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Getting your Diploma

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) Requirements

An Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) requires the completion of:

Compulsory Credits

The 18 compulsory credits are:

  • 4 English, one per grade level*
  • 1 French as a Second Language
  • 3 Mathematics, at least one in Grade 11 or 12
  • 2 Science
  • 1 Canadian Geography
  • 1 Canadian History
  • 1 Arts (dance, drama, media, music, visual arts)
  • 1 Health and Physical Education
  • 0.5 Civics and Citizenship
  • 0.5 Career Studies

Plus one credit from each of the following groups:

Group 1:

  • English (including the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course) or French as a second language
  • Native languages
  • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit studies
  • classical studies and international languages
  • social sciences and the humanities
  • Canadian and world studies
  • guidance and career education
  • cooperative education
  • American Sign Language as a second language

Group 2:

  • health and physical education
  • the arts
  • business studies
  • French as a second language
  • cooperative education
  • American Sign Language as a second language

Group 3:

  • science (Grade 11 or 12)
  • technological education
  • French as a second language
  • computer studies
  • cooperative education
  • American Sign Language as a second language

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

  • In groups 1, 2, and 3, a maximum of two 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.
    • Students who have taken Native languages in place of French as a second language in elementary school may use a Level 1 or 2 Native languages course to meet the compulsory credit requirement for French as a second language.
  • A maximum of two credits in cooperative education can count as compulsory credits, selected from any of the above three groups.
  • The Grade 11 English: Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis and Inuit Voices course may be used to meet the Grade 11 English compulsory credit requirement.
  • The Grade 9 Expressions of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Cultures course may be used to meet the compulsory credit requirement in the arts

* Students who are English language learners may count up to three credits in ESL or ELD towards the four compulsory credits in English. The fourth credit must be a Grade 12 compulsory English course.

Community Involvement

Students are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of mandatory Community Involvement prior to graduation.

  • An indication of completion will be entered on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript when the 40 hours have been submitted
  • Secondary school staff will discuss appropriate types of Community Involvement activities and projects with students and may offer suggestions, but the selection and management of the involvement is to be directed by the student.
  • The TDSB publishes a list of “approved” and “non-approved” activities; students must receive pre-approval for volunteer activities from the Principal or Designate.
  • Activities may take place inside or outside the school. If inside, activities may not be part of a credit program.
  • The student may not displace a worker who would normally have been paid to perform the same function or receive pay.
  • Community Involvement may begin in the summer after Grade 8.
  • For volunteer opportunities check www.volunteertoronto.ca

Ontario Secondary Literacy Requirement

Students must write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), which is created and marked by the Ministry of Education. Students who write the OSSLT and who have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC4O).

More information about the OSSLT

Online Learning Graduation Requirement

Beginning with students that entered Grade 9 in the 2020-21 school year, students must earn at least two online learning credits to get their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

More information about the Online Learning Graduation Requirement.

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)

Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted, on request, to students who are leaving school upon reaching the age of 18 without earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. (OS, section 6.3) A student must have earned:

  • 2 English
  • 1 Canadian Geography or Canadian History
  • 1 Mathematics
  • 1 Science
  • 1 Health and Physical Education
  • 1 Arts, Computer Studies or Technological Education
  • 7 optional credits selected by the student from available courses

Certificate of Accomplishment

Students who leave school upon reaching the age of 18 without having met the requirements for the OSSD or OSSC may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. This certificate is a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to continue certain kinds of training or find employment.

A student may return to school and take additional credit and non-credit courses and have their transcript (OST) updated. A new certificate will not be awarded, but an OSSD or OSSC will be granted when the returning student has fulfilled the requirements. (OS, section 6.4)

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