Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

Students who complete Ontario High School courses will get an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), and can also apply to any Canadian and International Universities. The main high school course areas include English, Mathematics, Business, Arts, Social Science, and Computer Science.

To receive an OSSD, students must obtain 30 secondary school course credits (which include 18 compulsory courses and 12 optional courses). Students must also complete 10 hours of community involvement per year and pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Upon presenting the original transcript to the school, international students could have the courses taken in their original country transferred to Ontario secondary school credits.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) Requirements

 Earn 18 compulsory credits.

  • 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
  • 3 credits in Mathematics (at least one credit from grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits in Science
  • 1 credit in Canadian Geography
  • 1 credit in Canadian History
  • 1 credit in the Arts
  • 1 credit in Health and Physical Education
  • 1 credit in French as a second language
  • 5 credit in Civics
  • 5 credit in Career Studies
  • Plus one credit from each of the following groups:

1 additional credit in group 1:

  • English, or a third language
  • Social sciences and the humanities
  • Canadian and world studies,
  • Guidance and career education,
  • Cooperative education.

1 additional credit in group 2:

  • Health and physical education,
  • The arts,
  • Business studies,
  • Cooperative education.

1 additional credit in group 3:

  • Science (grade 11 or 12)
  • Technological education (grades 9 – 12)
  • Cooperative education


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. In addition to the compulsory credits, 12 optional credits are required. Elective credits are selected by the student based on individual interests and goals. Parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators can help the student make a wise selection.

Complete 40 hours of Community Involvement

Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities during their years in the secondary school program. This requirement is to be completed outside the student’s normal instructional hours and in a variety of settings. Students may not complete the hours through activities that are counted towards a credit, through paid work or by assuming duties normally performed by a paid employee. Parents and students play a major role in this initiative. Organizations or persons supervising the activities must confirm completion of the 40 hours. Documentation attesting to the completion of each activity must be submitted. This documentation must include for each activity, the name of the person-organization receiving the service, the activity performed, the dates and hours, signatures of the student and his or her parents and a signed acknowledgment by the person (or representative of the organization) involved.

Pass the Ontario Secondary Literacy Test

All students must complete the provincial secondary school literacy test to earn a secondary school diploma. Students will normally be administered the literacy test when they are in Grade 10. The test is based on the Ontario curriculum expectations for language and communication, particularly reading and writing, up to and including Grade 9.

The test will identify areas for remediation for students who are unsuccessful in completing the test. Students who write the test, but do not succeed, must retake the test and complete it successfully, or complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) to qualify for a secondary school diploma. There is no limit to the number of times the test may be retaken.