What Do You Need To Graduate?
The Credit System
All secondary school programs in the province of Ontario are based on a
credit system. You must earn a total of 30 credits in order to graduate
from high school. One credit is equal to a 110 hour course that you must
In order to receive a high school diploma (also known as the Ontario
Secondary School Diploma – OSSD) you must successfully earn the
following combination of credits:
- 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
- 1 credit in French as a Second Language
- 3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
- 2 credits in science
- 1 credit in Canadian history
- 1 credit in Canadian geography
- 1 credit in the arts
- 1 credit in health and physical education
- 1⁄2 credit in civics and 1⁄2 credit in career studies
- 1 additional credit in English,
or a third language, or a social science and the humanities, or Canadian
and world studies, or guidance and career education, or cooperative
- 1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or cooperative education
- 1 additional credit in science, or technological education, or cooperative education
- 4 credits in religion – as a
member of the Catholic school community, you will be required to
complete four religion courses. For more information about the religion
courses offered at our schools, please visit the Religious Education link.
8 Optional Credits
- The elective credits will allow
you to build an educational program that suits your individual interests
and meet university, college, apprenticeship or work requirements, as
well as continue your growth in faith.
40 Hours of Community Involvement Activities
You must complete a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid community service
activities at any time throughout your secondary program. You will be
able to choose your own community involvement activities within
guidelines that are provided by our secondary schools.
This requirement is to be completed on your own time, outside of normal
classroom hours. All students are required to maintain and provide a
record of their community involvement activities using the school forms
that are provided. Our secondary school principals will decide whether
you have met the requirements for both the Ministry of Education and the
Board for these activities.
As part of the Catholic education system, we believe that completing 40
hours of community service is a wonderful way to demonstrate our
commitment to grow in faith. Through community service you will be able
to live and reflect upon the morals and values of our Catholic
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)
Students in Ontario are required by the provincial government to take
the OSSLT in Grade 10 and must pass the test in order to graduate and
receive their OSSD. Students who do not complete the test successfully
will receive additional help to prepare them for re-testing in the
following school year. Students who have been eligible to write the
OSSLT at least twice and have been unsuccessful at least once, are
eligible to fulfill this requirement through the Ontario Secondary
School Literacy Course offered at our schools.
What happens if you don't meet the necessary criteria to get an Ontario Secondary School Diploma?
We want to do everything possible to help you receive your diploma. Please take a look at information about Helping More Students Graduate and Credit Recovery.
If you do leave high school without achieving all of your necessary
credits, we could grant you an Ontario Secondary School Certificate
(often called a Certificate of Education). To receive a Certificate of
Education, you will need 14 credits including:
- 7 compulsory credits
- 7 elective credits
The 7 compulsory credits include:
- 2 credits in English
- 1 credit in Canadian geography or Canadian history
- 1 credit in mathematics
- 1 credit in science
- 1 credit in health and physical education
- 1 credit in the arts or technological education
you don't meet the criteria to receive the Certificate of Education,
you may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. The Certificate of
Accomplishment will be accompanied by the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. For those students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), a copy of the IEP may also be included.
Students who return to school to complete additional credit and
non-credit courses, including courses with modified or alternative
expectations in special education programs, will have their transcripts
updated accordingly, but will not receive a new Certificate of
Accomplishment. Instead, the OSSD will be granted when a student has
fulfilled the appropriate requirements.
Both the Certificate of Education and the Certificate of Accomplishment
recognize achievements and can be used for those students who plan to
take certain vocational programs, other kinds of further training or who
plan to find employment after leaving school.