18 compulsory credits
Students must earn the following compulsory credits to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma:’
• 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)*
• 3 credits in mathematics (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 credit in French as a second language
• 0.5 credit in career studies
• 0.5 credit in civics
Plus one credit from each of the following groups:
• English or French as a second language** •
- a Native language
- a classical or an international language
- social sciences and the humanities
- Canadian and world studies
- guidance and career education
- cooperative education*
• health and physical education • the arts • business studies • French as a second language
Ministry of Education
• cooperative education
* Group 3:
• science (Grade 11 or 12)
• technological education
• French as a second language
• computer studies
• cooperative education***
In addition to the compulsory credits, students must complete:
• 12 optional credits†
• the provincial literacy requirement
• a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities
40 Hours of Community involvement
The community involvement requirement is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop awareness and understanding about civic responsibility. They can actively participate in supporting and strengthening their communities. It also provides the opportunity for students to learn more about themselves and possible career opportunities.
Students can start accumulating hours in the summer before entering Grade 9.
Tips for students looking for volunteer opportunities:
• Check your school board’s website for resources to help you record hours and find volunteer activities.
• Visit the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network to find opportunities through a centre in your community.
• Get involved in “Change The World”, open to students aged 14-18, during April and May of each year.
• Make sure you know which activities qualify for the community involvement requirement. Students under eighteen years old can consult with their parents to plan and select their community involvement activities, according to ministry guidelines
• Ask your principal for more information.
*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.