondary School Diploma

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The Ontario Secondary School Diploma is a diploma granted to high school graduates in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is part of the publicly funded province-wide school system. It is awarded to all students who complete the Ontario education curriculum, including students in Special Education, the TOPS program, MaCS program, IB Program, and other focused secondary school programs.

Diploma requirements[edit]

The academic credit system applies to students from Grades 9 through 12. To obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, one must earn the following compulsory credits:

  • 4 credits in one's first language (English or French) (from Grade 9 - 12, one credit per a year),
  • 3 credits in Mathematics, with at least one credit in Grade 11 or 12,
  • 2 credits in Science, one in Grade 9 and one in Grade 10,
  • 1 credit in Grade 10 Canadian History,
  • 1 credit in Grade 9 Canadian Geography,
  • 1 credit in the arts,
  • 1 credit in Health and physical education,
  • 1 credit in one's second language, either French or English or any other language
  • 0.5 credits in Grade 10 Career Studies, and
  • 0.5 credits in Grade 10 Civics

One must also earn 1 credit from each of the following three areas:

Note that *, only 2 credits in cooperative education can be counted as compulsory credits, and that **, only 2 additional second language (either French or English) credits can be counted as compulsory: one in group 1, or one in either group 2 or group 3.

In addition, students must also have completed:

  • 12 optional credits (4 of which may be obtained through approved dual-credit courses and coop),
  • 40 hours of community service,
  • and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test with a score of 75.0% or above

Note that a student can receive his/her community service from the start of Grade 9 (including the summer between Grade 8 and 9) until the end of Grade 12, with summer break and weekends included. If one fails the Literacy Test, he/she must rewrite the test the following school year, or complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC 3O or 4O) in grade 11 or 12.

In Grade 9 and 10 (Years 1 and 2, respectively), a student must complete 16 credits in total, 8 each year. In Grade 11 and 12 (Year 3 and 4, respectively), one must complete the 14 remaining credits, with no less than 6 attempted credits each year in accordance with compulsory education law. In total, 30 credits must be achieved. One can stay in high school until all 30 credits are achieved, or to obtain any additional or required credits for post-secondary admission.

Ontario Secondary School Certificate[edit]

The Ontario Secondary School Certificate may be requested by students who leave school before earning their OSSD if they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed over the following courses:[1]

  • 2 credits in English
  • 1 credit in Canadian history or geography
  • 1 credit in mathematics
  • 1 credit in science
  • 1 credit in health and physical education
  • 1 credit in the arts, technological education, or computer studies
  • 7 additional electives


1. What do you need to graduate? ISBN 1-4249-0089-1

2. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/graduate.html

3. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/fre/ppm/graduate.html