O S S  D


Requirements To Earn Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

In order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), a student must earn a minimum of 30 credits, including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits. Students must also complete 40 hours of community involvement activities and must pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, or successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).


Compulsory Credits* (Total of 18)

  • 4 English (1 credit per grade)***

  • 1 French-as-a-second language

  • 3 Mathematics (at least 1 in grade 11 or 12)

  • 2 science

  • 1 Canadian history

  • 1 Canadian geography

  • 1 The arts

  • 1 Health and physical education

  • 0.5 Civics

  • 0.5 Career studies

  • 1 Additional English or a third language or social sciences and the humanities or Canadian and world studies or guidance and career education or cooperative education

  • 1 Additional credit in health and physical education or the arts or business studies or cooperative education

  • 1 additional credit in science (grade 11 or 12) or technological education (grades 9 – 12) or cooperative education

  • A credit is granted when a course of at least 110 hours is completed with a pass

  • All courses listed have a 1.0 credit value unless otherwise indicated (e.g. 0.5 credit)

  • A maximum of 3 ESL credits may be counted towards the 4 required English credits

Optional Credits (Total of 12)

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must earn 12 optional credits. Students may earn these credits by successfully completing courses that they have selected from the courses listed by grade in the Academic Program.

40 hours of Community Involvement Activities:

As part of the diploma requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities.

These may take place in a variety of settings (business, not-for-profit organizations, public sector institutions (including hospitals), and informal settings).

Students may not fulfil the requirement through activities that are counted towards an academic credit, through paid work or by assuming duties normally performed by a paid employee. The requirement is to be completed outside students’ normal instructional hours.

A variety of activities and opportunities to fulfil these hours will be made available to the students by the school throughout the year. Students are to maintain and provide a record of their community involvement. Such records must be confirmed by the organization or persons supervising the activities and submitted to the Academic Coordinator. These records will be submitted to the Principal for approval upon the completion of the 40 hours.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

Each student is required to write an Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test during his/her grade 10 years, or the year (grade 10-12) in which they enrol for the first time in an Ontario secondary school. The student must achieve an acceptable level in both reading and writing in order to receive his/her diploma. If students do not achieve an acceptable level of achievement in the literacy test they will be required to rewrite the test until they receive a satisfactory result. The student’s result will be recorded on his/her student transcript. Under special circumstances, students may be granted a deferral or a rewrite.




Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course Grade 12

This credit course is designed to support at-risk students in improving their language skills and provide them with an alternative way of demonstrating these skills. Students who have had at least two opportunities to write the OSSLT and who have failed it at least once will be eligible to take the course. The successful completion of this course will satisfy the literacy requirement for graduation. Students who obtain a graduation diploma by passing the literacy course will be required to demonstrate a standard of reading and writing skills comparable to those measured by the OSSLT. The OSSLT is the foundation for the design of this course.

Substitutions for Compulsory Credits

The Principal of the school may substitute up to three compulsory courses with courses from the remainder of those that meet the compulsory credit requirement. Substitutions will be made to promote and enhance student learning or to meet special needs and interests.


If a course has a prerequisite requirement, this prerequisite must be attained prior to the enrollment in the course. Satisfactory achievement in prerequisite courses is crucial to the full understanding and successful completion of subsequent courses. However, following discussion with the student’s parents and teachers, the Principal may allow a student to proceed in a particular course without first obtaining the normal pre-requisite.

This decision will be made only if it is in the student’s best interest, and the Principal, the teachers and the parents are in agreement. Since the pre-requisite has not been met, there may be substantial challenges for the student, and although support from the school is available, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the course is successfully completed.
Appropriate records for waiving of pre-requisites, showing all of the appropriate permissions, will be maintained in the student's OSR.



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